- Posted February 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel photo of the day
Zurim Valley, Jerusalem: the Less Traveled Path
When I was doing some graduate courses last semester in Jerusalem, I decided to go to take daily walks from my residence (the Pontifical Biblical Institute, beside the King David Hotel) to the peak of Mount Scopus where the Hebrew University is. I tried several routes--one passing through Mea Shearim, another through Wadi al-Joz, and one through the Zurim Valley. The last one is the longest, lasting almost an hour. It is the most demanding because it culminates in a steep climb. Yet I chose it because it was the most peaceful and most scenic.
The supposedly boring daily walk became a breathtaking experience each time I took the Zurim Valley route. Just outside the Old City from its northeastern corner, one would see the view of the valley with the panorama of the Hebrew University atop Mount Scopus looming over it. All over the grass is green and the field is dotted with olive trees. A small flock of sheep grazes in a corner. A paved path and stone steps lead to the summit. From one of the view decks a young man prays, facing the Temple Mount.
And what is beautiful about the daily walks in this valley is that I have always found myself alone with nature and far from the madding crowd (apologies to Thomas Hardy): solitude along a seldom trodden footpath.
(Pictures: a ewe and a lamb in the valley; the Temple Mount as background to a tree bereft of leaves; a view of the valley and the city of Jerusalem from the ascent to Mount Scopus; the sign leading to the Valley from Mount Scopus; a view of the Hebrew University before the descent to the valley; a dirt road in the valley; three more pictures of sheep and lambs; a young man praying, facing towards the Temple Mount)