The markets are really the beating, pulsing heart of Jerusalem. They are places where you can really take a few hours and lose yourself in the culture. If you’re willing to push through the crowds, and be harassed by a few vendors, you just might end up with a lifelong memory.
I love to wander the backstreets of Jerusalem. At first, I wasn’t too excited about going down alleys when there were so many great historical sights nearby. But eventually, I realized that this was a great way to experience Middle Eastern Culture. This is where the real people of Jerusalem live, not just those people that put on a smile every day for tourists. Whether they’re bartering for rugs or buying a video game (yep, they have those too), the markets are the center of daily life in Jerusalem.
My favorite part of the any market is the spice shop. The first time I walked into a spice shop, I was amazed. They only sell spices! There were hundreds of varieties. And I had spent my time thinking that spices came in a little red bottle labeled Tabasco! I quite enjoyed wandering my way through the pyramids of oregano, cinnamon, and red peppers, and taking in the rich aroma. And the color! There is an explosion of color such as you have never seen in your life! Reds, yellows, and greens abound everywhere you look.
Another great experience I had in the markets was stopping at a local restaurant. But not just any restaurant—a pizza place! Another thing that you wouldn’t expect in the Middle East. Probably not a good idea (because we might have gotten horribly sick), but it ended up okay. It actually wasn’t bad pizza.
That’s why I enjoy the markets of Jerusalem. Here are a few more market pictures.
Strawberry fields, forever
Pork on a hook, anyone?
A spice Mount, crowned by its own miniature Dome of the Rock
Shops close up like lockers at night
Getting your greens
Who doesn't like corn on the cob?