Friday, November 21, 2008

Jerusalem - a colourful razmataz

I have visited Jerusalem four times, and everytime, it leaves me
with more desire to come back. Though there is a whole part of New and Modern Jerusalem, I am very fascinated with the ancient part - the area which witnessed many crusades, destruction and rebirths. It has been able to enshrine the human spirit, through rough times and through sane times - the spirit to live, to fight back and to forge ahead.

When you move around the fortified city, henceforth referenced as Jerusalem only, you cant miss out the clear indication of how many times this city was rebuilt. Christians, Muslims and Jews have very important places of their faith in this city -- all in very close proximity to each other. This city is divided into quarters like roman, greek, arabic, jewish, christian... each with a distinct aura and appeal.The byzantine lanes which intersperse the city are very much like the canals of Venice -- you see rivers and rivulets of people flowing up and down the cobbled steps. And to top it all, the shops have literally spilled onto these streets. There are many shops which may be selling the same goods - but, you will find them different. Colours, display and the best part - Bargaining -- all very different when u move from shop to shop...

Arabic quarters -- they sometimes smell more closer to home (India). Spices, bread (naan and roti), sweets(from milk) - you will find them all here.. the bargaining is fierce here, but I assure you - you will love every moment of it.

The Roman and Greek areas will offer you a splendid visual treat - all the items are very very colourful and stuffed into every nook and corner of the store --- Claustrophobic are we?? No No... These add on to the very mystic and chutzpah that lies in store for you at Jerusalem.

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