Chelsea Women switched off from their pre-season preparations in Israel today and had a guided tour of the ancient city of Jerusalem.
Day two of our pre-season campaign in Israel began with an early start as a busy day was ahead for the Blues when they visited the country’s historic capital, Jerusalem.
It was an insightful experience and a chance to explore the fascinating Old City of Jerusalem. The walking tour started at Jaffa Gate, a stone portal in the historic walls which leads to the Christian quarter of the city. Within the Christian Quarter, Chelsea entered The Church of the Holy Sepulchre which contains the two holiest sites in Christianity and one of the main sites in Old Jerusalem.
From then on we swiftly made our way through the narrow and mysterious alleys of the Old City and the colourful markets to the Jewish quarter. We strolled through the main plaza of the Jewish Quarter, where we experienced and got the feel of the history, plus the day-to-day life of the locals.
The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, was our next stop of the day which surrounded the Temple Mount. After, the Blues made a short walk to the City of David, one of the largest archaeological digs in the Middle East. We listened to the history of the City of David and took a short tour around the Holy Land which included a venture through the underground tunnels.
Chelsea Women defender Hannah Blundell commented on the day: ‘I think it’s great that we have been given the opportunity to visit Jerusalem and experience the culture – it’s been an eye opener for everyone.
‘Usually when we go to a country we play football and leave again, so to actually have the tour and experience everything here is something we won’t forget.
‘We have had a few fans come up to us and say ‘oh we are coming to the game’, so that’s been really nice to have people recognise us and say that they will be coming to the game tomorrow.’
The day concluded with a team lunch where we were accompanied by Chairman Bruce Buck and Chief Executive Guy Laurence.
Jerusalem’s deputy mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum was also present and she gave a speech to the players and staff thanking them for coming to Israel. She mentioned the positive impact that Chelsea Women’s visit will have on women’s sport in Israel, and wished the team good luck tomorrow when they take on the Israeli women’s national team in a friendly.