Jerusalem, Palestine

Thursday, February 7, 1929

At seven we changed trains and came the last two hours on a side-line winding first through broad rolling hills and then large steep rocky ones. In Jerusalem I went to the Majestic Hotel where I got a nice room for 75¢ or 150 mils a day. Spent the day going around the city with its narrow maize [sic.] of narrow streets, blind alleys, and crowded bazaars. You go up steps and down, under arches and through regular tunnels. The main bazaars are in these dark, damp, cold tunnels with perhaps a few small square holes in the roof for light.

It is very cool here, especially at night when it gets downright cold. Today is the first sunny day in a long time, there having been some snow and lots of rain recently. The cobblestones and slabs of these streets are very slippery. All things imaginable are sold in these bazaars and you can watch then make shoes, jewelry, tin ware, and what-not here. The people throng through the narrow passages, black-dressed, veiled women, native Arabs and shepherds in their robes, Jews and better-to-do Moslems in their fezzes, not to mention the little kids and an occasional ass laden with vegetables, etc.

The city is surrounded by walls of good height and thickness, built in 1542 by the Turkish King Solomon. From these you can get a splendid view of the Mount of Olives and up the hills and valleys surrounding Jerusalem. The soil is all rocky and not much can be grown but olives, figs, and grapes. There are many churches and mosques. There are also many colonies here—Russian, American, Jewish, Armenian, and Moslem. The Jaffa Gate is a busy place. By it is the Citadel. It is certainly interesting to watch all the different kinds of people go by, from the wild-looking native peasant boy to the many tourists.

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