Today one of my best friends is getting married and I am absolutely giddy!
I am also giddy about sharing with you one of my favorite places in Israel, the neighborhood of Jerusalem called Ein Kerem. On my last two Israel trips I've had the pleasure of exploring the tiny, narrow, wandering paths of this enclave and reveling in the beautiful landscaping.
On my most recent trip, my aunt and cousin took me to a monastery called Notre Dame de Sion. It is free to walk through the monastery's gardens and you are welcome to make a donation if you'd like.
The monastery is marked by a large, hunter green door. You can see the sun shining through the name plate at the top.
When you step through the gate, this is what you see:
We began walking down the path which was lined with lush green trees and brightly colored flowers.
My aunt and cousin lead the way while I kept stopping for pictures. Surprise, surprise.
The sun was shining so brightly that day and I couldn't resist snapping it glowing over the trees.
About half way down the path you can make a left turn to walk through a shaded area that leads to the monastery's cemetery.
When you emerge from the shaded path, there is a garden full of lemon trees.
This may sound creepy, but the cemetery is the most incredible part of touring the monastery. The trees, flowers and plants are gorgeous and the area has breathtaking views of Jerusalem.
The cemetery is protected by a large stone wall, some parts of which are decorated with baby blue buds.
I'm not a gardener and so I don't know the names of many plants, but this one struck me as particularly stunning.
We retraced our steps out of the cemetery and back towards the main path, passing one pretty bloom after another.
We eventually made it to the highest point on the walking path, which has chairs set up for taking in the views of the city.
Believe me when I say this photograph does zero justice to the view. You can see all the hills and valleys of Jerusalem from this one spot.
If you find yourself in Jerusalem and you have a morning or an afternoon to spare, definitely visit Ein Kerem and the Notre Dame de Sion monastery. Also be sure to have gelato at Trezoro (Trip Advisor reviews here). Every single flavor is delicious. Don't worry, I already taste tested for you.
Where are you exploring today?