This was a difficult post for me to write because I didn't love Bethlehem. We visited on Christmas Day and while all our Facebook friends were like, "wow what an awesome way to spend your holiday," it really wasn't all that. First, let me say, we had a really nice guide who spoiled us, driving us around to all the sites and taking us to some he normally doesn't take people to. He also took us to his home where his wife made us a delicious lunch and his children entertained Eden. So, it wasn't for lack of effort, I just didn't feel the spirit of Bethlehem like I expected I would.
Guide: Mohammad Alshiabat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $200 private day tour
Tip: We took a taxi to Bethlehem--our taxi driver called Mohammad to arrange the meeting point. At the end of the day Mohammad called our taxi driver who took us back to Jerusalem.
As you can imagine it was quite busy with people clamoring to get down inside the cave where Christ was born. It is something of a disaster. Imagine an hour glass full of people all trying to funnel into the bottleneck to get to the other side. In the pictures below you can see Eden was pressed in on all sides by eager pilgrims. We pushed and pushed until finally we were inside the cave where we were given a gracious 5 seconds to snap a couple of pictures.
Mohammad assured us Mary and Joseph would have come into town via this road.