Greetings and peace be with you *charisma*;
I would have loved to experience it during earlier times. Did you see any changes between the two times you've been?
When I went the first time in 1966, the people were far more friendly, and overall, I would say there was less tension, even though we heard shooting fairly often. We were allowed in the Dome of the rock, but at the time I did not really understand it's significance. The Dome and most of the Christian sites were inside Jordan at the time, this was about a year before the six day war, when Israel moved the borders.
When we went in 2009, there was security everywhere, there were groups of young men and women strolling around with guns, dressed casually, and apart from the guns they seemed like tourists themselves. We were searched and had to go through detectors, then we had to queue for over an hour, before we were allowed up on the Temple Mount. Just by the entrance to the Mount, there is a sign on the wall that said, 'You are entering a sacred place where God is always present'. Next to the sign was a stack of riot shields and Israeli police with guns, maybe they thought people might steal God.
Sadly, we were not allowed into Al-Aqsa or the Dome, and we were allowed maybe five minutes on the Mount. Overall not a pleasant experience, but I am pleased I went. At the airport we were pretty much interrogated by youngsters with guns, so it did not seem much easier for Christians to visit. Having said that, the Jews enjoyed taking our money while we were there, I shall say no more.
In the spirit of praying to 'One God'