We are still in the old city of Jerusalem and can’t get enough of it. We are currently having dinner at a very fancy restaurant in the new city of Jerusalem and our guide is telling funny and capturing stories about Golda Meir. She came originally from Russia, but she immigrated to the USA when she was a child. Later she emigrated to British Palestine in 1921. In 1948, on the eve of Israeli independence, she risked her life to travel to Jordan (disguised as an Arab woman) to plead with King Abdullah I not to make war on the new Jewish nation. Advised by Abdullah to wait a bit longer for independence, she shot back: “We’ve already waited 2,000 years.”
Yitzhak Rabin was a most modest Prime Minister in Israel. He lived in a normal apartment, like most other Israelis and worked hard for peace at the end. Originally he was a hawk, who fought against the Palestinians.
After the breakfast, the next day we went back on the streets of the old city and this time we witnessed something else.
What you don’t hear or read in any guide are the strange, interesting little facts about most of those churches. Those were built during dangerous times, so those buildings have protections and possibilities of escape and many of those churches were connected with each other. All in secret of course and they all helped to build the underground city Jerusalem to what it is now.
Our guide talked loads about all of these churches and thank goodness he went over to the less known little details. He told stories about hate and murder, but also about love. Romeo was nothing compared what was going on hundreds, thousands of years ago.
King Saul had also his palace, but outside the walls of the old city.
But how interesting that all sounded, it was a bit much after a while. Seeing that, our guide led us to restaurants, where we enjoyed the view.
Whatever the gifts our guide possessed, he was entertaining and could place most of the people on the streets. He went even so far to tell a bit about the lives of total strangers we met on the streets. Then he continued to tell about strange behavior of people, which led to funny situations.
When we finished laughing, he was telling about crazy guides with needs for sweet goodies and I knew he was telling about me. That was followed by some anecdotes and some lies, but thank goodness nobody noticed me. Then he started to talk about the previous groups, who were alpha testing this tour and the hilarious situations they came into.
From those subjects he went to talk about the underground base where Jerusalem is built on and how it was formed and created and why Jerusalem was located where it was now. He was also telling about the earthquakes, which supposingly must happen every 70 years and that Israel is waiting for the disaster.
Then we were listening to the history of Jerusalem pre-Jews, pre-Christian and pre-Arab and it was something you don’t hear every day. Then came the Jews and how they formed Jerusalem, then the Arabs did their part, followed by the Christians, then the Arabs and then the Christians, and it went on and on until the Turks came and did their work, followed by the British and French, then the Arabs again, ten the Israeli government.
Some political aspect came also into his stories and he explained why the Palestinians laid a claim, as other Arabs, as the Christians and the Jews.
Then he explained the originals of all the peoples currently in the Middle East. Who were the first here on a historical perspective, not based o any Holy Book. According him, the originals of the Palestinian people can be found in Crete, Greece. The Arab and Jews are originated from a city state in the old, ancient empire of Sumer. The people living here before the Jews and Arabs were here a long time ago. There is enough proof existing to show that’s the truth, look at the ancient city Jericho. They found traces of hundreds of ancient cities in Jericho and it is almost 10,000 years old! It makes it the oldest city in the world.
The Jews conquered what is now Israel. Then the Romans came, then the Christians and hundreds of years later the Muslims came. Everyone claims to have the right over this Holy Land, but the truth is that each civilization who came here in Israel lost the fight; they became part of this country and the country continued as it always was, they were swallowed up. And we can witness these little facts and show what it once was and what it is now.
And the last, but not the least is the way of experiencing the culture and the history of Israel is not only looking at it, but experiencing it. To taste it, to feel the atmosphere, the sights and sounds. To witness the miracle what is called Israel.