Excursions of Western Wall tunnels present new underground space in Jerusalem

Christian travelers visit Jerusalem to follow the last steps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa, Muslims to worship the Dome of the Rock, and Jewish people to insert written prayers into the cracks of the Western Wall.

Some people do all three.

Starting in December, a new option will be available to travelers visiting Jerusalem. You can go underground to experience part of the old city as it existed about 2,000 years ago.

An underground building

After more than 150 years of excavation, a buried building erected around AD 20 is due to be opened to the public this year.

The underground building is just a few steps from the Western Wall, a retaining wall on the west side of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the site where Jerusalem’s first and second temples once stood.

About 10% of the original Western Wall is visible today, with most of them buried behind buildings in the Muslim quarter of the old town as well as underground.

EMMANUEL DUNAND | AFP | Getty Images

The Western Wall is also one of the top attractions for travelers to Israel. It drew 12 million visitors in 2019, said Eyal Carlin, the tourism commissioner for North America at Israel’s Ministry of Tourism.

The excavated area dates from the Second Temple period, originally built in the 6th century BC. And later by Herod the Great, who ruled Jerusalem from 37 to 34 BC. Ruled, was greatly expanded.

The new chambers are under Wilson’s Arch, an archway that once supported a bridge to the Second Temple, here in the lower left corner.

Christopher Chan | Moment | Getty Images

The building, which is about 15 meters underground, contains two underground chambers separated by corridors and a “magnificent” water fountain, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the government agency that oversees the country’s excavation projects. Once located on a road that led to the Temple Mount, the building is now buried deep underground, covered over by centuries of construction.

The new areas become part of the popular West wall tunnel Guided tours that run all day from Sunday to Thursday and Friday to noon.

What travelers can see

To access the new areas, visitors descend stairs that are like stepping back in time, Carlin told CNBC.

“When you dig down, you literally go through history,” said Carlin. “Each layer represents different parts of history and different centuries.”

Part of the steps used to reach the newly excavated areas.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

“You go back to the Ottoman period, the Muslim period, the time of the Crusaders … right up to the Herodian period,” he said, referring to the rule of King Herod and his heirs from 37 BC. Chr. To 73 AD

Support beams reinforce the corridor between the two chambers of the old underground building.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists knew a chamber existed, but excavations uncovered a larger building with two identical rooms separated by a courtyard.

The building could have been a city council building, said Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Agency, in a press release from the Israel Ministry of Tourism in August. She called the excavated area “one of the most magnificent Second Temple-era public buildings ever unearthed.”

One of two chambers in a building discovered outside the Western Wall.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

Historians believe the chambers were reception rooms for dignitaries, wealthy visitors, and members of the high priesthood, Carlin said.

They could also have been restaurants. Archaeologists believe that the rooms once contained couches on which one ate lying down, as was common in the Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman times, according to Weksler-Bdolah.

“It’s very opulent – they were big chambers with big decorative elements made of running water,” said Carlin. “It shows the prosperity of the area at the time … and the people who were welcomed there.”

The second excavated chamber, which is built with arched stone ceilings.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists found a small ritual cleaning pool called a mikveh, which priests and aristocrats likely used before visiting the Second Temple.

“Those are the steps that go down” into the pool, he said, which “would normally be filled with water drawn from springs”.

Steps leading to a purification basin, or mikvah, believed to have been added many years after the excavated building was constructed.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

The mikveh would not be open to the public, Carlin said. Members of the general public cleaned themselves in the pool at Siloam, which was about a third of a mile away. This is the same pool in which Jesus is said to have restored sight to a blind man, as mentioned in the Gospel of John in the Christian Bible.

The room with the mikveh is part of an “elite gate” to the Second Temple, said Eyal Carlin from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.

Israel Antiquities Authority

Past the baths, visitors can see the foundation stones of the Western Wall, Carlin said. The stones are huge, weighing more than 250 tons.

Jerusalem is, at least in part, a city built on top of other cities. Existing buildings were turned into basements or underground living quarters for new buildings, according to an article in The times of Israel.

