Jerusalem's 'Ramparts Walk': The Insidery Diversion You'll Want to Take
We're indulging in some Israel travel this week, as Jaunted writers are wont to do from time to time. The picture you're looking at is of the ramparts that line the Old City of Jerusalem, a two and a half mile walk that dates back to ancient times and has been immortalized in art. The so-called "rampart walk" is one of those insidery tourist attractions that, once you know about them, are actually worth signing up for.
Visitors can enter and tour the ramparts, which ring the Old City, for about $5. You have to climb up some fairly steep stairs to get to them, but once you're at the top - as you can imagine - the views are spectacular. If you turn and look inside the city, you get to see iconic structures that have been written about for thousands of years. If you turn the other way you're presented with modern Jerusalem.
As the Jewish Virtual Library gently puts it, "the entrances [to the ramparts] are surprisingly difficult to find." The Israeli government doesn't exactly go out of its way to put up signs. But if you walk just inside the Jaffa Gate and turn toward the walls, you'll see a couple of plaques and (if you're lucky) a kind of unreadable handwritten sign. That's where you need to be.
Reviews on Tripadvisor range from "why didn't ancient people make their stone walks even, like with modern sidewalks" to "don't get lost otherwise you'll have to go back to the beginning" (we're paraphrasing, though not by much). So if you're prone to getting lost, now you know to be extra careful. And if you don't understand why the stones aren't up to modern standards, umm...
[Photo: Omri Ceren / Jaunted]