Steven and I were both mystified as to where
As soon as the bus stopped, there was a scrum of men at the door all shouting at the passengers ‘Taxi, taxi.’ Not knowing how far it was to reach the Church of the Nativity and the other churches that Bethlehem is so famous for, we did take one with the driver hoping that we’d therefore hire him to take us to some of the West Bank settlements and be our guide for as long as possible. He was disappointed when he dropped us off at the market when we’d insisted on only wanting to see the churches.
I wonder what Starbucks has to say about this copycat version?
The interior of the church is gloomy so when you add in all the scaffolding in place, it was difficult unfortunately to appreciate what I’m sure must be a beautiful church. As soon as we entered, we joined the long line of people waiting to enter the Grotto of the Nativity. While Steven held my place in line, I walked around taking photos.
The entrance to the grotto at last!
Once a cave and the type of place that might have been used as a barn, the grotto has become plastered and decorated beyond recognition. After waiting in line for about an hour, we finally had about 3 seconds each to see the small altar; on the floor beneath is the focal point of the entire site: a 14 point star with the Latin inscription translated as ‘Here of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ was born.’
only its exterior but its interior as well.
We descended steps from the church to see a number of dim grottoes that were once used as living quarters. Chapels here were dedicated to Joseph, the Innocents killed by Herod the Great and to the 4th C. St. Jerome who is credited for writing the Latin translation of the Bible right here. We heard a tour guide relate that if he hadn't translated the Bible, there would have been NO Christian church and that he made it possible for people to understand the Word of God. The King James version of the Bible, done in 1611, was translated into English from St. Jerome's Latin version.
Don’t know what the man was cooking and selling but an interesting photo.
I just happened to look up as we passed a small alley on our left and noticed these fancy dresses.
|Saw these popcorn trucks all over Bethlehem.|
|Bethlehem's main street.|
|Steven getting directions back to the bus station from a Palestinian police officer.|
Palestinian taxis have green license plates and all other Palestinian vehicles have white license plates compared to the yellow plates that are used in