🥦Mizuo´s Travel Blog🥦No.15 (1/2) - Jerusalem, Israel. 2015


Trip to Jerusalem!

I have to appreciate my friends´ kindness while we were visiting Israel. We had such a nice time while we were there. It was a lot of fun since our friends took us around the country helping the sightseeing. We visited Israel to attend their wedding, and after we attended the ceremony, our friends chartered a whole bus for their guests who came from outside of Israel. There were many of their friends who attended their wedding and many of the guests were who they met while they were in university. They planned a trip to Jerusalem for the guests since for most of us, it was our first time to visit Israel. It was super nice of them! Thank you very much! To tell the truth, for me, Israel was a country where I had no idea about. For me, Israel was a country where is located somewhere very far. I knew that for some religions, Jeuresum is a very important city. But, I was not sure why. Well, I am not a Christian, obviously, so I was simply not interested in these “dramas” how come so many people were arguing so much about it. (Simply put, I was ignorant. LOL) This trip really gave me a chance to learn about the history of Israel, and the history of these religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. 

初めて行く旅行先で友人が色々と観光地を説明してくれるって本当にありがたいですよね。 イスラエルに訪問したのは友人の結婚式に出席する為だったのですが、式を終えた後、その友人がバスをチャーターしてくれ海外から来た友人を中心にエルサレルまで連れて行ってくれました。 式には学生時代の友人を中心に色々な国から出席しており、せっかく遠くの国から来てくれたのだからといった思いもあってか、バスをチャーターし観光にも連れて行ってくれました。わたしにとってはイスラエルは本当に遠い国で、正直あまり馴染みの無い国でもありました。 色々な宗教の聖地になっているとは認識していたのですが、それ以上の詳しい知識も訪問前はあまりありませんでした。

This is where we were asked to meet up. And, our trip started!
This is where we were asked to meet up. And, our trip started!

Church of Mary Magdalene
Church of Mary Magdalene

The Golden Dome
The Golden Dome

The sun was so strong in July in Israel. It was such a beautiful sunny day! I remembered that it was one of the hottest years in 2015 in Israel. When we got on the highway, I started seeing beautiful views of the desert. Israel is such a dry country! I was not so used to see so many dry places like the desert I saw in Israel, so it was very beautiful for me. (Well, I know how hard it would be to live in harsh weather.) When I saw the Golden Dome, I was like, “Ah, I saw it before on the TV!” I was very surprised when we got off the bus on the top of Mount of Olives, we could see the overview of Jerusalem. It was very beautiful to see the whole city. But, at the same time, I was pretty surprised to see so many graves on the mountain. It was like a cemetery where so many people wished to squeeze in such a small area. I asked my friend how come there were so many graves on the mountain, and he explained about the reason and about his faith. It was very interesting how people were patios to this faith.

バスでしばらく走り出すと砂漠を横切る高速通りに入り、そしてまたしばらく走るとエルサレムに着きました。 黄金のドームをバスの窓から見た時、「あぁ~なんか見たことある建物」と思いました。 バスを降りて丘の上から記念撮影したのですが、丘にはお墓がずらぁ~~っとあり、本当にびっくりしました。 友人に聞くと、ユダヤの教えでは聖地に近いとより良いと考えられている様で、世界中からここに埋葬を希望する信仰深いかたもたくさんいるとのことでした。

When we arrived at one of the city gates, I was so amazed at how old the gate was. The gate showed how old this city is. My friend explained that the city is surrounded by the city wall and there are some city gates that can only have access to the inside of the city. As we talked through the city, we saw many parts of ruins from the Roman Empire era. When my friend explained that Jerusalem has a long history, and every time the city was conquered by a new ruler, the city was destroyed and built on the old city. So that, when they excavate the city, by a layer of the era, we can see each history of the time when the city was ruled. I was pretty amazed at how old the city was and how much history the city has. 

