Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Travels through the Desert; the Journey through the Promised Land Continues in Eilat and Bethlehem

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Travels through the Desert; the Journey through the Promised Land Continues in Eilat and Bethlehem

Article excerpt

Byline: Carlie Walker's travels through the promised land continue with a visit to Eilat and Bethlehem

AFTER spending the first half of my trip to Israel exploring Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and making several day tours, I made the four-and-a-half hour journey across the country to the southern Israeli city of Eilat, found in the Negev Desert, on the border with Egypt.

With the beauty of the desert and the Red Sea around me, I really felt like I was on holiday and relaxing by the beach became a favourite pastime.

I saw the place where the Ink Flag was raised in 1949 when the city was claimed by Israeli forces as part of the United Nations' partition plan.

They didn't have a national flag to raise so the soldiers improvised, using a piece of cloth and a pen to create the flag, which was on display at the Eilat Museum.

I also got to see more of the desert, taking a camel ride with a group of Israelis and a guide, which was a lot of fun.

After my stay in Eilat, I travelled back to Jerusalem where I took the opportunity to take in some culture at the Israel Museum and the Bible Lands Museum, both of which contain many fascinating ancient artefacts from throughout the Middle East.

I then travelled into the West Bank, staying at Bethlehem.

I fell in love with Bethlehem, where the Palestinian people were friendly, warm and made me feel like part of the family.

I had travelled to the Church of the Nativity on the first day of my visit to Bethlehem.

The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world, built over the cave where Jesus was believed to have been born.

The Grotto of the Nativity enshrines the area where tradition says Jesus was born, while another area nearby has an altar where Mary is believed to have laid Jesus in the manger. …

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