Sunday, 25 October 2015

Dominating the Sky Line: The Dome of the Rock

Definitely one of the coolest places we visited was the Dome of the Rock. It really does dominate the skyline in Jerusalem, you can see it from all of the rooftops! I had read online that you could visit it, even though some people think you really can't go up and visit it. Lately, there have been a lot of issues with access to it being blocked off by Jews and Muslims alike, and it has caused a lot of tensions. It definitely isn't a place that you visit on Birthright trips, so I was super
excited that Josh, Steph and I could go. It is only open for a few hours in the morning, and then later in the affternoon for just one hour. One lady told us that Jews aren't allowed up there, and we saw some signs saying that they shouldn't, but what the security was really worried
about was anyone praying or showing religious symbols up there, because along with the Dome of the Rock, there is the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is the third holiest place in Islam. We waited for a while for the line to open, and then quite a long time to get through security. Then, you have to walk up this wooden walkway which goes over the Western Wall.
I had wondered what that walkway was for, it really does cut right across it. Steph and I were very respectful and covered our heads. It was such a beautiful, beautiful site. The Dome of the Rock is up this set of stairs, all alone on this big platform. And it is huge, and beautiful and so wonderful! I really enjoyed visiting it! After the one hour was up, some policemen came to escort us out, through the Muslim Quarter. A lot of the shops which I know are there usually were shut, but we did manage to get some amazing Israeli orange juice!

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