We posted too early yesterday. Later, 8 of us took the tram to Jaffa Street market. It is a pedestrian area filled with clothing, wine stores, sweet shops and restaurants. At one point Dave unknowingly dropped his cell phone and a young man ran up handing it to him. We found some food for dinner and took a group selfie (on the other camera). As you can see in the pic attached, the tram we took is very modern. It was a fun end to a long day.
In the morning, we celebrate Mass in the study room of St Jerome where he translated the Bible into Latin from Greek for the first time. His tomb is here but his remains were moved to Rome. It is located beneath the Church of the Nativity, built by Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, in 324 CE. Prior Hadrian built a Pagan Temple here in 125 CE to cover over the birthplace of Christ so we know this is truly the right location.
We descend stairs to the Grotto of the Nativity. Micah 5:2 predicts the Saviour will be born in Bethlehem. We see the spot where Jesus was born (star in floor) and where he lay in the manger. The actual manger is now in Rome. Then to the Shepherd Fields Luke 2:8. Dave takes another selfie.
We head to Jericho, the oldest city in the world, 3000 to 4000 BC! Jesus came through here on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem. It’s in the Judean desert, the Florida of Israel. We gaze at the Mount of Temptation where Satan tried to tempt Jesus. We sample some delicious medjuul dates and buy some.
Then it is off to the Dead Sea for a “float”. It is 440m below sea level! It is saturated with salt and there is elemental salt as you wade in that feels like rock. We get thru the muddy part and float out on our backs over a Sandy bottom. It is hot and sunny. Ahh, home at last.