Outside the City, Jerusalem
On the other side of Israel's controversial West Bank barrier, and just outside of Jerusalem, is the other town of Jesus: his birthplace in Bethlehem. Getting to this town, now almost completely surrounded by an 8m high concrete wall, is an adventure in itself, but the rewards are the chance to see the Church of the Nativity on Manger Square, a building of incredible Biblical and modern history.
You can get there by taking the number 22 bus from the Arab station near Damascus Gate. Then passing through the strict security of the Bethlehem checkpoint (obviously much stricter coming in than going out). Finally you take a taxi from checkpoint to Manger Square. Expect to pay an exorbitant fare of about $10 as the taxi drivers try to make up for the economic devastation in the town (about 66% unemployment) by making a buck off the few visitors.
Bethlehem is part of Palestine since 1995! a lot of christians around the world still doesn't now this as they tend to think that the City of David is still Part Of Israel. Bethlehem has different meanings from Arabic and Hebrew, it is called the house of meat in Arabic and House of Bread in Hebrew. Bethlehem has a rich history besides being the birthplace of Jesus Christ as the town sits at the crossroads of history. The town is actually higher than Jerusalem and is situated about 7 kilometers south of Jerusalem, of which the district of Har Homa in Jerusalem is the Nearest Area to Bethlehem.. The town lies among the nooks and crannies of the Judean mountains and besides the Church of the Nativity, of which marks Jesus Birth, there are other areas you can go to like the biblical shepherd's fields, manger square, milk grotto, etc. herodium is also nearby.
A Large part of the West Bank lias along the Judean Desert, which is a separate desert from the Negev Desert of Southern israel. this Desert starts from the mountains near Jerusalem and goes down up to the Dead Sea and starts from just after Beit Shan and up to the Southern Dead Sea, just after Qumran, where it then becomes the Negev Desert. And the mountains and the flat plateau where the dead sea scrolls were found and the popular Nahal Kalya Beach Resort and Kibbutz are all located here at the Judean Desert and the main Highway, highway 90 goes to the Judean Desert from Northern Israel and then to the Negev Desert and ends at the border of Egypt in Eliat.
Jericho is a 40 minute drive from Jerusalem down the Judean Desert to the West Bank and into Palestinian Authority Checkpoints. Jericho is famous in the Bible as the wall of Jericho came down when Joshua called on Yahweh to make the walls fall down and also it is the Place where Jesus met Zachhaeus, the tax collector and near the town is the biblical site of the Mount of Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the devil. besides the Christian sites, Jericho is more known as a Unesco World Heritage Site as there are many unearthed excavations around the town of the different archeological remains of different civilizations of different periods.
according to wikipedia:
Jericho (/ˈdʒɛrɪkoʊ/; Arabic: أريحا ʾArīḥā [ʔaˈriːħaː] ( listen); Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹ Yeriḥo [jeʁiˈχo] ( listen)) is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate. In 2007, it had a population of 18,346. The city was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994. It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BC), almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.
Jericho is described in the Old Testament as the "City of Palm Trees". Copious springs in and around the city attracted human habitation for thousands of years. It is known in Judeo-Christian tradition as the place of the Israelites' return from bondage in Egypt, led by Joshua, the successor to Moses
The Qumran National Park is located in Qirbat Qumran, just a short drive away from the town and Kibbutz of Nahal Kalya and about a 40 minute drive from Downtown Jerusalem and in view of the Dead Sea. In Fact, the Kibbutz of Nahal Kalya is the one who Manages Qumran Park and the Big Souvenir Shop and Restaurant Complex Besides It. Qumran is best known as where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls which was made by a Jewish Sect, the Essenes during the Hellenestic Period and the Hasmonean Dynasty Area of 134 BC up to around 68 AD, after which the area was eventually destroyed by the Romans during the Second Jewish Revolt. The Site was discovered during 1946 where the dead sea scrolls were discovered in a cave and further excavations revealed a mini town in Qumran.
April-September 8 A.M.-5 P.M.
October-March 8 A.M- 4 P.M.
Adult: NIS 29; child: NIS 15
Israeli senior citizen: 50% discount
Group (over 30 people): Adult: NIS 23: child NIS 14
Combination ticket, Qumran and Enot Tsukim:
Adult NIS 46; child NIS 24
Group combination ticket:
Adult NIS 39; child NIS 24
Directions: From the road along the Dead Sea (no. 90), turn to Kibbutz Kalia. The park is approximately a 40-minute ride from Jerusalem.
phone: +97 2-994-2235
website: www.parks.org.il › ãó äáéú › Parks
Being close to Jerusalem and one of the stopovers of a Holy land tour, you can try to swim at the Dead Sea at Nahal Kalya, the favorite destination of Christian Pilgrims who would have a short trip and a dip at the Dead Sea.
although regular swimming activities like breast stroke, free style, butterfly stroke swimming is not allowed at the Dead Sea due to the Hypersalinity and added bouyancy of the Big Lake, you can still do swimming activities like just lying down flat on your belly and float around as the hypersalinity again make you more bouyant and you don't need a flotation device to float here at the dead sea, you can also just sit around while at the dead sea, doing nothing or let the dead sea mud packs do their thing on your body while lying down a beach bed.
