Wasteland in the Armenian quarter inside Jerusalem’s old city walls

Before Yom Kippur I went walking on some walls with John on the old city again.  You get to peek into the yards of Christian, Jewish and Arab people’s houses.  For obvious reasons its not possible to go completely 360 degrees around because of the Al Asqa mosque is at the back and this part of the wall is not open there.

Still I got to see a few more things I had not previously seen.

Peaking over this side, this is the back of police station, there is a few horses with stable and exercise yard.

This is interesting.   This is a panaromic shot, so these two walls actually join at a right angle where I am standing.   This is the Armenian quarter of the old city.  Ahead is the Armenian church and a car park, but lots of scruffy looking ground just going to waste.   I thought this is odd as surely land within the old city must be very expensive and sort after, must be worth a million dollars maybe.  I guess even a small square of land big enough to put an ice cream kiosk would be expensive to rent.  Its blacked by fire as it appears someone has burnt all the weeds that are growing here.    A hotel or some nice flats could maybe be built here.   Some people who were with me on the tour think that its inevitable if you dug up this ground there would be plenty of archeology here.  For some reason the Armenians would rather let the ground go to waste than sell it, or have it landscaped or develop something on it.

Jerusalem UN Headquaters yard

I went walking today around my neighbourhood, across from my street is the Peace Forest or Promenade, that looks over Jerusalem.  Its one of several hills in different directions that look over the city.

From the path behind the building has some nice places for walks.

The building used to be the government offices for the British Mandate of Palestine (what Israel was known as before 1948)

There is  a road upto the security gate which cars have to weave around the blue barrels filled with concrete to stop possible terrorist attacks.

Here are some odd looking metal sheds that look like mini aircraft hangers.

Out the back gets more interesting, seems the UN run their own car scrapyard.   There are about 20-30 abandoned cars here that look like they are not running.   Mostly Toyota 4x4s, that have been crashed, rolled or have bits missing.   Reminds me when I got a bus through part of Los Angeles, I spotted the back of police station full of crashed standard US police model Ford Crown Victorias.  There are also a few recent Volvos and a BMW 7 series which are not damaged but have no licence plates and look very dusty as if they have not been used in months.  There are trucks with low open backs, I guess some of this stuff is mothballed for when there is a war or serious security issue.

On the side road, there is this monument called the ‘Tolerance monument’ and contains writing in English, Hebrew and Arabic encouraging reconciliation and understanding.   I think these monuments are a nice gesture, but peace will only be fulfilled by the return of the Messiah, Jesus one day.

This is a nice place to go walking around.  The UN’s compound is covered in barbed wires but you can easily see the back from a path outside.  Interesting fact.  I was talking to a chap who works there, who tells me its the cheapest place in Israel to buy Coca Cola (60c) although the prices for the canteen are in US dollars.

Also along the view outside, are these outdoor canopies that gives a bit of nice shade for when you want to take time to admire the view, especially this time of year when the extreme heat can be seriously overwhelming.