The hallways contained ornate pilasters or columns topped with Corinthian capitals into which water pipes were built.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

Therefore, parts of the underground buildings were found completely intact. Decorative elements “were found as a whole,” said Carlin. “There were parts that broke off, but the elements we see have not been reconstructed.”

Excavations are ongoing in Jerusalem, but many don’t open for tours, Carlin said.

“The excitement is great because [this area] is open to the general public, “he said.” It also sheds light on what life was like back then in one of the most important epochs of the Jewish people. “

Tour of the new area

Visitors can see the new underground areas through tours booked through the Wailing Wall Heritage Foundation, a non-profit government agency that administers the Western Wall.

The opening, which was originally scheduled for August, has been postponed to the Hannukah celebration in early December, Carlin said.

The ornate remains of the building are outside the Western Wall or “Western Wall”. The latter term falls out of favor as some consider it disdainful of the grief of the Jewish community over the loss of the Second Temple.

Yaniv Berman, Israel Antiquities Authority

He said that was “good timing” in more ways than one.

“If everything goes according to plan this week or early next week and our government approves the re-entry of tourists into Israel … that will actually collapse when the majority of the world can … travel to Israel.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan extra ‘royal-style’ excursions after their New York three-day go to

HARRY and Meghan plan more “royal style” tours to New York – raising concern about the palace.

The couple headlined a star-studded Covid vaccination gala in Central Park last night.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will do more “royal style” tours after their visit to New York
The Sussexes headlined a high profile event in Central Park last night and sparked concern at the palace

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The Sussexes headlined a high profile event in Central Park last night and sparked concern at the palaceCredit: Splash

Their three-day tour, during which they met politicians and school children, is said to have all “hallmarks of a royal visit”.

However, insiders revealed that the palace fears the Sussexes have set up a “rival court” against William and Kate.

A source said: “There will be some very nervous looks from the palace because Harry and Meghan are effectively following the royal model.

“The palace will take care of the causes it supports and the people it hangs out with do nothing to embarrass the queen.

“Kate and Wills show how the work of royals is done. You won’t be impressed that Harry and Meghan are acting as quasi-royals, courting the public after claiming they quit on privacy concerns.

The couple’s biographer, Omid Scobie, said the Sussexes are planning an “era of visibility” this fall.

Harry and Meghan were on the bill last night for the Global Citizen gig with stars like Coldplay and J.Lo, which sold tickets for up to £ 850.

It hopes to encourage vaccine exchanges with developing countries. It is believed the couple would like more tours to promote their Archewell Foundation and charities.

? Read our live blog from Meghan and Harry for the latest updates

Harry and Meghan practically follow the royal example.

A source

The source said, “This will be a normal thing and not just in the US.”

Yesterday, in the midst of a cavalcade of off-road vehicles, they visited the UN building to see Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed. Meghan, 40, wore a camel-colored outfit and stilettos, Harry, 37, in a dark suit, both of them clutching suitcases. Meghan later said the meeting was “nice”.

The couple, who stayed at the five-star Carlyle Hotel, visited the former World Trade Center on Thursday.

  • PRINCE William will host a BBC documentary on the environment, the Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet.

A source said the palace would not be

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A source said the palace would not be “impressed that Harry and Meghan are quasi-royals”.Credit: AP
The insider added:

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The insider added: “Kate and Wills show how the work of the royals is done”Photo credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Meghan Markle comes to read her own picture book, The Bench, to children at Harlem School on New York tour

Can vacationers journey to Japan? Digital excursions make it really feel attainable

While travelers won’t be able to attend this year’s Summer Olympics, they can still experience Japan virtually.

As the global pandemic progresses, tourist attractions and enterprising tour guides are finding ways to mimic the look, feel, and taste of a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Sightseeing and shopping

For 2,000 Japanese yen (US $ 18), armchair travelers can take a virtual trip to the Asakusa district through. make one hour interactive tours carried out by the Tokyo Localized travel company.

