Day Tripping in Jerusalem: A 20 Minute City Walk That Can Take Hours

Agron Street in Jerusalem makes for an interesting walk. It starts just south of Rachavia, a bourgeois neighborhood with a mix of Israelis and Anglos (English speaking immigrants) and ends at Mamila Mall, a new open air shopping center located just below the Old City’s Jaffa Gate.

Starting at King George Street Agron slants down. Walking towards the Old City you pass Yom Atzamut Park named after the War of Independence in 1948 that created the state of Israel. The park is often used for major events and holiday activities. Last summer Noam and Aviva Shalit finished their walk across Israel at the park to appeal for the release of their son Gilad from Hamas. Filled with thousands of supporters who were entertained by leading Israeli musicians, the park served as a stagging ground for the Shalit’s family’s cause. Opposite the park is the US consular general complex. This facility as you would expect is well guarded.

Of interest is the roaming US security details caring long poles with mirrors attached at the end. The security officials can be seen sliding the mirrors under vehicles parked in the vicinity of the consular general buildings to ensure that no explosive devices have been attached to the cars. After the park there is an old Arab grave yard called Mamila which seems somewhat incongruous to the new development projects that surround it. Opposite the grave yard is the new Waldroff Astoria hotel development being built by the Canadian Reichmann family. The development has left the old facade of the previous building in place as part of the new hotel complex.

Across the street where Agron ends is the new Mamila mall. A mixture of old and new Mimila mall is an open air shopping center filled with unique modern shops, restaurants, art displays and a veriety of architecture structures. One old building which was disassembled then reassembled after he mall was completed still retains red and black numbers on each of its bricks indicating where each brick was to be placed when the building was rebuilt. The one restaurant in the mall I highly recommend eating at is Ramon. Under wide white umbrellas protecting you from the sun you can enjoy a great quiche while overlooking the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

The walk from Agron through Mamila is no more than twenty minutes but with all there is to see and do it could wind up being a four hour trek. The mall ends just below the Old City. I small flight of steps up will take you to Jaffa Gate, one of the Old City’s main entrances. But that is another day trip journey.

Source by Barry Schechter

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