エルサレルは四方に門があり、市内に入るにはその門から入るように設計されているようでした。 歴史を感じるその石門をくぐると、早速見えてきたのがローマ時代の様な建造物。 聞いてびっくりしたのですが、エルサレムは長い歴史の中、時の権力者によって何度か町を破壊、再生が繰り返され、その度に町の上に新たな町を作ったようで、このローマ時代の建造物はローマ時代に建設され、その後、他の権力者によって上に建造された後、発掘調査で発見されたものを展示しているとのことでした。 町全体に歴史を感じ、とてもびっくりしました。

The Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall

The security gates were pretty serious.
The security gates were pretty serious. 

We walked to the Wailing Wall. Honestly speaking, I was not sure what people were waiting for. (Well, I learned as I was doing the sightseeing. My friend was a pretty good tour guide.) But, I was pretty surprised that so many people were gathering at the wall. When we entered the wall, we had to go through the security check. And, after the security check, men were asked to wear a kippah. For some people, the place was very sacred and it reminded me of Japanese temples and shrines in Kyoto, Japan. Although it was open to the public including tourists, it had a very sacred atmosphere where many rabbis were studying and reading something like scrolls. Well, for me, I just showed my respect to them and left the place. It was very interesting how humans believe in many different religions in many different places. 

市街を歩き、先ず向かったのがあの有名な「嘆きの壁」です。 びっくりしたのですが、黄金のドームの近くにその壁がありました。 あとから調べると建ての物一部だったと分かり、色々と歴史を学ぶことが出来ました。 嘆きの壁に入る際は、手荷物検査などがあり、その後嘆きの壁に入ることが出来ました。 嘆きの壁はユダヤ教徒にとってはとても神聖な祈りの場であって、多くの方が祈りを捧げていました。 男性はつむじを隠すキャップを渡され、それを頭にのせて観光をしました。 壁の近くにある建物では、ユダヤの経典を学ぶ学生の様なかたもたくさんいて、日本のお寺の様な感じがしました。

Bazaar - The Market
Bazaar - The Market

When we left the wall, we headed to the market for some food which was one of my favorite parts of the sightseeing. The market was so interesting! When we were looking for a restaurant, we happened to come to the gate to the Golden Dome. It seemed that only Muslims were allowed to enter the area. There were guards in from of the gate, and ask people who wanted to get in. And, it appeared that they had to recite a passage of Quran to prove that they were a believer of Muslim. I thought that it was pretty interesting like they were checking something secretly like ninjas, talking some secret codes or something. In the market, it was very international where people from all over the world were there. I heard many different kinds of languages which I had never heard of. Some people looked like Asians, others looked like Europeans, Arabs, and many other different kinds of races and ethnic groups. Literally, I felt like I was walking in New York City, Tokyo, and Los Angels. The restaurant we went to was such a hit! I loved the food so much! Their hummus and falafels were incredible! My friend told me that if we saw some local people were eating in a restaurant, the restaurant would be very good. Local people know the best kind of restaurants. (Well, maybe it is international! lol)

嘆きの壁の観光を終え、次に向かったのは市内にある市場です。 アーチ型の商店街が拡がり、多くの人で賑わっていました。 黄金のドームに入る入り口には憲兵が立っていて、そこにはイスラム教徒しか入ることが許されない様でした。 観光も出来ず、入る際はイスラムのコーランの暗唱を門の入口にたっている憲兵に伝えイスラム教徒であることが認められたものしか入られないようでした。 市場はユダヤ系、アラブ系、観光客、世界中から訪れた参拝客、などたくさんのかたでとても賑わっており、市場では色々な国の言語を聞くことが出来ました。 市場の中になった食堂で夕食を食べたのですが、そこで食べたハムスとファラフェルは本当に格別で思い出に残る味でした。 やはり高級レストランより、一般市民に愛される町にある食堂のハムスとファラフェルは本当に美味しかったです。

Amazing! 🙌🙌🙌
Amazing! 🙌🙌🙌

Delicious!
Delicious!

つづく。。。

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