Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day 12 Israel - Ceasarea & Bethlehem

We left Galilee early in the morning and went to Ceasarea next.

This is an aquaduct King Herold built.  He wanted a port and they didn't have one, so he built a break wall into the sea and a dock and an aquaduct and then the city of Ceasarea.  Paul was held a prisoner here for two years.

Here's the bus were were touring around on.  It was nice and modern.  The driver owned the bus and each day had different things to sell.  He was a former tank driver in one of the Israeli Arab wars.

 This is the beach at Ceasarea and part of the break wall built by King Herold.

 This is the amphitheater.  The Romans were very big on plays and dramas.

 This was the hipodrome location.  They did chariot races here and later sacrificed Christians in the games by feeding them to wild animals.

 The foundation of King Herods palace and the outline of his indoor/outdoor swimming pool.

 Next we drove to Bethlehem to see the place where Christ was born.  To get into this part of the city you have to duck down and go in this small entrance.  They built it small so animals would not be brought in.

 Where the manger was they've built churches in memory of the spot and we saw lots of very ornate decor.

 Down in the nativity grotto.  There were a series of caves.  Don't know which one Christ was born in but it was down here somewhere.

The next few pictures are down in the grotto caves.  Some place down here is the spot where Christ was born.

 Maybe here.

 Maybe here.

 There were a lot of people down there and it was crowded.  We did stop and our educator gave us a talk.

 Another possible location.

 Another spot.

 The educator, based on what some visiting authorites said, thought it might be just on the other side of this wall in the Greek Orthodox owned part of the caves.

 Back on top there was a beautiful Catholic chapel.   We sang some Christmas hymns there.  The next few pictures are some beautiful things we saw there.

It was very interesting to be in the place where Christ was born, but I think it would have been better if they hadn't built all these churches over the top of it and left it in a more natural state.

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