Monday, 10 June 2013

TRAVEL DIARY: JERUSALEM



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Photos by Me


 What I'm wearinng: (Jacket: Dolce & Gabbana, Pants: Prada, Shoes: Zara, Bag: H&M)


Continuing on with my travel adventures in the Middle East (which took place during the Christmas holidays of 2012), my expeditions in Jerusalem marks the last entry of my Middle East travel diaries (I will post more in fall to keep aligned with the fashion aspect, since these photos were taken during winter), but it certainly is not the last entry in my ‘Inappropriate Outfits for the Middle East’ series. It’s that time on the blog again, where we play the game of ‘Guess which character of Sesame Street Dolce & Gabbana massacred in order to conjure this jacket’… hashtag BIGBIRD, duh. But as ‘flashy’ as it was for such a holy Land, where humbleness prevails, it was so damn comfortable. In all fairness, I do admit that I felt ashamed to have been prancing around in Prada pants whilst I was experiencing so much disparity in my immediate vicinity. But fear not, the hands of guilt struck me, so much so, that (if you so recall) I took down my blog and decided that I would no longer partake in the shallow and materialistic culture of the West. Of course, it did eventually catch up to me, as my Canadian surroundings once again sucked me into the vortex of madness.

In my last post, I had mentioned that I was the victim of 8 hours of grueling interrogation at the Israeli border (and for the record, I was wearing sweat pants), but I would be willing to partake in a life time of interrogations, if it means I’ll have the opportunity to re-live these life-altering and soul provoking experiences in Jerusalem once again.

Obsessed by realpolitik, religious trifle, the peace process, internecine and ultimately unproductive Jewish political polemics, we lose sight of Israel’s, and in particular, Jerusalem’s true significance. Jerusalem is a mix of the old and the new, the ancient being rediscovered, while the modern being imposed around it. The two universes for decades, are now intrinsically linked by a succession of stores, art galleries and cafes that put the spotlight on the exigencies of daily life. The majority of our expedition, however, was centered around exploring the Old City of Jerusalem.

After spending a day in the Old City of Jerusalem, it becomes quite apparent as to why this city is the object of so much religious and political conflict. Divided into Jewish, Muslim and Christian quarters, the nearly 2-mile radius of the Old City houses the most significant sites for Jewish, Christians and Muslims. Enter the Old City through the Jaffe gate, and you’ll be greeted to the Tomb of King David, climb two stories up, and you’ll find the room of The Last Supper. Take a left through the Jewish Quarter, and you’ll be bestowed with the Dome of the Rock. Perhaps, Jerusalem is the only place in the world where people of different faiths such as Jewish, Christians and Muslims, live together, not necessarily in total harmony but, at least, in mutual co-existence. One example though, is the site where, according to our tradition, Jesus had His last supper with His apostles. The room is situated on the second floor of a building where the ground floor is a Jewish shrine of King David and the third floor is used by Muslims. Another example is the Church of Holy Sepulcher, the keys to which are administered by two Muslim families who have faithfully opened this church every morning and closed it every night for generations.

Within the old city, we also visited the Wailing Wall, but because of the Jewish Sabbath, we were not allowed to approach the Wailing Wall or take pictures, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which, according to tradition, is the place of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified, died and was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, the Dome of the Rock, the site where Prophet Muhammad, according to Muslims, ascended to heaven and the subsequent Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third most holiest site in Islam, where the said Prophet experienced his Night Journey to Mecca.

Perhaps the greatest experience for me was having the opportunity to pray in Al-Aqsa mosque. For the first time in my life, I completely immersed myself in prayer, transcended my ego and subjected to the will of God, utterly and completely, and wept. I don’t know whether it was because I was in such a Holy place, or because I was so overwhelmed by the strength of the Palestinian people who, despite living under dire circumstances and disparity, continue to march forward with utmost appreciation of life. Regardless of your religious affliction, you cannot help but feel overwhelming compassion for the Palestinians who are deprived of basic human rights, liberty, happiness, and treated as prisoners in their own country. I was moved to tears on several occasions, having witnessed some of the exploitation at the hands of Israeli soldiers first hand.  My heart feels heavy for the Palestinians…. And I sat in Al-Aqsa, praying for peace and reconciliation for this land.

