Mark Twain, Ariel Sharon– and ME

A  favorite moment?   When many areas  I’ve explored  click–come together.

I’ve  long been a fan of Mark Twain’s account of travels,  “The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims’ Progress,”

especially his descriptions of  Jerusalem, which he visited in 1867.

He was not very impressed:

A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is. The appearance of the city is peculiar.

It is as knobby with countless little domes as a prison door is with bolt-heads….The streets are roughly and badly paved with stone, and are tolerably crooked…. Lepers, cripples, the blind, and the idiotic, assail you on every hand…. Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here….Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt….

 Wandering through the Old City

Though Twain penned at least one letter in Jerusalem  postmarked   “Mediterranean Hotel,”  no one had   been able to locate  the address of that establishment.

According to Haaretz, July 14, 2008:

“A group of researchers and archaeologists has recently located the Jerusalem building that housed the famed Mediterranean Hotel, which served in the late 19th century as the intelligentsia’s cultural, social and tourist hub in the Holy Land.

Based on photos, blueprints, maps and observations, the research team was able to pinpoint the institution to the Wittenberg House in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.”

Ariel Sharon was also  connected to the building – he purchased one of its apartments in 1987.


WALLA, as we say in Hebrew– WOW!

Readers may recall that,  during Rosh HaShana several years ago, we slept in that very place.  Sharon’s apartment.

See  my blog entry : Rosh HaShana in Jerusalem’s Old City

But there’s more – part of our family  today lives in that same building.

Full circle.