Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Palestine Day 1: dinner in the West Bank

Bethlehem Day 1: The Church of the Nativity

The church is obviously under restoration.  It is shared by 3 groups- Greek Orthodox, Armenian, and Roman Catholics.  Each chapel is very different.  This mosaic is under the scaffolding at the entry- will be stunning when renovation is finished.  This is the church built on the site of the manger where Christ was born, the exact spot it covered in a silver frame in the floor.  More pix to follow when I get home.  Phone battery died before I could catch it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jerusalem Day 1: The Old City

It took 2.5 hours to go from Amman to Jerusalem including all the security check points and border questions.  I had heard rumors that they ask you a million strange and intrusive questions and that if you get annoyed with them that they will detain you for a lot of questioning.  I think I was asked 7 questions:  Purpose of visit, length of stay, intended destinations, was I meeting any residents, what was my hotel, where I was coming from, what was my nationality, and my name.  It was really hard to hear them through the glass, but it wasn't really a big deal. I think it's pretty standard for MENA travel so I was already used to the slow pace and inefficiency.  There were a lot of people who went through with me- Jordanians, Palestinians, other Americans, Aussies, people who spoke French (didn't notice their country).  No one took longer or especially long to cross.  

I had my hair done at an Armenian hair dresser even though they closed at 7, but I arrived at 8 and they took me in and managed the sheep hair out of compassion and mercy.  My hairdresser was Palestinian and she had as much English as I did Arabic.  We got on well.  :D

Monday, March 28, 2016

Jordan Day 4: Petra by Night

sorry for the phont photo quality- the real camera photos turned out better but the internet here isn't cooperative to manage all that at the moment.