Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take a short drive in Bethlehem to see the Separation Wall that was built in 2002 by Israel. The wall separates the West Bank from Israel, separates the people from their land and people from their families.
We’ll then admire Herodiom; an artificial mountain that was built by Herod the Great in 25 BC.
We’ll travel to Battir Village, in the Central Highlands between Nablus and Hebron. The Battir cultural landscape encompasses ancient terraces, archaeological sites, rock-cut tombs, agricultural towers, and most importantly an intact water system, represented by a collection roman pool, channels, etc. The integrity of this traditional water system is guaranteed by the families of Battir, who depend on it and we will have a nice view of the railway that goes from Jaffa to Jerusalem.
For lunch we’ll enjoy a home-cooked meal in Battir.
In the afternoon we’ll proceed to Solomon Pools in the south of Bethlehem. They are great in size and importance. These pools are three stone water basins, cut in the rock, and built during the reign of King Herod in the times of the Romans. They are constructed in steps, each six meters above the next to enable water to be carried as far as Jerusalem by sheer force of gravity.
Near the pools are the remains of Qal’at al Burak (castle of the pools); also known as Qal’at Murad. The castle was built by the Turkish Sultan Murad in the 17th century to maintain and protect the water source. The castle and the pools are set in a beautiful grove of pine and cypress trees.
In the evening we’ll enjoy dinner at the Tent Restaurant in Beit Sahour.
At the end of our day we head back to the Bethlehem hotel for an overnight.