Your first visit (ביקור) to Jerusalem is something that you will remember for all your life. It is a city (עיר) of the old and new, the religious and the secular and a wonderful place to visit. There are many places to see, from the Old City (העיר העתיקה), to museums and cultural institutions.
My First Visit to Jerusalem
I remember my first visit to Jerusalem. We came on the bus through Shaar Hagai, The road through the mountain was breathtaking (עוצר נשימה). Even in the middle of the summer the trees were green, the road seemed to always to wind in an upward direction. Finally, we stopped at the Central Bus Station (התחנה המרכזית). To my complete surprise, my best friend Andrea was waiting for me when I got off! She grabbed me by the hand, we stopped at a Gali Store on Ben Yehuda Street (רחוב בן יהודה), bought Israeli sandals, then ran to the Kotel (הכותל)! It was a flash of sound and color as we entered the Shuk (השוק), and around the corner at the bottom, the full glory of the Kotel hit me in the face! This is the Holiest Place for Jews in the World! Then looking up, I saw the Dome of the Rock, the third Holiest place for the Muslims. Ont he way back, we saw the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the most Holy places for Christians! No wonder Jerusalem is called the Holy City(עיר הקודש)!
A taste of long ago
Even today, you can get the taste of long ago. Going to Meah Shearm, you can see Haredim (חרדים), clothed in black as they did in the 17th Century. Over a few streets, down the hill you come to Ben Yehuda Street, which is a Pedestrian Mall. With its many restaurants, shops and money changers it is a favorite hang out for tourists and Jerusalem residents alike.
The 99 bus route
There is a special bus line, the 99 from Egged that will bring you on a tour of all the most important cultural(תרבותי) venues. It is a double decker bus, and be sure to sit on the top so that you can get the best view. You can buy a day pass and get on and off the route 99 bus as many times as you like.
the Israel Museum
The new Israel Museum (מוזיאון ישראל) which has recently been remodeled is a must for everyone to visit. All the exhibits have been updated and you can get a mobile tour phone for a fee that will give you all the details about all the exhibits. Outside, there is the Sculpture garden (גן הפסלים), and the model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple times. It was moved from the Holy Land Hotel and it fits perfectly next to the sunken round building that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls also know as the Scrolls from Kumran (מגילות קומרן).
the Biblical Zoo
Over behind the mall, is the The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem ( גן החיות התנכי) It is famous for its collection of animals that were living in Israel during Biblical times. The zoo features animal exhibits (תצוגת החיות) that are open, and a few like the Lemur, Australian Bat, and Kangaroos, allow visitors to enter the animals’ exhibit. The zoo keepers are in the exhibit to feed the animals and answer questions about the animals. One time the Lemurs got out of their enclosure and were seen at different areas of the park. We happened to be visiting the zoo on that day.
Many places to visit in Jerusalem!
Vocabulary about Jerusalem
רחוב בן יהודה
גן החיות התנכי