Thursday, July 28, 2011
Ynet’s Danny Sadeh introduced their article this way: “Readers of leading American magazine Travel+Leisure have voted for Jerusalem as the second best city in Africa and the Middle East for 2011. Cape Town ranked first and Tel Aviv third.
“Bangkok was chosen as the best city in the world for 2011, followed by Florence, Rome, New York and Istanbul. Jerusalem ranked 11th in the global ranking, immediately after Paris, and Tel Aviv came in 29th.”
Most American tourists hit Ben Gurion airport, board a bus and drive to the Galilee. There they visit for a few days, seeing the Sea of Galilee, the Golan and some of the historical Bible sites like Capernaum and the Mt. of Beatitudes.
Mt. of Beatitudes gardens
Their view of Tel Aviv is normally from a long way off. They are missing a beautiful city of tree lined streets, a beautiful beach and little sidewalk cafes.
Tel Aviv viewed from Jaffe
But they don’t come to Israel for that. They want to see Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Mt. of Olives if they are Bible students.
Western Wall, Temple Mt. Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock
We moved to Jerusalem on the day Ari Sharon had his fateful stroke in 2006. Having traveled there since 1986, we were familiar with the State of Israel and had come to love it. When we founded Barnabuspress.com we could have lived in any part of the country but it was either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem that called, based on doing news.
We chose the Holy City. Holy to three major religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I had lived here for the summer of 2002, and I fell in love with Jerusalem in spite of the fact that it was a very dangeous place then due to the Intifada.
There were still attacks in 2006; guards still rode the buses, security checkpoints still were erected on a moment’s notice when a bomber was found to be making his way into the city, and in fact a restaurant was bombed in Tel Aviv in April of that year.
Gradually the Intifada cooled and the guards on buses were no more. Then in March a bomber hit a bus stop and bus this year. Security got tighter again. It is still a safe city thanks to one of the best and most watchful security apparatuses in the world.
Tourism is at full peak again, and incidents are very rare.
Jerusalem has its cozy outdoor cafes, and not just on Ben Yehuda or Hillel streets. There are more and more high quality restaurants, but some of the little “hole in the wall” eateries are still among my favorites.
Among them is Moshiko. If you want falafel or schwarama this is your place.
Of course there are great sites all over Israel but none is quite as modern as the harp bridge.
Entering Jerusalem from the West you will see it rising into the sky like a needle needle with the newest site – the train that has taken over Jaffe Road.
To, however, the story of Israel is the people. They come from all walks of life, from all over the world, and they all have a special story to tell. The photos below will give you some kind of idea about the diversity that makes Israel special.
The Med viewed from Zichron Yaacov.
Artwork at the Mamilla Mall
Sea of Galilee as one enters Tiberias from the mountain top.
The Western entrance to Jerusalem from Route One
Burial place of the prophet Samuel
Why don’t you come visit us? We can arrange a tour for you that will be the highlight of your life.