Towards the end of my trip in Jerusalem, I felt enlightened and animated. It's no longer a story of brave defiance, prejudice and hostility against each other but something that awakens within ourselves. The experience tells us about ourselves, our commitment to faith, our failings, our spirituality that recognizes its openness to social issues and our intellectual gift of discernment. In a land marked with such utter turmoil, I have never experienced so much serenity and tranquility. It is the kind of peace that I have never experienced before, the kind that became overwhelming to the point that I may or may not have a shed a tear or six. It came across to me as a paradox that a place like this that conjures up such pious demonstrations of faith can also be a place so fraught with danger. The very acerbity of the people there amounts to something more than arguments and debate. Like fresh thunderbolts for some reasons, they jolt through places and fray at the end of their tethers.
 





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109 comments:

  1. The photos are SO beautiful... <3

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  2. Thanks for sharing these amazing pics. You look beautiful as usual.

    Valeria.
    http://myurbanmarket.blogspot.it

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  3. Gorgeous, Lady! Those pants are too fierce.

    xoxo,

    Jules of Canines & Couture
    www.caninesandcouture.com

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  4. Wow these photos are so gorgeous! You look beautiful in those printed pants.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  5. Your photographs are competely amazing! You've really captured the spirit of one of my favorite places. And you look gorgeous!
    xo
    Sharon

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  6. The photography in this post is absolutely breath- taking. I have had a very strong desire to visit Jerusalem, perhaps next year I will...and this post sure inspires me to do it:)

    Sometimes in the places filled with much sadness, you can also find unearthly happiness. It is one of the paradoxes of life.

    Printed pants...have to be one of my favourite items. Lovely look:) and I do like the feathers, even if they were plucked from poor Big Bird:)

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  7. Wow! I really love the city:)

    bloglovin.com/blog/3880191

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  8. these are amazing photos - looks like it's been a beautiful trip! love the pants!

    xxx
    Lady à la Mode

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  9. Your photography is absolutely stunning as usual! I'm glad that you were fortunate enough to have the eye-opening experiences you had—I think that's the best part of traveling: not only do you discover new and exciting places, you also end up discovering a part of yourself as well. And as much as your D&G Big Bird jacket doesn't quite fit a holy city like Jerusalem, it sure looks great against the vibrant colors of the streets and markets!
    ♥ vivian | seattleite fashionista

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  10. Love this post, as usual! You always look amazingly beautiful and I am glad you felt enlightened! The place seems to shake magical subconscious memories, if I can explain myself well... I know what you mean by being a bit ashamed by the clothes, but I am sure that, although some people judge others by what is worn, some others saw your heart, and not the pants only! I am sure of that! You transmit that for sure - soul and elegance at the same time!

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  11. I pray for peace, too. So beautifully written, Rox. Your photography's amazing and I always eagerly scroll to your text. You should have a column in a magazine or newspaper. The jacket reminds me of some of Karl's latest painted feather nonsense. Which I must confess I love. Xx

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  12. Sounds amazing. It's making me really miss the 'Shahs of Sunset'. I'm telling you the seeds of peace for the middle east are buried within that show! Prada pants were absolutely made for prancing. Never doubt that again.

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  13. It sounds as though you had an amazing experience (though I am glad you decided to re-enter the blogging world)! What camera did you use for these photos? The quality is incredible <3

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  14. Roxy, it's an experience you'll never forget. Those were some monumental milestones in history. Glad you got to see for yourself. "Big bird" minus the yellow looked awesome on you. Love your Prada pants.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  15. What an incredible experience! (And you looked fabulous having it!)

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  16. What amazing travel pics! LOVE LOVE those patterned pants! XO!

    Courtney

    http://www.cupcakeobsessions.blogspot.com/

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  17. Gorgeous pictures and gorgeous outfit! You look stunning as always!
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

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  18. These pictures are breathtaking! I visited Jerusalem three years and it was a wonderful experience! Sadly I was only able to visit the Jewish quarter since I went on birthright, but I would love to go back and experience all the sections and spend more than a few days there.
    ~Sara

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  19. beautiful photos!
    xo
    MOSAMUSE

    www.MOSAMUSE.com

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  20. Such beautiful photos. Every time I see another one of your travel posts I become more envious

    Mili from call me, Maeby

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  21. Again, amazing, amazing photos. The Dolce and Prada are absolutely magnificent together. Totally pulled off that bigbird look with swag! On a more serious note, how wonderfully privileged your are to have experienced such a beautiful, historic, meaningful and important site for so many different people. The images you shared with us are breathtaking. And the way you so eloquently shared your experience with us is just as great...as if we were right there with you. Yeah, you're that great of a writer in my opinion!

