The most interesting place I’ve been recently was Israel.
Post by Dr Jeff Brown
Even though there has been many years of media reports about violence in Jerusalem and the Middle East, strangely, you didn’t feel threatened anywhere there. I felt very safe the whole time.
Jerusalem is a very special place for anyone. Probably the old city was what grabbed our attention more than anything else. The city is surrounded by a big wall, and the whole thing is less that a square kilometre in area. Up until the middle of the 17th century, it constituted the entire city of Jerusalem. You have to go through these gates to get access. When you’re inside, there are all these sights you can’t see anywhere else—ancient churches, the western wall, the old Arab markets, and more.
The Temple Mount and its Western Wall are here, which is one of the most important religious sites in both Judaism and Islam. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is there too, and is meant to be built on the place where Jesus was crucified. And the Dome of the Rock is here, which Muslims say commemorates Muhammad’s night journey into heaven.
But even if you don’t have an interest in the religious significance of the area, there’s so much to see and it’s so historically rich. Because the city has been around for so long, and layers have been built on top of layers of it, you can go underground and see excavations that take you back to Roman times. It’s amazing to see. If someone dropped a coin on the road during Roman times, over the years people have just built on top and then on top of that, and it has become embedded into the road.
At sunset, at the Tower of David on the inside of the wall they project a video of the history of Jerusalem. It’s totally unique.