Sunday, January 24, 2010

Flying with the Austrians

Smack dab in the center of Jerusalem, near the Damascus gate, on a corner of the Via Delarosa is the Austrian Hospice.  This relic from the time when every country/empire wanted a toehold in Jerusalem is a guesthouse ostensibly for pilgrims, but anybody can request a room.  The Austro-Hungarians knew what they were doing purchasing this little corner (it isn't so little.)  We lucked out the other day and managed to get inside.  We noticed a tour group going in and attached ourselves to it.  Once inside, we detached from the group.  Lovely chapel, prices in Euros, etc.  Pam was very excited that coffee only cost 3.....when Noa said, "Mom, stop!  That's in Euros, not Shekels!!"  No coffee.  After climbing up 3 floors (hey, the place is for pilgrims, no elevators), we climbed up one more set of stairs to the roof garden.  We were amused by the sign that said "No sleeping on roof, no blankets may be taken outside."  Once on the roof, we understood.  The Austrian Hospice has a terrific view of the Temple Mount, the Muslim and Christian Quarters.  Oh, and it is just around the corner from the BEST falafal in Jerusalem.  The name of the stand?  According to locals, it is known as the falafal stand near the Damascus Gate.  Yummy!  The cat?  Living the good life on the roof of a restaurant.  We saw the owner toss up a bag of food.  Lucky cat!


  1. $5 for coffee? Wouldn't have been the most expensive in Israel:-)

  2. hate to ask -- but in terms of social networking -- why does anyone have to be in the same room anymore? have you found anything about the israeli education system in particular that you wish we did here -- with our more heterogenous population?