    <3,
    Wardrobe on Wheels

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  22. You really should compile these photos and print out a hardcover book for yourself to keep. I'm glad to hear that you saw so much there, its when we see such despair that we are so much more grateful for what we have.

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  23. wow beautiful photos!
    love your outfit
    xx
    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

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  24. The church and the mosque are so beautiful and historical. Your photos captured the essence of Jerusalem so well. Looks so peaceful and yet there is real division and conflict there. Your pants are so chic!

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  25. Such a wonderful and moving post... Your emotional experience of praying reminded me of my visit to Servieg Posad, a mondatery a few km away from Moscow. I don't know what it was but just being in one of the churches brought tears to my eyes and made me feel in peace as I left. It was quite incredible.
    Thank you for your story and photos.
    x

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  26. Ahhhh what a beautiful pictures and you look amazing :)

    http://gamesoffashion.blogspot.com/

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  27. Such a beautiful place with so much history!
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
    x
    Stella from a A Shiny Place

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  28. I am totally enjoying all these travel pictures, I always get so excited when you post these because I'm usually at work in a dark dungeon on a mini-coffee break. I feel like I'm living vicariously through you and traveling the world through your eyes :)LOVE your pants, you have such an artistic eye. Can you stuff me in your suitcase during your next travel extravaganza? ;)

    Christy
    Sunny with A Side of...

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  29. Such beautiful pictures! You should really consider being a photographer as well as a fashion icon.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the jacket!

    thelostheritage.blogspot.com

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  30. Ooooh WOW! It looks so beautiful, and you look fabulous! Stunning pics!

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  31. Breathtaking photos as always! I love your Prada pants- so fun!

    Xo, Hannah

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  32. So exquisite are your looks, outfit, and ancient surroundings!

    Love,
    (='.'=)
    Lauren at adorn la femme

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  33. Haha prancing around all so pretty in fabulous Prada pants....you always crack me up Roxy!!! But the Holy Land will always be in my bucket list....lucky you to be there!!!

    Rebecca
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  34. This is such an interesting place, it's a must-visit! And your pictures show how majestic is this city...And you are beautiful!

    Sun and Sand

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  35. could not take a look from your trousers =)

    I will subscribe to your blog
    I will be glad to see you http://ouralternative.blogspot.com/

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  36. ur style, ur blog everything is totally attractive

    follow u dear :)

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  37. love your pics an your style!!!!

    coloreport.blogspot.mx

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  38. every piece is a beautiful shot. I can sense the rich vibe thru ur shots of the city sights. A really awesome post & experience.

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  39. Talk about a vacation, wow!

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

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  40. your pants are fantastic and i love the pictures at dusk--gorgeous. enjoy the rest of your trip!

    www.insparisian.com

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  41. interested in following each other via GFC??
    http://fashionwithfitness.blogspot.com

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  42. OMG! You take nice photos!!! I love them all!!!! <3 love your outfit there too <3 <3 <3

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  43. This was such an interesting read. Sorry to hear about the interrogation. These photographs are incredible!
    xxx

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  44. Your the pictures are so real and you look super stunning as always.

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  45. Wonderful impressions and you look so great in this purple <3

    xx from Bavaria, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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  46. You look amazing! What a great trip!

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  47. I am so in love with your jacket! Wow! These pictures are also so gorgeous!!! xx Pip


    Easy Outfits by Pip

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  48. Your pictures are so gorgeous!

    http://reviewsuntilyoudrop.blogspot.com/

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  49. Another eye opening post darling, wow. There is so much more to these countries than my western mind ever conceived. Your words were so powerful and moving I almost shed a tear with you. I can't imagine the kind of power that lies in the air and ancient surroundings but it must be incredibly awesome. To be in a place where it all began - the root of it all - gahh! I am adding this to my bucklist for sure. Thank you again for enlightening this Western mind my dear.

