Oddities in street names in the Old City of Jerusalem. The street name plaques indicate that I am on the corner of Via Dolorosa and Via Dolorosa. I will try to explain. The street running from left to right (north to south), in front of me, is known as Al Wad ha-Gai street. Via Dolorosa ("Way of Grief" in Latin) is a path where Jesus probably was lead in agony, carrying the crucifixion cross. It is more a route, than a street. Nevertheless, as the route goes from street to street, the streets so involved are known by the name of Via Dolorosa, for that part. As I sit here sipping my very strong Turkish Coffee at a sidewalk cafè and enjoying the most exquisite baklava, I start to realise, that this is a very interesting spot. To prolong my stay at this interesting spot, I ordered a pomegrenate juice which was squeezed freshly at the counter.
If you would continue to the left, out of the picture, you are on Al Wad ha-Gai street. From this point to the right you will be on Via Dolorosa for another 100 meters or so, when the Via turns off into a side street. No more Via Dolorosa and Al Wad ha-Gai street continues.
Looking at the Via Dolorosa plaque above the policeman's head, you will see engraved on the stone, top right to the plaque, the letters III ST are engraved. It is the third of 14 stations along the route. The stations mark the place where something of note happened during Jesus' walk of agony. At station 3 Jesus fell for the first time under the weight of the cross that he was carrying.
The man in blue is a policeman and the one in olive is a soldier. You don't have to go far to find a policeman and/or soldier on duty. And they always seem so relaxed about what they are doing. Well, observing the comings and goings at this guard point, I have reason to believe they are quite aware of what is going on in the streets with many names. I have spoken to a Belgian Jewish woman who migrated from Belgium to Israel and is now living in Jerusalem. I pointed out, all the aggression and policing, etc. in Israel. She replied that the same aggression etc is going on in Belgium, but the difference is that in Israel the authorities are aware of what is about to go down and are ready to deal with the incidents. She felt more safe in Israel. This discussion was early in Dec 2015. Everytime, when extremist activity flares in Belgium, I think of the discussion.
Some gutters for the connoisseurs.
All the best for the weekend.