The Northern Dead is is just a 40 minute drive from the Mountains of Jerusalem where the views turn from mountainous green scenery to barren Desert in a matter of Minutes. The Dead Sea is Divided into the Jordanian Side and the Israel (West Bank) Side. the dead sea is actually composed of two parts, the larger Northern Dead Sea and the smaller Southern Dead sea, which is separated by the Lisan Peninsular. This will be on the Northern Dead Sea, where most of the resorts of the Dead Sea (Both in Israel and Jordan) are located as the southern dead sea of more for producing the dead sea minerals and mud pack products.
We all know that the Dead sea is the lowest land elevation of the world at 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, and is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 33.7% salinity as compared to the regular 4 to 5% salinity for the oceans, people can float at the dead sea plus the area has lots of minerals in the mud that is good for the skin hence the popularity of the dead sea as a resort. Dead Sea Products for skin and facial skin are available and the most popular Jordanian Dead Sea Product is the Revage Dead Sea Products (The Israeli side is the Ahava Dead Sea Products).
Masada is a fortress in the judean desert situated on a hill looking at the dead sea. This place was the scene of the final judean resistance against the roman army.
The last 967 people remaining in the fortress before roman attack, once realised their only chance of living would be under roman control, they all, men women and children committed suicide. It is a very nice excursion from Jerusale as it takes you through the desert and the view from the fortress are really amazing. You can go up walking or with a funicular.
The largest medical center of Israel, the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center stands in Ein Kerem, on a hilltop several miles from downtown Jerusalem. It contains a medical school, nursing school, hospital, dental and pharmacy schools, and various laboratory buildings.
The hospital's synagogue contains Chagall's 12 exquisite stained-glass windows depicting the blessings of Jacob, on his deathbed, to each of his 12 sons who became thereafter the founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Guided tours of the Synagogue are conducted in English and other languages as follows:
Sunday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-1:15 p.m , 2:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m
Just outside of Jerusalem is the small community of Abu Gosh. You will find a large number of restaurants there including many that cater to the non-Kosher crowd. There is also an old French Catholic Crusader church there that is very interesting.
This is an olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemene that was verified to be over 2000 years old (in the 80's) I'd always expected olive trees to be a bit sleeker and grander trees, but if I were 2000 years old, I might have let myself go a bit too, so I guess I shouldn't be judgemental... *grin*
Outside the city of Jerusalem in the mountains there is a a forest called "The forest of the saints" to remember the people that died in the holocaust.
In the middle of this forest near Kisalon and Tsuba there is a big monument that called "Scroll of fire" (in Hebrew it is Gviley ha'esh).
This is a 8.5 meters high bronze monument (almost 12 tons of bronze) that was made by a sculpture called Nathan Rapoport.
On the monument you can see events from the Jewish history like the holocaust and more.
The view from the monument is amazing.
Latrun is close to Jerusalem.
When people in Israel say Latrun they think about the monastery that is located here.
We call it "Minzar Ha'shatkanim" which means the monastery of the people who don't speak.
The monastery was build in 1861 by the Trappist order and the monks are famous for being silence and also for the wine they are making.
The monastery is open 09:00-11:00 and 15:30-16:30 except sundays and christian holidays.
the wine store is open 07:30-18:00.
Very close to the monastery there is a big park called Canada Park.
This is a big nature reserve that was built with help from canadian jews and this is how the park got his name.
You can enjoy the nature with walking trails , biking trails , places to see birds.
"The names and nature of the main Chess pieces underwent changes, as did the game itself, in the long Journey from India to the West.
THE KING was called the 'Shah' by the Persians and Arabs. The Europeans translated literally the word for KING, and so in Latin, the game is called 'the game of shah'. The term 'shah' in Persian and Arabic refers to the situation when the king is threatened, and the term 'shah mat', i.e., the king is dead, is when the king is unable to move, thus 'check' and 'checkmate' respectively. The king is represented by a throne.
THE VIZIER [QUEEN] is the chess piece which in the 12th century changed its sex as well as its name and character. In Europe, the position of the VIZIER was unfamiliar, and thus the piece became the QUEEN. The QUEEN is represented by a smaller throne.
THE HORSEMAN [KNIGHT] is represented by a horse.
THE CHARIOT[ROOK] lost its identity with the game's introduction to the West. In Persia, the Sanskrit word for CHARIOT, 'RATHA', was twisted to become the word 'ROKH' , the name for powerful bird appearing in 'Tales of the Arabian Nights' as 'ROC', hence the English ROOK.
THE ELEPHANT [BISHOP] is portrayed either with tusks or with two portrusions on top of the head. In English this piece is called the bishop because of its resemblance to a bishop's heeaddress.
THE INFANTRY [PAWNS] defend the king, and they are the smallest and simplest pieces on the chess board.
The early game was played on a board with 64 squares".
Jerusalem, Museum for Islamic Art
This beautiful monastery was established by the Trappist Order in 1890 and its known as the Monastery of Silence.
In first WW, the Turks expelled the monks and totally destroyed the monastery but In 1927 the Monks has returned and rebuilt the present building. It was completedin 1954.
Today this Monastery became famous for the wine and olive oil it produces. This products are available in the shop that runs by the monks.
Not many people knows about this monastery but if you're traveling with a rented Car and you're on the way to Jerusalem its worth a visit.