    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  50. WOW ! !

    I feel like I just traveled there as I read your post. Beautiful pictures. I'm really glad you are sharing this journey with us! I would love to go there some day. You are very, very lucky to have gone to the Holy Land!

    I also really like what you're wearing :) You look gorgeous as usual (and so do your companions, btw).
    Now I know why your blog disappeared for a while. I would have probably done the same thing. We take too much for granted here in the West. And I've complained about how the US is going down a terrible path, but I do realize and appreciate that we have it much better than most of the world. When I used to visit the birthplace of my parents (mex), I was always amazed at myself for my own ignorance. I was amazed at how blinded I was to poverty and the reality of others in that country. Little kids begging for money and food as we drove by secluded towns was the norm. Nowadays...for obvious reasons...we can't travel by car. Or by air, really. The crime is so violent.

    xo

    Azu

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  51. I have never been in Jerusalem so I really enjoyed your amazing photos. Loved your Prada pants too...you look gorgeous!
    Thank you for your super sweet comment :)
    xxx
    Nina
    http://trendsurvivor.com/

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  52. Amazing look dear! Your pants are lovely and Jerusalem is magnificent. :)
    Do you want us to follow each other? Let me know!

    xx, Mela
    www.wearismela.com

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  53. Thank you! I´m already following you on gfc!
    Great post!

    xx Su http://fashiontwinstinct.blogspot.de

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  54. Amazing photo.
    Great blog:)

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  55. Did your sis go to the Hermes sale? (it was cr.p, money is better spent in Harrods :D)

    Anyhoo lovely pics, as always :]

    Manon

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  56. Oh my god, those photos are amazing !! Looks like a beautiful place to visit :)
    Loved your outfit
    Loved your blog, so cute :))
    VISIT MY:
    Native Salad Blog
    Native Salad On Facebook
    Native Salad On Instagram

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  57. Such a beautiful post from the pictures (love your big bird coat by the way!) and what you wrote. Sounds like the kind of trip that forever changes you.

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

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  58. I would love to travel to Jerusalem someday! There is SO much history there I want to see. Great photos and I love your outfits too!

    ~Jacy

    www.laviedelenore.blogspot.com

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  59. Thank you :D Beautiful pictures! Yeah I'd love to follow each other with GFC :)

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  60. Jerusalem looks BEAUTIFUL and so do you!
    xoxo
    Cherokee
    You Should Be In Sweden

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  61. What beautiful, stunning photographs! Would love to visit Israel one day :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  62. These pictures are amazing!
    What a beautiful blog! You look amazing and what a lovely place.

    If you can, check out http://ladolcemoda7.blogspot.com.ar/

    All the best,
    Francesca

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  63. Rox, you sweet thing, you get a squilion comments, and you still make time to comment on the chalkface's frippery, thank you!

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  64. Beautiful pictures!

    lovas.weebly.com

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  65. I love this. I love this as one. If i seen these pants in the store , it would of came home with me. But i cant say i would of put this together myself. its amazing. I love that i seen your past post and i say to myself " we have similar style", but this this outfit blows my mind, its fabulous. And your sister with her peplum is lovely, she looks so classy.


    xoxox

    janaelavae.blogspot.com

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  66. Your photos so vividly depict the ancient charm of this wondrous city, it brings back such wonderful memories for me. Cant believe they kept you that long at the border, we were trapped there for around 4 hours only. What I love most about the city are how humble the people are, they have so little but they are so happy and willing to share their life experiences with you. I pray for peace here. Love the printed pants and pink bag. Thank you for your kind words, In response to your comment, I wrote 4 new lines and rewrote 4 of the old ones from the original. I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

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  67. OMG these pictures are absolutely gorgeous!! It seems it was an amazing and very deep trip, I'd love to go there as well!

    HTTP://THEREDCOATODYSSEY.BLOGSPOT.COM

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  68. the last two paragraphs gave me layers upon layers of goosebumps. and your photos remind me of when i was little and flipped through the pages of national geographic magazines. images of the middle east have always moved me - these are no exception. just beautiful. i am so glad you are sharing them with us!

