Bethleham, Palestine

After reading this post, you will perhaps want to review the current travel warning I have on Israel. It is currently not possible to travel to the Palestinian West Bank without going through Israeli authority, ever if one is travelling by land from Jordan.

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Bethlehem, the alleged birthplace of Jewish moral leader Jesus, the pretender to the throne of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah.

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Bethlehem is only around 30 minutes from central Jerusalem, but since it’s in the Palestinian territories, public transport is not particularly frequent. Taking a taxi there is easy, although you would need to negotiate the price and you will have to have an Arab taxi driver, as Israeli Jews are not typically allowed to enter it (although somehow there are many exceptions, and the intercity buses certainly do pass through Palestinian territories, even when the bus drivers and many of their passengers are Israeli Jews).

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The town itself was OK. Quite orderly, not dirty, and very lively. The highlight is of course the Church of the Nativity, and it’s filled with tourists everywhere.

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The nativity scene opposite to the church. It was boxing day.

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Vatican / The Holy See

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Even though Vatican City is in the other side of Rome, it remains a must-see place regardless of your religious views and affiliation. The truth is, despite not possessing most qualities a country is supposed to have, The Holy See is one of the most powerful in the world.

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The city-state was so small it was probably of a similar size to an airport, but they did pack plenty in it. There were numerous souvenir shops, most trying to pretend Benedict didn’t exist, and the amount of Francis products does make you wonder whether the Biblical God would be happy with the papacy.

You also get certain embassies you don’t see in most places, like the Republic of China (Taiwan) one.

The churches around were also empty, btw.

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I believe they stole the column from Egypt. Not the only item they’d stolen.

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Seeing the Swiss guards was a high point for me, and not just for the erotic fantasies. After all, the institution is historic and they are one of the very few remaining forces in this form. Some dressed more elaborately than the others, no doubt for the entertainment of certain servants of God.

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Do you know I can be the next pope? All you need is be is 1. male, 2. baptized Catholic. Can you imagine me as a demigod?