I was born and brought up in Jerusalem – the holy land and the heart of the three heavenly religions – 19 years ago, when seeing snow wasn’t a rare event in the city yet. Talking about the weather, it is almost always hot here during the four seasons. It gets to be a little bit colder in the winter and at the beginning of spring, but you’ll definitely get confused when you find out that the four seasons combined can exist and be felt together during one week of rainy days and extremely sunny days on the other hand. But believe me, a walk around the Old City and its wall when it’s raining will make your day.
This city is full of life, anytime and anywhere containing a huge variety of nationalities and languages, whether they are tourists or citizens. It is like this is the capital of the world, where people from different countries with different religions stand in the same place despite their origin. A visit to the Old City of Jerusalem through Damascus gate (the biggest and the main gate of the city nowadays) will take you to a fantasy world where history can be touched with your bare hands, and every stone or shop you see is probably more than a thousand years old. The spices you smell in the Souk are going to take you to India. The voices of the old women selling vegetables are going to take you to the fields and farms where they grew them with their own hands. Let your legs lead you and you’ll suddenly find yourself in the middle of the Muslim, Jewish, or Christian quarter, wondering “how can this be real,” where houses from maybe the Ottoman Empire are still standing, despite the long and hard periods that passed in the city.
Jump to the streets outside the Old City’s walls, where the city life is obviously crowded, noisy, and surrounded by traffic and shops. Your time is probably going to be wasted traveling in the city by bus or train, so the perfect solution is getting a bike to make things easier and faster. Even walking would be a good alternative solution if you’re the kind of person who likes exploring and feeling the moment.
The views here are everywhere, since the city is built on a series of mountains that allow us to see the desert – and even the Dead Sea if we stand at the right point – but my favorite and recommended places to view the city are next to Hebrew University on Mount Scopus and The Mount of Olives, which is exactly in front of the Old City.