Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Jerusalem.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends.
The Jerusalem Bird Observatory (http://natureisrael.org/JBO) is centrally located and a magnet for migratory and wintering birds that include: Wrynecks, Palenstine Sunbirds, Spectacled Bulbuls, and the Israel National Bird, the Hoopoe.
Birding Israel ( birdingisrael.com) brings you migration reports plus common and not so common birding sites.
Israel Hotspots is a site (camacdonald.com/) that list facts and is a reference for other birding sites.
Transportation: This is your site for getting around on public transportation – (goisrael.com goisrael.com)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (ourcrowd.com)
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Day One: Our Cousin Levi suggests that our first stop be the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is the most important historical and archeological site in the State of Israel. The site is where King Solomon built the First Temple.
The Second Temple was built on the site of the first, at first by the Jews, and then later, in grandeur and splendor, by Herod the Great.
The Temple Mount is sacred to Christianity because it is the site of the Holy Temple. In the southeast corner of the Temple Mount compound is the spot known as “The Cradle of Jesus” or Kursi Issa in Arabic, where Jesus’ mother put down the baby Jesus when she came to the Temple to offer a sacrifice following the birth of the baby.
The Temple Mount is the third most sacred site in Islam, following Mecca and Medina.
Islam recognized the earlier traditions of Judaism and Christianity regarding the Temple Mount, adding traditions of its own.
The Temple Mount is an ancient site of religious ritual of the greatest historic importance in the annals of human culture, and of the Jewish people in particular.
The Western Wall, Wailing Wall, your next stop is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount.
The Western Wall refers to the exposed section facing a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, and to the sections concealed behind structures running along the whole length of the Temple Mount.
With the rise of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century, the wall became a source of friction between the Jewish community and the Muslim religious leadership, who were worried that the wall was being used to further Jewish nationalistic claims to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.
Outbreaks of violence at the foot of the wall became commonplace and an international commission was convened in 1930 to determine the rights and claims of Muslims and Jews in connection with the wall.
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the wall came under Jordanian control and Jews were barred from the site for 19 years until Israel captured the Old City in 1967 and three days later bulldozed the adjacent 770-year old Moroccan Quarter.
It’s almost a must that you stop at the Mehane Yahuda Market – Su-Th: 8-7, F: 8-3, Bounded by Jaffa Road to the north, Agrippa Street to the south, Beit Yaakov Street to the west, and Klach Street to the east.
After a stroll through the market make a lunch stop at Azura – B & L: Su-F, 8 Mehane Yehuda St.
Specialties include meatballs in a fresh tomato sauce, freshly prepared hummus, Sephardi chicken stew, Kubbeh soup (ground meat and semolina dumplings in a lemony broth) and many other Middle Eastern delicacies.
Next visit the Tower of David Museum located near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City, Su-Th: 9-4, F,Sa: 9-2
The Tower of David Museum depicts the city’s history in a chronological sequence beginning in the 2nd millennia BC to the present.
It’s important to visit Yad Vashem – Su-W: 9-5, Th: (-8, F: 9-2, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority Har Hazikaron
As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past, and imparts its meaning for future generations.
Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter.
Dinner is at Chakra – L: Sa, D: Nightly, King George 41, 972 2 625 2733
For your first course share a plate of Syrian olives, chopped liver and lemon garlic cauliflower while enjoying the local Vitkin Rielsing.
Your main is the sardine pasta and lamb gnocchi or the mushroom risotto and the sea bream.
The wine choice is the Flam Superiore Syrah. Dessert is the Tahini ice cream, honey and pine nuts.
Day Two: Breakfast is at Aroma – B,L,D: Su-Th, B,L: F, King George 14, 026 25 9102
They have a great coffee selection and our Power breakfast comes with eggs, a big salad that includes feta, a cream cheese and avocado spread plus baked bread and butter.
French toast, croissants and muesli are also available.
Today start your tour at the The Church of the Holy Sepulchre where it is said Jesus was crucified and buried.
It has been a pilgrimage destination since the 4th century and the site of the resurrection of Jesus. Today it serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.
The control of the building is shared among several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements unchanged for centuries.
It is home to Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Anglican and Protestant Christians.
Our cousin wants you to see the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo – Su-Th: 9-6, F: 9-4:30, Sa: 10-6, Derech Aharon Shulov 1, 02-6750111
The Zoo is set on 62 acres in a valley surrounded by green hills, and it encircles a small lake that is fed by pools and waterfalls. Its mission is to preserve rare animals from the land of Israel with a special emphasis in species mentioned in the Bible.
The zoo exists thanks to the generosity of Tisch family of New York.
At Darna – L & D: Su-Th, 3 Horkanos St, 02 624 5406 enjoy a Moroccan feast.
It begins with phyllo pastry filled with Cornish hen and almonds decorated with powdered sugar and cinnamon or the Moroccan soup with coriander, chickpeas, lentils and veal served with dates and lemon.
For your main the veal tagine with red peppers and barley or the couscous with lamb, prunes and raisins are good choices.
Your wine is the ’97 Barkan Merlot Reserve. Desserts are indescribable and decadent.
The Western Wall Tunnel is located under the buildings of the Old City Jerusalem and was constructed by King Herod in 19 BC.
After the destruction of the Temple it was the closest area to the Temple’s Holy of Holies and a place of Jewish prayer for millennia. Today it is possible to enter the tunnel’s southern entrance near the Western Wall, tour the tunnel and exit from the Northern end.
