Jerusalem is considered a holy city by half the human race; for Christians it’s where the baby Jesus was presented in the temple, to the Muslims it’s where Muhammad prayed at the Dome of the Rock and to Jews it’s where Abraham was prepared to offer his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. Isn’t it fascinating how these three religions all find their origins at the same place? It makes you wonder if we’re not all just praying to the same God.
Putting beliefs aside for now, we want to take you with us on an unforgettable day that started with a panoramic view over Jerusalem from the Mount of olives, to the Western Wall, the different religious quarters and ended with a journey to the dead sea. We were hosted by Tourist Israel and have only good words for their fantastic guides, programs and the entire experience. To us, this day was magical and I hope we were able to capture some of the magic we found in these pictures.
We’ve both been fascinated with Jerusalem for years. The stories from the bible we heard about growing up, but also the complex history of the city and current politics. Many people told us not to go here because it was ‘unsafe, but we’ve personally not even felt the slightest threat. Getting to know the city we’ve heard so much about throughout our lives was truly eye opening and humbling.
Jerusalem is one of the 20 oldest cities in the world and it’s situated between the Meditterenean sea and the northern part of the dead sea. Within the walls of the city, you find the Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian quarters; a mix of religions. The old city of Jerusalem and its walls have been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1981.
We started the journey from Tel Aviv at 7.30 in the morning (early birds!) and quickly grabbed some pastries from the bakery next door to our hotel before leaving. Jerusalem is only a 1.5 hour drive from Tel Aviv and takes you along an incredibly rich and varied scenery. From the dessert to beautiful valleys and woods; the drive is over within the blink of an eye. Our first stop is the Mount of Olives, from where you have an unreal beautiful view over Jerusalem. You can even spot the golden dome from there.
Entering the Holy city
After the Mount of Olives, we make our way down to the city. If you’re going to Jerusalem or any other holy site, don’t forget to dress modestly. Shoulders covered, dresses or skirts not shorter than knee length. We explored the small alleyways, walked through the Armenian quarter, admired the many historical sites and rich heritage visible at every corner. A personal favourite moment of the day has to be our stop at the Western Wall. There’s an unbelievable energy radiating from this place! Something that’s completely useless to start trying to explain in words, but has to be felt. What really captured our hearts as well is the church of the Holy Sepulchre. In all honesty, there was so much information to process about all these places that sometimes all we could do was just be, feel and live.
Right place, right time.
We had such a wonderful group and guide for the tour, making the whole experience even more memorable. After the Western Wall and visiting other holy sites, we made our way through the markets via the Muslim quarter where we had a little time for some shopping. We took the opportunity to try out all candies, nuts, sweets and pastries available. Isn’t that just one of the best things about travelling to new places? Trying all the different flavours! After lunch and a little more exploring it was time to make our way to… the dead sea. A long time #bucketlist item for us both, so you can imagine how thrilled we were.
Floating at the Dead Sea
“Welcome to the world’s lowest point, 394 metres below sea level” is what the signs read when you arrive at the dead sea. Sounds exciting! Beforehand we were advised not to shave legs the day before as it’s supposed to be incredibly painful. I put that to the test and it’s not true. At least in my case! The experiencing of floating on water is truly amazing. The moment you ‘sit down’ on the water is the funniest feeling, almost surreal. We arrived here late afternoon, making the whole experience even more magical with the golden light setting in over the lake. How did we finish off the day? With sunset drinks looking out over the dead sea. Magical.
This truly was a day I know we’ll both remember forever. This tour (Jerususalem and the Dead sea) was the perfect combination for us and we can only highly, very highly recommend it. Everything was perfectly taken care off, from the beginning until the end. A massive thank you to Tourist Israel for taking us along!
Location: Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, Israel
Hosted by: Tourist Israel (Jerusalem and Dead sea tour)
Photographer: Tatiane Kozijn | Instagram: @tatianekozijn
What We’re Wearing:
Malena: Oasis dress, old scarf, Oasis sandals, Radley Keats Grove bag
Tatiane: Oasis skirt, Radley Clerkenwell bag