Wednesday 25 November 2015


We had a very hectic day today, and to try to make a bit of sense of it, I am starting with our afternoon outing.
We drove to 'the little town of Bethlehem' which is only a few kilometres outside of Jerusalem, however, it is in the Palestinian controlled area.
We had to drive through a checkpoint and between the huge walls that surround the area - pics 1 and 2. The town is very built up and not at all as I had imagined. I took a few photos on the way and was pleased later to notice a star over the town!
We then arrived at Manger Square which is opposite the Church of the Nativity. There was lots of building work going on, and a tall Christmas tree was standing in one corner just waiting to be decorated.
Our guide took us into the Church and to some steps behind the alter. These led down to the actual place where it is said that Jesus was born - picture 4.
We touched the centre of the star and then a few feet away we saw the place where the manger lay that Jesus slept in while the three wise men visited.
A church was built over the area in the 4th century and replaced in 529. It has stood there ever since, although it has been expanded in all different directions and is claimed to be the oldest church in the world.
Our guide told us that a few years ago people would queue for hours, but nowadays there are very few tourists and we almost had no wait at all.
Although I am not religious, it was very moving and a privilege to visit here.

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