Sunday, July 11, 2010

Today, I went to the Jerusalem Mall to buy a few things that I needed for the apartment.  Boy, was it crowded.  Walked around, looked at all the stores, found what I needed .  There are a few things different than our malls.  The stores are smaller and more specialized.  The other thing is that there is security at the entrances. You need to go through a metal detector & your bags, purse, etc. are searched.  It's pretty large with 3 floors.  Took my purchases to the apartment and decide I needed to get a better idea on how the buses run.  That was a mistake.  Took a bus to the Central Bus Station which is fairly new and big. It is one of the largest bus stations in the world.    I had been there before but didn't go inside because my transfer was on the outside of the building.  Again you have to through security to get in the building.  To my surprise, the first two floors are a mall with lots & lots of shops. And people packed in it. It's kind of like Grand Central Station in New York.  The busses come to the 3rd floor for arrival & departure which seems strange.  I'll figure that out when I take a bus to Joppa and other places.  There are about 30 platforms for arrivals & departures.  But they didn't have any maps.  Only individual bus lines with the stops in hebrew.  So that didn't help at all.  The bus ride there is always congested because they are building a light rail line through Jerusalem on the busiest street, Jaffa Road.  This construction has been going on for 4 years and none of it has been open.  The first part that was built is now rusted and grass growing over it.  They say it will be open in the Fall, but that will never happen. They seem to be putting more time and money into the stations instead of finishing and opening the rail line in order to get rid of some of the traffic problems. Here are two pictures of the over pass built by the Bus Station. It really looks out of place in Jerusalem.  In the second picture, you can see the gridlock, buses and cars all stopped.