Note : The pictures here where not taken yesterday. I do not use a camera on the Sabbath!
I spent shabbas this week in Jeruslem, at my son's house. Early Friday evening, eager to get a bit of walking "in", I stepped out of his house into the crisp Jerusalem air. Living as I do on the humid coastal plain, I love the cool crispness of Jerusalem's evening. The setting sun cast a amber-ish glow on the buildings, which themselves are all made of beige-colored Jerusalem stone. The streets were quiet as the area I was walking in was largely religious, and cars are not used on the Sabbath (except in health/safety emergencies).
Then in the morning I rose early to walk to the Kosel (Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site), about an hour's walk away from where I was staying. The early morning streets had few occupants, but slowly became more populated as the minutes passed, with early risers going to synagogue for prayers. As I neared the old city, I saw more tourists, and more Arabs, being nearer to the Arab side of the city.
I entered the old walled city by way of Jaffa gate, and walked around the Armenian quarter to reach the Jewish quadrant.
[Picture (from Wikipedia): David's citadel, and the walls between the citadel going towards Zion gate. I walked just inside of these walls (the citadel s close to Jaffa gate)]
When I reached near Zion gate and passed it, I could see the massive graveyard that is on the Mount of Olives spread out before me, beyond the far side of the ancient walled city.
[Picture: Ricki, nearly two years ago, in this same area, with the Mount of Olives in the distance.]
The Kosel plaza was cool, still being in shade. People were praying quietly. One woman was walking between the worshipers (on the women's side), offering wiffs of scent-filled plants.
[Photo, Ricki nearly 2 years ago, at the Kosel plaza.]
After finishing my prayers I returned to Jaffa gate through the old city (rather than along it's borders). At 8:30 some of the Arab merchants were already opening their stores to catch early morning tourists.
Then I walked up Yaffo (Jaffa) street, which is closed to all traffic (except for a streetcar which does not operate on the Sabbath. On reaching Davidka square, I turned right to walk through the Geulah section and down to the Sanhedria area. The city was rapidly awakening, and the sun shone brightly in the strikingly blue sky.