Coming to a close Pt. 3

So since it is taking me forever to finish every post and my next trip is just around the corner I decided to squish everything left of the trip in to one post. This includes my short trip to Jerusalem and a day in Ramallah.

So I was very excited to go to Jerusalem but unfortunately I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked there. First thing first, it is quite hard to get to Jerusalem from Taybeh even though they are pretty close by.

To start of you have to make sure you can get into Jerusalem, if you are a foreigner and you have a visa that includes the occupied territories and Israel you should be good. (You get this when you first come into the country). Palestinians have to get a permit from the Israeli government that they must carry with them when entering and during their stay in the city, even though Jerusalem is considered the capital of Palestine.

With everything ready we made our way by taxi to Ramallah, however on the way there we came up to an unfortunate event. On the two-lane road there was a stopped truck, one of those that carry cars for sale. Our taxi stopped and asked what had happened the driver explained that from the Israeli settlement on the side of the road, which is separated by barbed wire, a ditch and one of the high concrete towers, a kid had thrown a stone that landed on his window shield breaking it.

We stayed for less than five minutes, but as I looked out my window I saw that in fact there were three kids up on the wall of the settlement overlooking the road and one soldier with them. I am not going to lie this made an impact on me.

We got to Ramallah and got on a bus to Jerusalem. Before entering you must go through a checkpoint, foreigners one way, Palestinians another way.

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That figure is my cousin, who had to get off the bus to go through the Palestinian checkpoint while we stayed behind on the bus where two soldiers came in and checked our passports and visas then we were inside!!! I don’t know from where or how my cousin also made it to the large door of Old Jerusalem.

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This guy had a beautiful contraption where he poured a fruit juice from.

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Here is one of the many doors to Jerusalem, where my grandfather decided to add he had once worked just beside it when he was a teenager and also had seen how someone had killed a man in front of him, strange mysterious man.

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This is old Jerusalem’s market, which is bustling with people and merchandise! I mean look at the mountains of gummies, now I want some again.

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After the market we went to the church of the Holy Sepulcture, where people go a little nuts with the rubbing of their rosaries and other objects on the stone, but it is always nice to see such fervent faith.

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The decor and architecture is of course breathtaking

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When everyone left I was able to take a pic with not as many people around.

Oh by the way traveller’s tip: Make sure you wear something appropriate, not too tight, not too revealing and not too short, or you WILL be scolded by one of the priests and nobody wants that.

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Then we went out to the market again and off to Ramallah in a crazy busy bus where I had to share a seat with a bunch of school girls. We bonded on the fact that they love Justin Bieber and One Direction, and so do I.

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On our way there we were stopped by a couple of soldiers who made some people get off the bus and came inside it to ask for IDs, both had huge rifles that went from their shoulders down to their knees, when they came in everyone went quiet and immediately ruffled through their bags to get their specific permits and documents out.

We had tons of food in Ramallah and spent the next day in Taybeh where I said goodbye to all my cousins and Palestine until the next time. Eventually I headed back to Amman to start my arabic lessons!
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FYI this is basically what a traditional Arab family reunion looks like: tons of relatives, knafe, coffee and chatting!Image

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