British blogger in Israel appeals for sightings of lost bike….

Came back from a nice day out in the old city with friends from work, only to go back to Zion Square in Jerusalem to find the tree where my bike was locked up was empty.

Its been stolen 😦   Was locked onto this tree in between these phoneboxes.   Actually I would of thought it would be easier to saw through the tree than the chain myself.

This is most annoying as I need to it to get to and fro work.  I work in three buildings, normally one in central Jerusalem 4 or 5 days a week, one in Talpiyot 1 day a week, and on rare occasions up in Karmiel (I go up there in a bus to this one)   I usually do an 8 mile/12 km round trip each day to work.

If anyone spots it, its a ‘Vision’- don’t know much about the model number, frame size etc, its just a gents mountain bike that looks like this, blue, with white and red stripes with plenty of scrapes and rust.  The police were not that helpful but I am sure they have plenty of more important things on, and the officer on duty didn’t speak English when I filled in the forms there.

A lot of businesses in Israel have a security camera system linked up to a small computer which records video footage onto a hard drive, I asked a few businesses around if they have any recordings, one of them told me yes, but these only are kept for 24 hours.  There must be loads of security cameras around Zion Square, Jaffa Street and Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem.

As a Christian doing voluntary role in IT system administration and technical support, its essential tool for me to get around, buses are much better and cheaper than in the UK but still eat into budget.

I would be prepared to give a reward to anyone who can help, just would like any info, or anyone seen anyone acting suspicious (with boltcutters!)  as it was taken outside the Leumi bank at the corner of Ben Yehuda Street and Jaffa Street, between 11.30-16.00 on sunday 14th June.   This is a very busy part of town, it would hard to commit any kind of theft without getting seen in day time.

You can email me on or call or text 052 789 7520.

toda raba.

Purim antics around Jerusalem

I got to celebrate Purim three times this week!  At church, work and at a friend’s house.

Lots of dressing up!

What was funny, was the number of people dressed up Hispanic or Asian kind of themed things, and some of my friends, from Jewish and regular Christian backgrounds from Peru, Mexico, Japan, China, forgot to get a costume!   I didn’t have much, just a Hawaiian shirt and some flowers round my neck, but most people had some pretty awesome outfits!

I haven’t seen Arab chap with a Tina Turner wig before!

At work, this is a kind of a Jewish equivalent to a Christmas panto.

Got to watch a movie at church about the story of Esther, sadly the DVD seem to have a scratch on it, as it glitched and eventually froze before the end of the film 😦

Ironically as Purim celebrates Jewish people escaping death from the hands of a King of Persia, today the Jewish people face the same old story all over again, with the current leader of Persia (we call today Iran) and Ahmedinjad who has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, and is a top wholesale supplier of weapons to Hamas and Hezbullah.   Some things just don’t change.  Nowadays of course, Israel is threatened by hostile neighbours and the media rather condemns it for taking land that it had sovereign rights for it already, and recent events like rocket attacks, some with 40km radius reaching Ashdod and Beer Sheva, a family murdered in Judea, and a bomb in Jerusalem are only briefly mentioned. 😦

After church I went with some people out on the town as it was Purim and the streets are busy with people in costume.   We headed to this restaurant I have not seen before in Jaffa Street.  I forget the name now, its a soup kitchen with a mostly student and young adult clientele.   Its one of these places with odd pieces of bric-a-brac, ie: a Hebrew typewriter in the window, odd pieces of furniture that made it feel like an old school canteen.   All the cups used to serve coffee, tea or water are all different types seemingly acquired from a jumble sale.

Chandeleir made of spoons!  You can get Shushkar or soup with some nice crusty bread and a beer!

An interesting twist on “time at the bar please!” when the restaurant staff hinted that it was time (about 11pm) to shut, they just put away some of the chairs, and put on some loud techno music on and danced in the middle of the room!  I would like to find out how easy it is to write reviews for travel books as this place ought to be listed in Rough Guides or Lonely Planet books.

