Tuesday 21 May 2013

Bethlehem shawarma

A trip to Bethlehem this morning. We took bus 21 from Damascus Gate, for NIS 7.30 each, went through the Cremisan tunnel and up into Bet Jala, getting off finally on the road dividing Bethlehem and Bet Jala. Giuseppe's shawarma place is just two minutes down from the bus stop. A very 'local' place, meaning not touristic. A do-it-yourself shawarma in either a wrap of 'Arabic bread' (rumali roti, really) or a baguette, plus a soft drink thrown in, all for NIS 16.

Warding off the many taxis with our few words of Arabic, we wandered up into the old city, such a different world, with its narrow streets and colourful vendors, and into the Nativity. We were lucky to find absolutely no one at the Grotto for a few blessed minutes. Then into St Catherine's, and to the Milk Grotto via a street full of olive wood souvenir shops. It was probably the last trip to Bethlehem for my two fourth year companions, and probably also quite emotional for people who have spent four years here and have loved the land and its people.

Then finally to a very sweet Palestinian sweet treat, called nablis or something: sugar and lots of goat cheese. And then back into 21, with a rather full bus, probably because of some World Council of Churches meeting that seems to be going on. 

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