Up at 5.30 to take sunrise photos of Jerusalem with Rob the American. Getting up early is the perfect excuse to not have a shower. Was a little grumpy to have a third disturbed nights sleep in a row but the photos would make it worthwhile. Or at least they would have if I had taken the fully charged battery instead of the empty one.
Rob and I did a tour of the old and new cities after that. First stop the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is where Jesus was supposedly crucified, buried and resurrected. We also toured the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried the cross and the place where the last feed was held. How I was able to visit these sacred sites is a good story in itself. You see the bible is quite different from the Lonely Planet in that it doesn’t have any maps (not that the Lonely Planet maps are that crash hot). Luckily the roman emperor Constantine’s mum was here around 300AD and she came over all funny and had some visions and stuff, which showed her where all the places that Jesus went to in the bible were. Well that’s all that settled beyond all reasonable doubt then.
After that we took a tour of the new city including the Mahane Yahuda market, Ben Yehuda Street and the ultraorthadox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea She’arim. The last place is described by the Lonely Planet as the world’s most reluctant tourist attraction. This is because loads of tourists love to pop by and gawk at the ultraorthadox Jews who basically want to just get on with their lives and perhaps listen to a little ZZ Top (there I go again). Their neighbourhood is signposted with huge bills that say ‘we ask you with all our hearts please do not pass through our neighbourhood in immodest clothes’ and goes on to give a list of examples. You probably haven’t realised this because I certainly didn’t until Rob pointed it out but the places we visited have all been targeted in recent suicide bombings. In short, we did the terrorist attack tour of Jerusalem and lived to tell the story.
Had a run in with the hostel owner at the al Arab about paying for my bed on the roof. I try to pay day by day so if I make any sudden changes to plans then I can just get up and go without having to worry about getting a refund. I think it’s better that way since I am the only person that I trust completely. Today it backfired on me, as the hotel manager’s senile father doesn’t remember rudely demanding the money or me paying him yesterday. I paid the extra but had a talk to the manager later on and worked it out so that I don’t end up out of pocket. Sorted.