Monday, June 29, 2009

Jerusalem Redux

For me, coming back to Jerusalem is both exciting and anxiety-inducing. I love this place (despite the oppressive heat during the summer) and have had some really profound experiences this trip. Patrick has not been here before, and is not a fan of things overtly religious (although he is very supportive of the Jewish traditions and mitzvot I try to do at home). I know he won't love it in the same way that I do, but I want him to not be turned off by it, and enjoy it enough to want to come back.

We arrived at the Addar Hotel a little before 2 pm, and our room was ready after a brief wait. On, we reserved the Presidential Suite. It was not inexpensive, and was not in the neighborhood that I would have chosen (we walk through an Arab section to get to Herod's Gate), but the Presidential Suite is described on their website as on the top floor of the hotel, having two bedrooms and two bathrooms, wonderful views, etc, etc. We decided "Why not?" and paid in advance. I will not deal with for a hotel I do not know ever again. I have called, and hope we will either get moved to the real PS or get some money refunded. I am not, however, holding my breath

The room is a perfectly adequate hotel room with gentle a/c, but it is most certainly NOT a Presidential Suite, garnering the price we paid. The bathroom is pretty shabby, and the toiletries (two bottles, one filled with bright blue stuff and one with bright yellow stuff) look as if they have been refilled many times. Ick.

Neither nor the hotel itself are interested in making any changes. I told the hotel manager that I thought it was ridiculous that they did not hold themselves to the standard of their own website, but instead cowardly said, "We are only required to match what is on the Expedia website." Yes, I know I reserved on and they call it Expedia. I pointed it out many times but the man said they were the same thing, Whatever.

We spent the afternoon wandering around Mahane Yehuda, the city's open air market. I really love city markets. You get a great feel for what the people are really like. I could be there still if it weren't so hot. We also wandered up Ben Yehuda, the pedestrian shopping area, and had dinner at Darna, the Moroccan restaurant we ate at with the group. While it was nice, it was not the same experience with 2 that it was with 14. Not the same variety of different tastes, which I think was one of the best parts of the first visit.

Exhausted and hot, we are going to fall into bed. 'Night.



  1. I had an awful experience with as well. Their response was to give me a gift certificate for, which does me no good, as I have no intention of EVER EVER using again.

    Jerusalem is one of the most gorgeous cities I have ever seen. Before I went, I didn't understand why so much fighting over it, but now I get it. It is so lovely, especially at sunset when it literally glows.

  2. It does. I want you to go back. I'd love to hear what you think on how it has changed.

  3. Oooh, I want to go back! May we go with you guys? Wouldn't that be so fun?

    But no camels, please. I am Done. With. That.

  4. Oh, I would love to go with you guys. We would have a fantastic time-- and Ilan would love showing you around.