"O little town..."

Trip Start Jul 16, 1975
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Trip End Jul 15, 1976


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Flag of Palestinian Territory  , West Bank,
Saturday, August 16, 1975

For most of the year I lived near the road to Bethlehem.  At three kilometers away, it was so close I could see it every day.

On Christmas Eve, I made a trip to Bethlehem.  Along with thousands of other pilgrims, of course.  It's a very popular place to celebrate the holiday.  The Church of the Nativity is built on the traditional spot of Christ's birth.  The annual Christmas procession takes place in Manger Square outside.  I arrived later in the evening.  Three blocks away, I eventually found a church with enough space to squeeze into the narthex.  The service in German, I think.

Bethlehem remains a small town today as it was back then.  It's primarily Arab.  The only Israelis seen are soldiers on duty.

Another sight outside my apartment was Herodium.  It's an unusual cone-shaped mound in the Judean desert.  Herodium was one of the fortresses belonging to ruthless King Herod.  He ruled the area during the birth of Christ.  It's also the traditional sight of his burial.

Eric
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