Monday, October 10, 2011

10/10/11: 5 Stars In East Jerusalem

The National Hotel, East Jerusalem

There is never a day spent in this amazing city where I don't discover something new, completely unexpected, and utterly amazing. Today my friend Sarah came back into East Jerusalem to experience the daytime scene, and as we were walking to find food (my co-intern Molly was with us), we stumbled upon a gorgeous hotel smack dab in the middle of East Jerusalem. Turning the corner from the busy, bustling Salah El Din street, this gem of a hotel was situated right at the beginning of Al-Zahra street, just minutes away from the walls of the Old City, and next to one of the busiest shopping areas in East Jerusalem. Molly had been here once before, and spoke well of it, so we decided to give their terrace restaurant a shot. 

When I entered the hotel I couldn't help but notice it's modern beauty contrasted with the old feel of the city surrounding it. East Jerusalem doesn't boast extravagant, modern architecture, and the city has a very authentic, almost ancient-like feel, so while this hotel felt a bit out of place, it provided a stunning and beautiful breath of fresh air; a taste of the west sitting in the middle of the east. 
The Lobby Of The National Hotel 

When we arrived at the terrace restaurant on the 4th floor I was overwhelmed by the smell of hookah. I immediately thought of my friend Susanna, who would go crazy for this place; a gorgeous restaurant that  doubles as a hookah bar (and of course they had Arabic music videos playing in the background)! We decided to take advantage of the beautiful day outside, took a table on the patio, and enjoyed a lovely, relaxing lunch. They had Eastern food, Western food, and everything in between, and since I felt like being a typical American today, I had a cheese burger and fries! 

Scenic View From Our Table 

Patio Seating At The Terrace Restaurant 

After lunch I took Sarah to my favorite local bakery, got delicious pastries, and then said my goodbyes so that Molly and I could get back to work. Our lunch took a little longer than planned, and we didn't want to push our luck. It was another amazing day spent exploring East Jerusalem, and I truly fall more in love with this area every day! It is so unique and unlike anywhere in the world, and I love my explorations here. 

This week will bring more new experiences and adventures as I wander back into the West Bank for a large Olive harvest this weekend, spend the first days of Sukkot in Jerusalem, and then spend part of next Monday at the President's residences for an open Sukkot celebration. Like I previous stated... Never a dull moment :-D

Until we meet again chaverim <3,
Jordana Simone 

No comments:

Post a Comment