The tour takes viewers through the narrow streets of Asakusa, one of the six remaining geisha districts in Tokyo. The area is also home to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest temple; Asakusa Hanayashiki, Japan’s oldest amusement park; and Hoppy Street, famous for yakitori skewers and theirs Namesake, beer-like drink.

The Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple – or “Thunder Gate” – was first built around 1,000 years ago.

Allan Baxter | The image database | Getty Images

The tours are led by Dai Miyamoto, the company’s founder, who said he buys and mails items to online tourists who will pay them back by credit card.

Viewers can take online tours to other locations. request Japan online tour. Charges are $ 150 per hour, plus Kobe transportation fees.

Companies such as Tokyo Localized and Japan Online Tour are sending Japanese products home to online tourists.

Courtesy Nikhil Shah

Founder Kazue Kaneko said she has a client who loves Kyoto. She takes him on virtual tours where she buys Godzilla figurines, matcha (a finely ground green tea), and other products before shipping them to her client’s home in Los Angeles, she said.

“Now he’s my regular customer,” she told CNBC.

Enter the Shibuya Crossing

Except for London Abteistrasse, it is rare for a street intersection to gain international recognition. But one of the most famous places in Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing, joins the ranks.

Crowds walk through Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan.

@ Didier Marti | Moment | Getty Images

The intersection is considered “the busiest intersection in the world” and can accommodate an estimated 3,000 people in each light interval. The outbursts of organized chaos symbolize Japan’s devotion to the “Four Ps” – patience, courtesy, punctuality and precision – attributes that rule one of the most densely packed societies in the world.

For a 360-degree view of Shibuya Crossing, see The interactive feature of CNBC, which contains interesting facts about the crossing.

Attentive readers will find no fewer than eight people wearing masks, despite the fact that the photo pre-dates the global pandemic. The story explains why.

Folding furoshiki

Virtual tours rarely come with souvenirs, but those who sign up for them do Furoshiki online workshop receive a tailor-made package from Japan before the course starts.

Wrapping valuable items in furoshiki or decorative fabric squares is a centuries-old Japanese tradition. Today, the practice is considered an environmentally friendly way to Wrap small items without paper or plastic wrapalthough they can also be used as small handbags and home accessories.

The Furoshiki cloth is widely used for gift wrapping, but unlike wrapping paper, the cloth is traditionally returned to the gift giver.

Image navigator | Image navigator | Getty Images

In this one-hour, live English course, participants will learn how to wrap gifts and make a furoshiki handbag. The cost is 10,000 Japanese yen ($ 91) for the class, two furoshiki towels, and a pair of rings.

Get on the Shinkansen

The speed and punctuality of the Shinkansen have made Japan’s bullet trains so popular that traveling on them is considered a tourist attraction in itself.

Trains regularly reach speeds of 200 miles per hour and have a reputation for arriving and departing on time – to the second.

ON Live cam of the tracks in Settsu, a city in Osaka prefecture, shows how fast the trains go. Once the sound of an approaching train can be heard, viewers can see it for about eight seconds before disappearing in the distance.

Online travelers can also hop on the Shinkansen. With Google Maps, viewers can explore the length of the train See how the cabins differ based on class and comfort.

Museums and gardens

Online viewers can view current and past exhibits at The Sand Museum in the Tottori Sand Dunes.

John S. Lander | LightRakete | Getty Images

Visitors can explore the virtual walkways of the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan.

Christopher Jue | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Tokyo’s neighborhood

Covering more than 3,100 square miles, Tokyo-Yokohama is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. This makes it difficult for tourists to visit Tokyo’s better-known neighborhoods on foot.

Stationary live cams give an insight into parts of the city such as Shinjuku and Ginza, but mobile livestreams better mimic the traveller’s sightseeing experience.

Japan only, a YouTube channel owned by the American John Daub, broadcasts live streams of the Olympic Games and takes viewers to the Olympic Stadium and the red carpet of the opening ceremony in real time.

Another YouTube channel, Japan Walk, has several live cameramen who roam the streets of Japan, through important tourist destinations and back alleys, past business people on bicycles and women in kimono looking at restaurants and window shopping on the go.

