Masada is not a huge site (as these things go), but we have a bit of a reputation for wanting to “count every last stone” so it was several hours before we finally managed to tear ourselves away. We had a firm deadline to be back in Jerusalem well before sunset, and we wanted to stop in Bethlehem along the way.
Of course, the major draw for Bethlehem is the church built on the site where Jesus was born, so we had to include it on our brief itinerary. It is interesting, but not exactly photogenic, so instead I will offer an image from outside.
This is also the site where St. Jerome spent the bulk of his life translating the bible into latin. I have to say that he looks exactly like I imagine someone would look after undertaking such a monumental task.
And of course, in the middle of the city, we saw an orange tree, with ripe oranges. Call me “easily amused” but coming from a cold climate, there is something about it that I find endlessly fascinating.
No visit to Bethlehem would be complete without seeing “the wall”. Pictures simply cannot capture the essence of the wall, so I’m not even going to try. Instead, I will leave you with two images. The first is an example of graffiti on the wall. It speaks for itself.
The second illustrates the industriousness of many Palestinians I have seen in Jordan, and their willingness to make the best of a bad situation.
Another example of this ingenuity is the “Stars & Bucks” coffee shop with a logo that looks strangely familiar. I can only speculate about the quirk of international law that must be protecting them from lawsuits.