Today, I`m going to show you the photos I took of the breathtaking, and very important, Dome of the Rock.
I don`t usually spend much time photographing things that have been snapped and seen million times before, but this monument was so amazing, I don` t think any picture will ever give it justice:
Unfortunately, you cannot get in, but it is hard to imagine that it can be even more stunning than on the outside. The whole bottom bit seems of solid marble, an the top half has been designed from what must be millions of small mosaic plates, with some beautiful writing right under the roof.
The square around the dome is huge and inhabited by at least two cats, there is a mosque (which is in use, and which I could look into) and some nice views over the city, as it is indeed located on a rock.
One thing I found rather embarrassing was that I was asked to cover up. Of course, I checked in advance and felt that I looked quite acceptable in my long dress that also covered shoulder and upper arms, but I was taken aside as soon as I arrived and send to a “clothing station” where I was, for a small fee, appropriately kitted out with an even longer and thicker skirt and a shawl. My own skirt, I was told by the men who were very obvously there to enforce the dress codes, was not opaque enough and still revealed my legs. I never felt so naked as I did when I was walking the walk of shame to the clothing station, and that feeling stayed with me all day.
It didn` t take me long to discover that I felt safer in more fabric on me in this city. I didn` t bring anything too revealing, anyway, but on my first day, I was wearing a short skirt and felt everyone was looking at me. I once even made a u-turn, because I felt I had all eyes on me (although noone ever said anything apart from the men at the temple dome). When I was wearing more fabric, on the contrary, I felt very pleasantly invisible – I could go whereever I want, not draw any attention to myself and merrily enjoy my day without having to be mindful about who I was speaking to.
I` m very much someone who likes to feel the sun on her skin and get a tan when on holiday, but experiencing such an environment first hand made me appreciate a lot more why women may chose to dress in a way that does not draw any attention to their bodies. And, contrary to my preconceptions, I was not getting too hot either 🙂