The echoes of the past combined with the hurly-burly of today reverberate in 3,000-year-old Jerusalem, capital of Israel. You can easily imagine yourself a time traveler when, strolling along the ancient sidewalks, observing the cream-colored architecture, in the twinkling of an eye you find yourself visiting a vibrant designer’s mall. Jerusalem is both ancient and modern, a cosmopolitan city where the past is alive amidst the voices of the present.
The unique character of Jerusalem tantalizes the senses. Whatever your spiritual orientation, you will find what you’re looking for; Jerusalem invites introspection. The innumerable levels and aspects of this legendary city live up to its promise of offering every activity from the ordinary to the sublime.
At Your Leisure: Jerusalem offers a variety of leisure-time activities, ranging from pubs and dance clubs to fairs and festivals. International artists fill the theater and perform on the streets in the annual Israel Festival from May through June.
In warm weather, the sounds of rock and symphony emanate from the Sultan’s Pool Theatre, while jazz and folk music can be enjoyed in intimate lounges and cafes.
Sites Worth Seeing: Visit the Shrine of the Book Museum, part of the Israel Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are exhibited and, visit the museum’s Sculpture Garden. Other great places to visit are Yad Va-shem, the National Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust, which contains the Valley of the Communities and the Hall of Names. Also tour the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock), Western Wall and the Christian Quarter with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Sleepy Time: The Laromme Hotel (3 Jabotinsky St.; 800-344-1212), a five-star property, has everything you require: an exquisite individual touch of modern, authentic rooms with views of the magnificent city, a charming lounge, and an elegant lobby wrapped around a beautiful botanical courtyard. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Vice President Al Gore, and President Bill Clinton have all stayed here.
Good Eats: Dine at the Eucalyptus Israeli Restaurant (4 Safra Sq., 972-2-624-4331), where you will sigh with pleasure as you ingest each morsel of organically grown local produce. or eat the Spoons Restaurant (located at 27 Tura St., 972-2-624-2714), where authentic kosher Mediterranean cuisine is served in the private home of proprietor Hila Solomon and cocktails may be consumed on a patio overlooking the Old City.
Shopping: Don’t forget to test your negotiating skills at the shopper’s haven, the Arab Market (Shuk), where you will never pay retail or the asking price. This is one place where you are expected to negotiate every cent. Here you will find a unique variety of goods, including oriental carpets, exotic clothing, and handmade items of olive wood, mother-of-pearl, and leather.
Details: For more information, contact Israel Government Tourist Office, 5151 Belt Line Rd., Suite 1280, Dallas, Texas 75240, 972-991-9097.