Exploring Hiroshima

Shocking photographs in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum tell the story of the world’s first atomic bomb, which was dropped on the southern Japanese city on August 6, 1945 towards the end of World War II.

A virtual museum tour with the title “Future Memory” guides viewers through dark corridors displaying burnt clothing, children’s toys and other items recovered from the explosion that killed an estimated 140,000 people. English captions include testimonies of those who survived the explosion and life stories of those who did not.

During a virtual tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, visitors can examine the objects recovered from the rubble in 3D.

Carl Hof | Getty Images News | Getty Images

One of the better online parking tours in Japan is from Hiroshimas Shukkeien garden. A location map offers a bird’s eye view of the area and lets the viewer virtually immerse himself in a 360-degree view of the teahouses, manicured lawns and cherry blossom trees in the garden.

Virtual tea courses

Japanese tea ceremonies become high tech as teachers turn to the internet to explain the country’s tea drinking traditions.

In virtual classes, viewers learn how to prepare and drink Japanese Matcha at home.

Yue Yoshida / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

The Japanese cultural experience company Maikoya runs a 45 minute course on Zoomwhere viewers can learn the traditional way of drinking from a tea bowl from a living kimono-clad teacher in Kyoto for 4,900 Japanese yen (US $ 44).

For 10,000 yen ($ 90), Camellia Tea Ceremony, a tea company with two tea houses in Kyoto, sends matcha, a tea scoop, whisk, and seasonal sweet treats before the interactive tea ceremony begins.

Superior Excursions look to renew journeys as leisure venues open

The tour bus industry had a great success during the coronavirus pandemic. However, this should change when the entertainment venues reopen. || COVID-19 updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Get tested | Vaccine info || A bus company is looking forward to opening additional venues. With the opening of New York and surrounding states, companies like Superior Tours can hit the streets again after the shutdown. “We’ve basically been closed – the entire coach industry. On average, we’ve lost about 90% of our sales in the last 13 months,” said Marc Komins, co-owner of Superior Tours. Komins’ family has owned and operated Superior Tours for 26 years . His company flies mainly to New York and Atlantic City. “Hopefully with the opening of New York we can resume our daily service in New York City. We used to travel there four days a week,” said Komins said Superior Tours plans to resume New York City trips on the first weekend in June to record. The company already makes trips to Atlantic City every Sunday. For many, New York trips include a day at the theater. Broadway will reopen on September 17th and good news for those who enjoy taking the bus to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas spectacle. Komins said it was a special trip. “It’s a round trip transportation. It’s an orchestra seat to the show and then a transportation at the end of the day,” said Komins. If you take the bus, you get a temperature check and have to wear a mask. The bus has special air filters and all drivers are vaccinated. “We don’t sell the full capacity of the seats like the airlines have done. If people travel together, like a husband and wife or a sibling, and they are comfortably seated together, that’s fine. If people travel alone, then we save them their own place, “said Komins. By the time those New York runs get into full swing, Komins said they do sports trips in college and high school and they will. “Go on camp trips this summer. For a list of other summer destinations, see here.

The tour bus industry had a great success during the coronavirus pandemic. However, this should change when the entertainment venues reopen.

|| COVID-19 updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Get tested | Vaccine info ||

A bus company is looking forward to opening additional venues.

As New York and the surrounding states open up, companies like Superior Tours can hit the streets again after the shutdown.

“We’ve basically been shut down – the entire coach industry has been shut down. On average, we’ve lost about 90% of our sales in the last 13 months,” said Marc Komins, co-owner of Superior Tours.

Komins’ family has owned and operated Superior Tours for 26 years. His company flies mainly to New York and Atlantic City.

“Hopefully with the opening of New York City we can resume our daily service in New York City. We used to travel there four days a week,” said Komins.

Komins said Superior Tours plans to resume New York City trips on the first weekend in June. The company already makes trips to Atlantic City every Sunday.

