The trip from Amman to Bethlehem included a taxi to the border (10JD each [$14], an hour going through Jordanian passport control (and paying an 8JD [about $12]) exit fee. Then we purchased a ticket for the bus to take us across the Jordan River (3.5JD [$5]) and another ticket (1.3JD [$2]) for our luggage. The trip across the Jordan was about 3 miles but for various checks and unknown reasons the trip took about 3/4 hour. Then there was a long line as three or four buses unloaded at the Israeli passport control area (before when I have been with a tour bus we have proceeded to a different terminal). Bags and passports were checked, questions asked and answered, waiting was required but an hour and a half later we were through. Then we purchased a ticket in a shared bus (we ended up taking all 10 seats in one bus) for $10 each. This bus was supposed to drop us off at Damascus gate in Jerusalem but because it was Friday AND the first day of Ramadan the Israelis closed all the streets leading to Damascus gate. He dropped us off 1/2 mile away and we walked with our luggage to the bus station beside Damascus gate. However, no buses were running until after the Muslim prayers ended up at al-Aqsa mosque on the "Temple Mount" which Muslims call "Haram al-Sharif" ("The Noble Sanctuary"). Although Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink for about 15 hours each day during Ramadan, they still sell food and so were were able to purchase some bread and humus for a light lunch.
|Entering into Bethlehem|
|Outside our kitchen balcony|
Remember, if you are wanting to join me in Israel this December, the bus is filling up. Take a look at the brochure and sign up today! Take a look: