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November - December 2008: Middle East (Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt) (498 photos)

Palestine: Bethlehem

Day Three
The rise of the third day brought many tired travelers, since we had all stayed up late the previous night. Our wake-up call came at six this day – a full half hour later than the previous one – however it was still scarcely enough to suffice us for the day. In the bus, instead of being allowed the time for properly waking up, the priest suggested it was high time to pray and sing religious songs. It was here that I first felt my patience begin to leave me. Thankfully, I was not the only one who felt that this was pushing things a bit, however the majority of the people there were not bothered by this religious moment. The first item on the menu to visit that day was the Olive Hill. Afterwards, we were allowed a glimpse of Kneset, followed by a short trip to the Israel Museum. It was here that the great difference between visiting places on one’s own and with a group was seen. Considering most of our group consisted of the elderly and the retired, our group as a whole was forced to match their slower, more patient pace. It was because of this, additionally, that we were always forced to wait, going step after step. It took us three times longer to visit the most interesting of these places than it would have if we could have gone individually. Another matter was that many of the places we visited were rather dull, and others still where I would have liked to spend much more time we were rushed through because of lack of time. In the afternoon, we took a trip to see the "Milky" Mountain, where Jesus was born. Some of the remains looked as though enlarged to attract more tourists, taking on a faux look. Our return to the hotel allowed us the opportunity to view a religiously-related film. However, this time there was no one who could talk me into this activity, and I retired early.

Strong sentiment for former Palestinian leader Arafat is visible everywhere

Palestinian shepherd in Bethlehem

The wall raised by Israelis, separating Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalem

The group of Polish Arabs at the front of our hotel in Bethlehem

The wall raised by Israelis, separating Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalem

Palestinian side of the Wall - "Stop the Wall"  "Bird of Terror"  "hypocrasy"

The wall raised by Israelis, separating Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalem

View fo Bethlehem street from our hotel

Shepherds' Grotto in Bethlehem

Our group had a mass in Shepherds' Grotto in Bethlehem

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Local shop where Paelstinians make wooden sovenirs

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Palestynian on the street in Bethlehem

Advertisement of summer scouting camp on the streets of Bethlehem... But seriously the posters are to join Harakat of Islamic Jihad

Israelis built their developments on the top of the hills on Palestinian territory

Pigon of Peace

Checking our bus by Jews at the entrance to Israeli part of Jerusalem

We could often see wild garbage dump places in the middle of the cities

The caves of monks near Shepherds' Grotto in Bethlehem

Grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born

On the way to Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

On the way to Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

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Israel:   Jerusalem   Galilea   Dead Sea   Palestine:   Bethlehem   Jordan:   Amman   Petra   Egypt:   Sinai/Sharm...   Luxor   Cairo