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Jerusalem: A visit to the unexpected

- Anamaria

I never thought I would ever visit Israel. Only a few months ago this country seemed to be part of the imagination. Heart-breaking photos, unbelievable articles in National Geographic and a tumultuous history: that is how I would have describedIsrael. It was only a region from Bible anditwas as mysterious as all the metaphors from all our religions.image

 

It’s really interesting to remember our first impressions about people, places and things. Now that I’ve visited Israel, my pre-conceived thoughts about it are very different from what they are now. For example, Jerusalem is a place that proves the existence of resurrection. It is a city that has seen a lot of things during all these centuries, where history left deep scars, but where the new generation is building a future. This historical city is slowly becoming a city for young people. It’s not only a mix of cultures and beliefs; Jerusalem is a mix of architecture, arts, and foods. In fact, Jerusalem is the perfect combination between OLD and NEW, between history and the contemporary, and between tourists and citizens who have belonged there since they were born. image-4image-3image-2

The old part of the city is full of majesty and history and is exactly what you expect from a culture that has such a past. What makes Jerusalem special is that all its monuments cannot be considered only part of history since they are part of the present, as are the traditions, beliefs, social norms and culture.

I think Jerusalem was one of the first cities from all my travels whose atmosphere I could truly taste. Its various cultures, religions, history, art and food make you feel welcomed, no matter where you come from.    All this variety may be the base of what we can call modern Jerusalem. The modernity in this city was a real shock for me! It was so unexpected, that such a historical and religious city is so connected with the modern world, with all its contemporary art,  trends, and student life. I was especially amazed by the huge  number of art galleries and by the generally creative surroundings. All the stores, coffee shops and restaurants, despite the tiny spaces, have an original atmosphere.

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I fell in love with all the tiny coffee shops, full of sweets and nice people, with all the streets abounding in modern sculptures for sale, with all the restaurants with food from all around the world.

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One of my favorite places in Jerusalem was a really fun restaurant near Mahane Yehuda Market named Machneyuda. It is located on a dubious street and its exterior may not look enticing.  In fact, when I saw it I started begging my parents to choose another place. But once we entered it, I was so excited not only by the nice staff, but by its interior design: a combination between rustic and industrial design. The waiters always seemed so enthusiastic and relaxed, while doing their job well. The fusion cuisine was delicious as you could feel all the different tastes from around the world. http://www.machneyuda.co.il/en

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We asked our friendly waiter to take a photo of us, but he couldn’t resist taking this selfie!

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