Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world, and you can tell. The old town, hidden within slightly dilapidated walls, takes visitors back centuries, to a different kind of time. Wandering around the narrow alleys you can sometimes feel like nothing has changed over time.
Street vendors sell roasted nuts, sweet baklava, fresh bread and colorful clothes. The air is filled with the various scents wafting out of restaurants and bakeries. The pale limestone buildings form a powerful contrast with the clear blue sky, and the air on the shady streets feels comfortably cool even on a hot day.
Everything was great so far. And all of a sudden I was alone and lost.
Let me start at the beginning. When I was visiting Tel Aviv for the first time in February 2011, I decided to take a day trip by a local company to Jerusalem.
The trip was pleasant at first, but my road of suffering – Via Dolorosa – began when I finally found out how this trip was different from a normal day trip: it didn’t include a return to Tel Aviv, so at the end of the trip I found myself stuck in Jerusalem.
I was shocked and scared for about two seconds, pondering wether I should cry or just sit down and wait until the natural elements devour me. Then I remembered I’m not completely helpless and headed back into the heart of Jerusalem – the Wailing Wall.
Surrounded by devout people, I found my spiritual side and lifted my hand to the wall, asking for something selfless, for once.
From the wall, powered by sheer determination and baklava, I found my way to the edge of the old town and a taxi stop. The very long drive through the desert didn’t feel all that long with a lap full of treats and a driver singing along the radio in Hebrew. All in all, there are worse places to be stuck in than Jerusalem!