Today was spent mostly walking around Jerusalem and getting to know the city better. Wills, Steph and I woke up mid morning, and Steph ran off to meetings for most of the day.
I packed up my daypack, and set out walking across the city. After visiting a friend at a coffee shop, I went up to the main market in Jerusalem to buy food for our Shabbat dinner – it’s necessary to buy food early, since the market starts closing for Shabbat around 2pm. After that, I spent some more time at Uganda, a cool coffee shop, record store and comic store, and then walked down to the old city.
As i was approaching the Damascus Gate of the old city, I walked through a massive buildup of police and military forces, who were assembling on the dividing line between east and west Jerusalem, and is a major point of contention. I walked through the military zone, and down through the Damascus gate into the Muslim quarter of the old city. Walking though, there was a continued military presence, right up to the doors of the Austrian Hospice, one of my favorite spots in the city.
I hung out on the roof briefly, and then went back down to the street, walked out of the old city, and turned right to walk into East Jerusalem. As I walked farther into East Jerusalem, i noticed more and more arabic, and less and less hebrew. Also, I encountered another contingent of police and military, a little farther east.
By the time I walked out of East Jerusalem, it was almost the start of Shabbat, so I quickly walked back to Steph’s house. Steph, Wills and I made a nice dinner, and then packed it up and took it over to a friends house for a group dinner. We hung out there for a bit, and came home late at night – hanging out with friends for Shabbat was a great experience.