The entrance court of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the loudest places in the whole city. During the day real crowds of pilgrims weave in and out the temple. The place itself is incredible, irrespectively of its religious meaning.
I’m sitting on the stairs in front of the Church, it’s after the sunset already. Every time the bells go off flocks of birds take flight. On my right a group of Russian women, their hair covered with headscarves tied below the chins, wooden crossed, sold here on every corner, in their hands. To my left a Coptic girl falls asleep in her mother’s arms, both are dressed in white, veils on their heads. At the entrance nuns of at least six different orders mingled with a bunch of Mormons. Next to them tattooed Americans with bare shoulders and legs are being lectured by the Church’s guard. Probably travelling on your own gives you the best chance to just sit in the middle and observe. Unnoticed.