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Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

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New Jersey
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Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

We plan to go to the observation Point of Mount of Olives (at 7 Arches Hotel?) by taxi, and then walk down to the Old City via the St. Stephen's Gate, stopping at the Garden of Gethsemane and the Tomb of the Virgin on the way.

We read in several guide books that "The Mount of Olives has not always been the friendliest area to walk" and that "pickpockets continue to be a problem on the Mount of Olive lookout and the road down to Gethsemane". Any truth to these warnings? If so, what precautions should we take?

Also, how long would it take to walk down from the observation point to the St. Stephen's Gate without stopping on the way?

Thanks for any info.

sg2000

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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1. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

It is not dangerous and the pickpocketing is not done by force, but quietly. I am not saying that pickpockets are that common only that you will not be met by violence and pickpockets are everywhere in the world and you have to be cautious and beware. I have seen many do that trip watching them from the other side, from a lookout near the Dunge Gate.

Washington State
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2. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

I think this warning is overly alarmist. In the first place, you'll probably be around dozens (if not more) other people on the walk. If there is anywhere that might give even the slightest worry, it would be farther up the hill. I did this walk alone two years ago (from higher up than 7 Arches) and saw nothing to concern me.

I have heard about pickpockets. Just be a little careful if vendors rush up to you with postcards. Rome has more pickpockets on any square block than there are in all Jerusalem, but no one stays away from Rome because of them.

Time wise you could probably walk it in 20 minutes. There is a lot to see and soak in and I'd allow 2-3 hours.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

To add to the replies you have already read, I would not call it "dangerous." I think you do need to keep your wits about you. Once when walking that route, we encountered a woman whose purse had been snatched, and this was somewhat violent -- she was knocked down in the process. But Dogmeat is right -- there are usually lots of people there walking, and you simply need to be aware. Would I recommend it for an older woman walking alone? No. But for a small group, I think it's fine. What can happen there can in fact happen anywhere, and certainly does happen more often in places like Rome (and many American cities.) And in any event, the Mount of Olives is a very special place.

Enjoy!

Douglas

New Jersey
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4. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

Thanks you all for responding to my questions. I'll certainly take appropriate precautions and enjoy our walk down the Mount of Olives.

sg2000

Jerusalem, Israel
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5. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

Compared to any other place in Jerusalem (East or West!), the observation points on the Mount of Olives are really a "hot spot" for pickpocketing. During the last two years, I have met about a dozen people whose purses, wallets or watches have been stolen there. So be extremely cautious if somebody (especially children) approaches you to sell you something!

Sorry for the late reply - I have been away for a few days.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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6. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

Welcome back -- and thanks for the specific (and on the ground) elaboration on the problem.

Douglas Duckett

Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

Just came back from the Holy Land. My personal experience was: no danger at all, in fact there were no pick pockets, in fact there were really nobody on the streets!

I was walking down (well trying to find my way) from Ascension of Dome to garden of Gethsemane and I met nobody on the path, then in the middle I decided to do a detour to go for the Church of Mary Magdalene and Dominus Flevit but alas, they both had siesta... (Church of MM's opening times were even worse!) so I went back up to the 7 arches lookout, and the only living thing there was a camel! I needed it badly to find someone to take a photo for me (I am a solo traveller) so I was glad that a taxi driver came along at the end.

I went back to lunch near Pater Noster and afterwards walked back down to Garden of Gethsemane. There were people in those sights but I did not meet any on the way down.

So I guess that was lunch time and it was too hot for the pick pockets to work. Basically just keep an eye on who would approach you just in case.

(At least I didn't encounter anyone hiding around the corners trying to rob me, yes indeed there are many places where they could rob me if they intended to)

Paragon
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8. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

Vince.....you must have "hit it" at a time when no tour busses were nearby. That is the secret usually. When a site becomes inundated with tour busses then you will have a much different experience in your sightseeing. (This is not a diatribe against tour busses....I have been on them myself *smile*)....but, it is a very valid point, imho.

Kathy Walters

Paragon, Indiana, USA

cakywalters@iquest.net

Hong Kong, China
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9. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

Exactly the point, if the pickpockets live on tour buses, then they would hang around on where the tourists would be. Those tourists that take the tours WILL NOT walk down from the top to the Garden. So you have to be careful at the sights, and not on the way to the sights.

I finally managed to find the tourists, they were having their buffet lunch inside the 7 arches ;)

10. Re: Dagerous walking down from Mount of Olives?

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