Sunday, January 10, 2010

Holy **Crap** I'm in the Holy Land

I meant to put this post up a couple of days ago..

So it took me four plane rides one bus ride and a total of… many many hours of traveling but I am here in Jerusalem. First I have to say is that the BYU Jerusalem Center and the over look of the city are beautiful. The Old City is a little interesting I thought it was going to be this orderly simple town that still had sheep running through. Well, it is very different, I have a feeling that I am going to have getting lost in the Old City stories to come. So the place is just crazy… tons of people coming in and out, millions of shops selling the same thing, bumpity whindy roads, yes tons and tons of little streets everywhere that you just have no idea where it is taking you. I mean I could totally be going to a bad part of town and have no way of getting out because there are suddenly no extra side streets. I am just trying to stay on roads with lots of people and shops even though I rather prefer less crowded streets. Now the Old City has many spectacular things to it, I am currently wanting to walk around the city’s walls, but it might take me a few streets, turns and a couple of tries to actually get there. It makes things a little difficult when we have to travel in three’s and everybody has a different idea as to where to go, at the same time they are great to have around to laugh with about how lost you got and ask “Now how did we get here to the Jaffa gate?” Also our traveling time is cut pretty short, we have to be in the center gates before it gets dark out and right now it is a little hard to judge how long it will take because of all the hills we have to take to get around. So today we had a little bit of free time and a few of us wanted to go walk along the city walls unfortunately by the time we got there the tourist office was closed and the access to the rampart was closed. So we decided to wander a little bit and try to figure out the Old City a bit more. I think we were about to get lost but luckily an old man came and talked to us and asked if he could show us around. Some of us were hesitant because we were afraid he maybe would lead us astray or take us to one of his friend’s shops to sell us things but he really did just want to walk around with us and talk with us. He was a very cute, friendly old man that was so kind to show us around. He spoke English very well and gave us some helpful hints for later. I am grateful that many of the people in town are so friendly. Oh and one more interesting thing is that our center is on the East side of Jerusalem where many of the Palestinians live and the West side is where many of the Jews live, as well there are, for the most part, certain gates that lead into the city have only certain people (religions or heritage) walking in it.

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