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  69. Truly a wonderful place to explore!
    They seem so old yet relevant, beautiful photos :)

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    Replies
    1. and you are right, it's so bizarre, just as you said paradoxical, to see so many conflicts in a land with so many diverse religious history, beauty and splendor.. I cannot help but feel sorrow.

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  70. You've made up my mind I need to visit the middle east following in your footsteps. I can't help bit feel incredibly spoilt and selfish at the moment and your trip has moved me :)
    Also I think I need a bit of fashionable innaproptie dressing too! I love your trousers.
    X

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  71. I love the images (le duh) and especially your jacket. I haven't been to Israel but always wanted to go. My mum has been and she said it has been one of the most beautiful experiences in her life.

    Edita
    www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

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  72. Wow, really enjoyed reading the post. Such beautiful pics!

    Ivana
    xo

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  73. Thanks again for your sweet comment! I totally loved hearing from you!!! you are great! Love, Kyra
    FOLLOW MY BLOG // TELL ME // I FOLLOW YOU BACK!

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  74. Stunning pictures, love the place and your outfit is gorgeous, those pants are so chic!
    Do visit my blog,if you like follow on GFC,Bloglovin,Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, leave a comment and I'll surely follow back!

    http://feistyfoxdiaries.blogspot.in/
    https://www.facebook.com/feistyfoxdiaries

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  75. Thanks for following me on bloglovin, i follow you back, of course :D
    Nice blog ;)

    xoxo
    Mamie lotte

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  76. Great pictures!
    Nice post!
    Really like your blog,maybe we could follow each other! :)

    Only a storm in a coffee cup

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  77. This is random, but Your hair is so pretty!!
    Your photography is breathtaking and you are so lucky to be able to go there!!

    http://www.mybrokeneggshells.com/

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  78. seriously.. my jaw dropped when i saw this. beautiful outfit, beautiful city and beautiful shots!! WOW!

    Click me for my BLOG!

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  79. OMG, gorgeous pics, dear
    You look fab with that pants!
    xoxo

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  80. Wow, you look spectacular!
    The pictures are amazing too, I'll definately have to go there some day!

    Love, Liese
    catsanddresses.blogspot.be

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  81. First of all: Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog! I am speechless and feel so honored about it. But I think that your words are absolutely right for you, your style and pics, too!!!! Your OOTD is so adorable, individual and inspiring! And it's so amazing to read about your journey. Happy to be in contact with you and see more of your styles! Kisses from Vienna,

    Katja

    PS.: We're using Canon EOS 550 D with Sigma lens 50 mm 1.4 EX!

    www.collectedbykatja.com

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  82. Beautiful photos. The Middle East looks so beautiful. :)

    I thought your outfit was a bit flashy for the place as well but hey, you can't turn style off right? :)

    Sure, we can follow each other on other platforms. Followed on fb & Bloglovin already. :)

    Adly of Wish&Wear

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  83. What an amazing photos! It must've been wonderfull time.

    http://perfection-and-harmony.blogspot.com/2013/05/spring-with-coco.html

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  84. Very beautiful photos you have here! Jerusalem must be such a pretty place.
    And I love your outfit and how all the pieces go together! A slight feeling of jealousy, I want designer clothes too!

    I followed you on blogger and bloglovin, this is my blog you already visited:
    http://flyingforever.blogspot.fi/

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  85. You both are looking incredibly stunning!
    Gorgeous place and so fun!
    yuliconversations.blogspot.com

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  86. Wow! This is one of the best post I've read and seen in the last couple of weeks. Your photos are absolutely amazing, and so are your outfits :)
    I just bumped into your blog and after scrolling through your posts, I must say I really like it :) How about we follow each other on Bloglovin and Facebook? :)
    Kisses from Zurich,
    K.

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  87. Such an inspiring post and i gotta say, love the print on your trousers

    BLEURGH
    www.say-bleurgh.blogspot.com

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  88. Amazing pictures.



    http://theshortiesfashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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  89. OMG what beautiful pics and I love that you galavanted around for us in your western fashion. I really enjoy reading your prose. Thanks for visiting me, I'm following you now.

    Sophia
    http://lasophialasophia.blogspot.com

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