As a gentile Christian, I would like to say I like to join in with the Jewish festivals here, but at the same time I still celebrate Christmas and Easter, as maybe the timing may or may not be correct and they have been heavily exploited commercially, but all these events are good to spend time away from work, be with family, friends and personally seek the Lord and having a party and letting you hair down as well is always good.

Children’s toys invade Jerusalem!!

I saw these kids toys in a window of a shop about a year ago…

The very popular Playmobil toys, didn’t know there was an Egyptian set! 🙂

On this poster for by some DJs at a nightclub!!   Maybe they are taking over!!

Some mischievous person stencil-grafittied this trash bin to match the head of this evil organisation!

Riding to work – commuting Jerusalem style Part 3

first bit –  second section –  Third and final


Turn right from Jaffa Street…

At the top of this street is a Russian-Orthodox church dedicated in 1872 by Prince Niklai, it served a religious centre for Russian pilgrims in late 19th century.
The road turns to the left past the police station.Here, I am looking directly behind me I can see the police station, there are lots of police officers and soldiers here, so I didn’t do any pictures of the outside as I don’t think this would be popular.

I took this pic with my phone months ago.  The police station has its own outside mini archeology site, this looks like part of a plumbing system, but actually its a pillar on its side.  Not sure which age this is.

This part of the police compound was also originally owned by Russians as you can see from the Cyrillic writing top right.

This is an opticians, one of the nice modern buildings I have seen.   The outside stairs makes it a little bit lego like 🙂

This roundabout has a takeaway, a corner shop and a bakery that is popular with our office.

Turn left by the tree and up the drive way, and I am at work….

first bit –  second section –  Third and final

Jerusalem’s Clover Map

This plaque is outside some University building in Jaffa Street, albeit with the street looking like a mess for the long overdue electric light rail project with road dug up.

Its a good pictorial view of Jerusalem and Israel being closely wedged between Europe, Africa and Asia.

This sign shows its origins.  Seen it featured on a few post cards.

Riding to work – commuting Jerusalem style Part 2

first bit –  second section –  Third and final


Get to these nice modern flats with neat gardens, turn right..

Nice long downhill ride, not much effort here!  turn right at the end of here and go past some shops.

Turn left here by these lights.  You can see the walls of the old city ahead and the towers of a Greek church.

These derelict railway station looks sad.   Not sure why there are no trains any more in central town.  You can see where the windows are there was a fire at some point.  Oddly enough on the right looks like a car covered with a tarpaulin, it actually is some kind of modern art exhibit with a big solid fibre glass cover over it.  Someone’s nicked the plaque on it, so I don’t know who designed it or whether it was a bizarre punishment for someone parking illegally. 🙂

There are nice parks either side of this main road as I ride uphill.  There is also a nice fountain on the right and this place is often a choice for weddings for people to have their pictures down, especially with Arab and Ethiopian people.

Also on the right not visible is the windmill from the old district of Yemen Moshe.

This is the outside of the world famous King David hotel, and on the right, directly opposite side of the right is the YMCA.  Youth hostels are usually thought of as simple affairs for casual travellers on a budget, but this one is huge and is impressive as the hotel it faces.

This is the King David’s rival, no not Goliath, but certainly Goliath in size.  The Citadel seems to be the main choice for foreign heads of state to come and stay, but also I sometimes see poster outside advertising a forthcoming boy’s Bar Mitzvah, a birthday or some other type of big party.

Mamila shopping centre.  Looks super modern from outside but has several buildings inside that have been removed from elsewhere and carefully dismantled with numbers written on the bricks and then reassembled carefully again.

Another hill upwards.  Sheesh, I don’t think anyone in the bible ever got fat.  Going anywhere is up and down hills all the time, this road joins onto Jaffa Street.

first bit –  second section –  Third and final