Staying Outside Jerusalem’s Old City for the First Time

Jerusalem is my favorite city in the world. It is powerful, it is complicated and it is enthralling. Every time that I’ve visited Jerusalem since I first traveled to Israel in 2008, I’ve stayed in its Old City, a massive walled area in East Jerusalem, home to some of the world’s most important religious and […]

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The Jerusalem Ice Festival

I’ve never been to an ice festival before – and actually never considered going to one – until I learned about Jerusalem’s Ice Festival from my friend Ayelet from All Colores. Unlike many other events in my life, this one was perfectly timed, as I am in Israel currently and planned a trip to Jerusalem […]

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Scenes from Easter Weekend 2012 in Jerusalem’s Old City

Jerusalem isn’t terribly crowded for Easter weekend this year. It’s impossible for me to compare it to previous years because, although this is my second Easter in Israel, it is my first in Jerusalem. Because Israel has been at peace since the Second Intifada ended in about 2005 and tourism is quite high here nowadays, […]

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Mahane Yehuda Market, I’m So Glad I Found You!

On the way to Jerusalem last month my seatmate, a guy named Noam, entered my heart when he pointed out there was free Wifi on our bus to occupy my time during the three-hour journey. I repaid his kindness by giving him one of my Mentos mints. Our bonding was official. We drove into the […]

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A Glimpse into Ramadan in Jerusalem

I love the personality of the Old City so much that I always stay in this historic area when I travel to Jerusalem. Its pull is powerful, as inside its ancient walls stand three sites of extreme importance to the three major Western religions: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, the Western Wall […]

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Weekend Snapshot – Monks in Jerusalem, Israel

I think Jerusalem is the most complex city in the world, with its millenia-old history, its omnipresent political trouble and structures of extreme import to Jews, Christians and Muslims lying within its ancient walled Old City. I’ve spent only a few weeks of my life here, and am finally heading back in a couple of […]

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Jerusalem Jeweler – The Friends That Solo Travel Can Find – Part III

The morning is but a few minutes old when I find him. Shopkeepers in the throes of opening for the day are arranging their displays and setting chairs outside their doors, from where they’ll call out to passersby, “Please, come into my shop.” The jewelry shop that belongs to Joseph is right where I’d placed […]

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Jerusalem Jeweler Redux – The Friends That Solo Travel Can Find – Part II

In Part I of Jerusalem Jeweler, I met Joseph, a man who crafted me a pair of earrings while we talked in his jewelry shop in the Old City souk on my first solo trip to Israel. I returned to Jerusalem in October of 2009, never having forgotten that I hadn’t paid him. Today I’m […]

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Jerusalem Jeweler – The Friends That Solo Travel Can Find – Part I

I have found that when locals spot you traveling alone, they are sometimes inspired to gravitate toward you. Solo travelers are, by the nature of our all-alone status, more approachable than people moving about in pairs or groups. Here’s the begininng of a tale of a sort of friendship that formed with one man in […]

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