From below the city to above where we get another perspective, is the Ramparts Walk – Su- Th: 9-4, F: 9-2, 972 2 6277550, The Walk can be accessed from Jaffa, Damascus, Lion’s and Zion Gates.
It’s about 2 ½ miles long with lots of ups and downs and it offers no facilities. It was built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th Century. The view from the walk does offer a look at everyday life, wash on the lines and soccer playing.
Special sightings include: the Christian and Moslem quarters, the Rockefeller Museum and the Mount of Olives cemetery.
In 1868 the first stones were laid outside of the Old City walls establishing the new city of Jerusalem. The building that houses your restaurant this evening was one of the first to be built outside the Old City walls. 1868 Restaurant – L & D: Su-Th, 10 King David St, 02 622 2312
You can start with the salad composed of endive and lettuce leaf with vegetable roots, cherry tomatoes, smoked bread in raspberry vinaigrette or the sea fish tartar with pickled spring vegetables and peas.
With this course enjoy a glass of the ’05 Yarden Blanc de Blancs.
For your main course the lamb ragout with purple potatoes, roasted carrots and eucalyptus oil or the pasta with duck confit, green olives and tomato fondue with a garlic and lemon vinaigrette are very popular.
Your wine choice is the ’08 Recanti Special Reserve. Dessert is their chocolate soup that is poured over fruit, berries and cookies.
Day Three: Breakfast at the Coffee Bean – B: Daily, 34 Yafo St, 02 6320289
Not only do they have lots of coffee choices, they have pastries, yogurt and granola, smoked salmon, frittatas, and eggs with assorted sides.
A visit to the Herodion National Park makes for an interesting excursion this morning.
Herod the Great built a fortress, a palace and a small town and named it after himself between 23 and 15 BC. It is on the highest peak in the Judah desert.
The palace had extravagant living quarters that included a bath house, a Roman theater, banquet rooms and an impressive dome that is still in good condition. Booking a tour for this site is strongly recommended.
The Rockefeller Archeological Museum – Su,M,W,Th: 10-3, Sa: 10-2, The Old City, 972 2 670 8074
The Rockefeller Archeological Museum opened in 1938 consolidating collections of the Brits and a Franciscan Biblical Museum.
After a few more conflicts and territorial juggling it has been jointly managed by the Israel Museum and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Artifacts are arranged chronologically from 2 million years ago to 1700 AD.
The 8th century wooden panels from the al-Aqsa Mosque and the 12th century lintels from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are memorable.
Lunch is at Adom – L & D: Daily, First Station, David Remez 4, 02 624 6242
Your starter is the Drum fish sashimi with artichoke, grapes and pickled beet root or the sautéed sweetbreads, artichoke, cherry tomatoes and garlic on cauliflower puree.
For your main the black risotto with seafood in red curry sauce or the baked sea bream stuffed with mushrooms, ginger, mozzarella and basil with mashed potatoes are very good.
The ’11 Flan Classico is a good match. Dessert is the seasonal fruit tart or the chocolate and peanut butter mousse.
The Bible Lands Museum – Su,M,Tu,Th: 9:30-5;30, W: 9:30-9:30, F,Sa: 10-2, 21 Stefan Wise Street, Museum Row, 972 2-561-1066
Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Department of Information and Public Relations
The Bible Lands Museum explores the culture of the peoples mentioned in the Bible, among them the ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, Arameans, Hittites, Elamites, Phoenicians and Persians.
The permanent collection invites you to embark on a journey through the ancient lands of the Bible, tracing history from the dawn of civilization to the early Christian era. The treasures on display represent the physical evidence of civilizations and events described in the Bible.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Department of Information and Public Relations
Traditions, rituals, religions, and cultures are revealed through ancient ivories, mosaics, jewelry, seals, terra cotta and stone sculptures. The cultures of ancient Egypt, Sumer, Assyria and Babylon come to life before you.
Close by is the Israel Museum – Su,M,W,Th: 10-5, Tu: 4-9, F: 10-2, Sa: 10-5, Located on Ruppin Boulevard, near the Knesset, 02-6708811
Among the highlights of the Museum’s original campus is the Shrine of the Book, designed by Armand Bartos and Frederick Kiesler, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, as well as rare early medieval biblical manuscripts.
Adjacent to the Shrine is the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans in 66 CE, and provides historical context to the Shrine’s presentation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Museum’s Billy Rose Art Garden, designed for the original campus by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, is among the finest outdoor sculpture settings of the 20th century. The garden serves as the backdrop for the Israel Museum’s display of the evolution of the modern western sculptural tradition.
On view are works by modern masters including Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, and David Smith, together with more recent site-specific commissions by such artists as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark Dion, James Turrell, and Micha Ullman.
Your final meal is at The Eucalyptus Restaurant – D: Sa-Th, Felt, 14 Hativat Yerushalayim St, 972 2-624-4331
Starters include figs stuffed with chicken in tamarind sauce or the eggplant stuffed with meat and homemade tahini.
For your mains have the veal meatballs with okra and tomato sauce or the lamb and vegetables baked over night in a clay pot.
The seared Mallard in red wine with sweet dates is another specialty.
Try the Nes Harim by Katlav as your wine choice. Dessert is Ice from Paradise.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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