Found the bus to Bethlehem, haggled with a taxi driver, gave $2 to a little boy who wanted to sell me postcards (and then didn’t want to sell them), went through a maze-like checkpoint surely designed to disorient, found another bus back to Jerusalem, encountered many armed Israeli soldiers in the Old City and was shooed away from the Dome of the Rock mosque by one of them (only Muslims are allowed entrance) and am now enjoying black coffee on the terrace of my hotel.
My trip to Bethlehem was worthwhile, and not just for the picaresque element. I was given an informal tour of Bethlehem University and spoke with two nursing students for over half an hour. When my energy returns full-steam, I’ll be typing up some notes from our conversation and will post them. I will also post some photos of the separation wall. It is monstrous.
Meanwhile, I await our official group dinner tonight at 8:00. I’ll meet George, our guide from the Siraj Center, and one of my touring mates; the other was bumped from an Air Canada flight and will not arrive until tomorrow. Yes, we are a small group — only three of us. It should be very interesting . . .