Tour Day Five, Jan 14

Bethlehem, Shepherds' Fields, New Jerusalem ~  We entered the West Bank to visit Bethlehem & meet our local Christian guides. Mass was held at the Church of St Catherine’s beside the Church of the Nativity. After touring the church we did some shopping at a Christian owned olive wood shop. After lunch we walked to the Shepherds' Fields. Excavations in the area of the fields have revealed churches & evidence of 1st century occupation of caves in the Shepherd's Village. Jeff taught about Mary, Mother of God. After dinner, two coaches went to visit the Kotel or Rabbinical Tunnels. In the tunnels, we walked on the street level from the 1st century, a true time capsule. At the same time, the other 2 coaches were invited to hear Emily's orientation to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, including the history & layout of this important structure.