So for this trip from Jerusalem there was a central meeting and drop off place. King David Citadel Hotel. Thankfully wasn’t too far from our hotel.
First off at the meeting place there wasnt any clear direction where to go. The instructions just said meet outside. Eventually we found our group and got on the coach.
First stop was the security wall just outside Bethlehem in the West Bank. This is also where we picked up our guide George. Banksy has a hotel there and plenty of peace messages on the wall.
Then off to Bethlehem and church of the Nativity. The church is huge along with Manger Square where they hold Christmas Mass.
Due to the queues in the church we weren’t able to go to the Grotto where Jesus was born.
After Bethlehem it was on to Jericho. Now one thing I didn’t know was that the West Bank is split into different areas-A,B and C. These relate to who controls the areas. C is under full Israeli control, B is Palestinian Administration and Israeli security. A is full Palestinian control. Israeli citizens are not allowed in zone A.
Our stop in Jericho was for lunch. George gave us plenty of information about the area.
Next was to the Church of Temptation where Jesus was confronted by the Devil. As wife doesn’t like cable cars we sat in the cool reception of the cable car station.
Then onto the Southern Baptism site. There is a bit of disputed as to which is the real one, where Jesus got baptised by John.
One of the pictures shows just how close it is to Jordan. The river is the border and you are only allowed in a small area. If you get too close to the rope the border guards will shout at you to get back.
After that is the Dead Sea. They take you to a resort area that also sells Dead Sea products.
The area of the Dead Sea you are allowed in is quite small. As the resort was packed, it sort of spoiled the moment as limited space to float.
If it is quite in the resort can imagine that will have a great experience floating.
After the resort there was confusion about the coaches. We were told we may have to change coaches and they will let us know which coach.
However we weren’t told and then just had to ask the drivers where the coach was dropping off.
Not ideal when there are loads of coaches about at end of a long day.
The trip gave a small glimpse of the places that we visited, which was fine as knew had to fit a lot in. Glad we went on it, so next time we are back in Israel we will have a better idea of where to go and be able to spend more time at the locations.
Regarding the issues we had with the transport these have already been mentioned to the tour company and I’ve had a reply advising they will look into improving the service they provide.