For many, New York trips include a day at the theater. Broadway will reopen on September 17th and good news for those who enjoy taking the bus to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas spectacle. Komins said it was a special trip.

“It’s transportation there and back. It’s an orchestra seat for the show and then it’s transportation back at the end of the day,” said Komins.

Anyone traveling by bus is given a temperature control and has to wear a mask. The bus has special air filters and all drivers are vaccinated.

“We’re not selling full seat capacity like the airlines have started. If people travel together, like a husband and wife, or a sibling, and they’re comfortable sitting together, that’s fine. If they are If people travel alone, then it’s us. ” save them their own place, “said Komins.

Until those New York runs are in full swing, Komins said they will be doing college and high school sports trips and will be doing camp trips this summer. A A list of other summer destinations can be found here.

Youngsters and Cash: Lacking out on campus excursions? Go to nearly | Cash

As if there weren’t enough hurdles many high school graduates face in making costly decisions about where to go to college this fall, let’s tackle one more – they’ll likely be forced to make their choices without ever set foot on the campus of their school (s) of their choice.

For many seniors, this is traditionally the time to take country trips, stroll through college quadrangles on official student-led walking tours, visit the dorms, try the food in the dining room, ask questions of students, and yourself to bet a class or two on it. Especially for students who have certificates of admission, these visits can close the deal before you shell out thousands of dollars and run into debt.

However, due to the pandemic, official campus visits have been suspended for more than a year. Instead, most schools have turned to digital slideshows, zoom conversations, Oculus headsets for virtual reality presentations, and other creative social media techniques to help potential students kick the virtual tires and get on with life to feel connected to the campus.

For example, the University of Illinois offers daily one-on-one virtual meetings with an admissions advisor and group sessions, including an optional meeting with an on-campus house of culture representative. There are also 13 short video tours of the Urbana-Champaign campus on the school’s YouTube channel.

At the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, prospective students can sign up for 15-minute “spider chats” with a current student or alum. Students at Drexel University in Philadelphia designed a simulated campus called Minecraft University City. The school also runs special chats so that eligible students can meet others in their area.

Some schools have designed a virtual reality version of their campus that allows someone to virtually attend a music performance or go to center court in the basketball arena.

If that’s not enough, try a 3D exploration of a campus using Google Maps.

But virtual tours “are like walking around campus with blinders on,” said Mark Kantrowitz, a college graduate and author of How to Appeal for More Financial Aid.

“The problem with a virtual tour is you can’t smell the campus or eat the food,” he said. “You can’t sit in a class or spend the night in the dormitories. It’s not there. “

And while some families opt for self-guided driving or hiking tours, there may not be much to gain – other than seeing buildings that are either empty or closed to the public.

To get a feel for what college would normally be like, Kantrowitz suggests asking the admissions office to speak to a current junior or senior who was on campus before the pandemic.

They can give you an idea of ​​the atmosphere on campus and their feelings about distance learning, especially if the classroom teaching restrictions remain in place this fall.

Also, read the online version of the student newspaper to stay up to date on campus news – from professors and student profiles to the latest crime reports.

A holistic view of your first choice school definitely looks different in the near future, but universities and colleges are doing their best to ensure that parents and students feel comfortable about where they are at home for the next four years could, feel good.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland beginning reside digital excursions | Arts & Leisure

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Elvis Presley’s Graceland now offers live online tours for fans around the world, including those unable to travel to the Tennessee tourist attraction during the coronavirus pandemic.

Graceland said the two-hour tours would take virtual visitors to Presley’s former Memphis home that has been converted into a museum and the meditation garden where he is buried. The singer and actor died in Memphis on August 16, 1977.

Also included on the $ 100 ticket is a tour of Presley’s jet and a walking tour of the entertainment complex, which houses exhibits and artifacts related to Presley. Spectators can ask questions during the tours.

Graceland typically receives hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. But the tourist attraction saw a drop in visitor numbers during the virus outbreak. Graceland was closed for several weeks last year and is now open for personal tours with limited capacity.

Virtual tours are scheduled for January 27th, February 25th and March 25th. Further dates are expected.