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Ponies In The Holy Land: Picspam Part 1

Little Sister Pony and I are back from our trip to Israel! We had a wonderful time there. I did some fieldwork, we saw friends, ate lots of yummy Israeli food, and bought pretty new clothes. I adore Israeli fashion, especially since my friends have been looking at my purchases and telling me to go back to Israel with a bigger shopping budget.

Of course, I also took pictures! Here is the first part of the selection I have for you:

We based ourselves in Jerusalem, which was a neat city to be in. It's old and new, religious and secular, Middle Eastern and European. We were right in the downtown area, in a hostel right on Zion Square, called the Jerusalem Hostel. They're an okay outfit, except for the bit where they don't mention that you're arriving on the last day of Pesach (Israel celebrates for seven days; a lot of non-Israeli Jews celebrate for eight, which is why we were confused), and that their reception will be closed all day, leading you to spend eight hours sitting around Zion Square until they deign to let you in. Fortunately, we did manage to talk our way into the lobby for part of that time. Here's the place:

One of the things we learned is that Jerusalem has cats the way a lot of American cities have squirrels. The street cats are very skinny and scraggly, but also adorable. Little Sister Pony was especially entranced, since she really missed her own kitty.

When it's not devoid of life on account of Shabbat or another holiday, Zion Square is home to lots of street performers. Some are fairly ordinary buskers. And some . . . are not.

One of the things we loved was the café culture. Little Sister Pony adores good coffee and breakfast in the mornings, so we tried out lots of different coffee places. Holy Bagel had the best name, but for overall food and drink selection and people-watching, we liked Café Hillel the best. We loved sitting outside and checking out morning life on Jaffa Street.

Jerusalem has a public transit system of city buses, but it's now getting street trams as well. The trams are almost operational as of this writing; we saw training runs all the time, and I suspect that the trams will be operational in a month or so. The trams are so new that the seats are still wrapped in bubble wrap!

We saw this weird bunny graffiti everywhere. I guess even graffiti goes in fads.

Little Sister Pony made me take a picture of this piece of street art. It's about six and a half feet high. LSP thinks it's awesome. I think it's hideous. Thoughts?

For something more attractive, how about this? I think it's an old hospital; anyway, it's one of the lovelier examples of nineteenth-century architecture around the center of Jerusalem.

On our first full day there, we decided to take a tour of the Old City. There are free tours that run every day at 11:00 from the Jaffa Gate. So we moseyed down to the Jaffa Gate, stopping to take pictures of the view along the way:

What did we see inside? That remains to be seen in the next picspam . . .


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Right before the graffiti pic I was thinking, "Everything looks really clean." Though, really, even the graffiti is rather presentable.

I think I come down more on Little Sister Pony's side on that stauary though I wouldn't go so far as to say "awesome."
May. 12th, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
There really isn't a whole lot of graffiti, but that bunny does stand out. And the streets are pretty clean. Of course, there's lots of pavement, and thus fewer of those strips of grass where litter can get caught.
May. 13th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
OH, it doesn't take grass for litter. In Philadelphia I saw newspapers--lots of them, not just one somebody happened to lose--blowing along in the gutters. And you're not going to tell me Chicago looks this bright, eh?
May. 13th, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
Well, Chicago is also greener and not made entirely out of pale-beige-verging-on-white stone. Jerusalem sort of glows in strong sunlight.
May. 12th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
Ack. I wish I could spend longer looking at these but I'm afraid I'll have to zip through them or it could be another few days.

I'm with Meggins - everywhere looks so clean! And quiet.
May. 12th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
On weekdays, downtown Jerusalem can be pretty lively, especially the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in the evenings. But on Shabbat and holidays, it is utterly dead and devoid of life, save only the cats and a few religious folk out for a stroll.
May. 13th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
How long was your trip? It seems like you got a lot accomplished. And how nice to have LSP with you! (I am posting here after reading all four pieces; thanks for making them reasonable sizes:D)
May. 13th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
We were there for a week, and having Little Sister Pony around was a wonderful addition. She didn't come on my fieldwork interviews, but she ran around and visited things with me, and had a good time of her own.
May. 13th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Sounds like a win/win situation for both of you then:D
May. 15th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Catching up with LJ...I am struck by the modern buildings along with the ancient walls. Love that.
May. 16th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
One of our guides told us that the bulk of contemporary Jerusalem dates from the mid-19th century; the city seems to have exploded rather suddenly.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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