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Accidental Discovery

Some of the best experiences I have had while studying abroad at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem were the ones that I did not expect.  One time, I hopped on the 68 bus from the central bus station to get to school, but it was going the other way and I ended up at the other end of the city headed to the other Hebrew University of Jerusalem Campus.  It was certainly a memorable experience riding through places in the city I never knew existed while I made my way back to the right campus.

Since things with the bus didn’t work out so well, I decided to try walking. After going to the Israel Museum with some friends on Saturday, we decided to walk to dinner instead of taking a taxi.  There is still much debate among us over whether we got lost or “took the long route” to get the restaurant, but we discovered a whole new part of Jerusalem on the way.  We found a huge park, and I finally realized where everyone in Jerusalem went on Shabbat.

There was a mix of secular Jews, Orthodox Jews, and even some Arab-Israelis sitting on the grass, playing sports, and eating food.  In these two instances, I really did not expect to gain any meaningful experience in the beginning, but I came away with a better idea of the transport system and geography of Jerusalem.

Fun Facts about Jerusalem

  • 874,000 residents
  • 2,000+ active archaeological sites
  • 50+ churches, 33 mosques, and 300 synagogues
  • 60+ museums
  • 1,500+ public parks and gardens
  • Some of the olive trees in Jerusalem are more than 800 years old.
  • There are more than 26 wineries in and around Jerusalem.
  • There are more than 50 Christian churches, 33 Muslim mosques, and 300 Jewish synagogues in the city.
  • Jerusalem hosts more than 30 annual festivals for everything from opera to film and from books to wine tasting, the most in all of Israel.
  • Jerusalem hosts Israel’s second-largest Pride parade, which draws more than 25,000 marchers.
  • Jerusalem has over 2,000 archeological sites.
  • There are 90 hotels in Jerusalem hosting over 9,000 hotel rooms.
  • There are over 6,000 species of plants in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
  • Jerusalem has 1,578 public gardens and parks

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