|George and his family have been very kind, all the time paying attention if i was missing something at the appartment. I travelled alone, first time in Palestine, for Christmas time. The Shepherd´s Field can be reached from there in less than half an hour walking. Bethlehem has a big market of fresh fruit and vegetables, and here one can cook oneself - there s stove and microwave - and enjoy these local supplies as well as Arab coffee - which i had never tasted and actually i liked it very much.
The center of the city is at hand - around 10 minutes by transportation (the shared vans are the most convenient) or 30-40 minutes by foot (it depends on people´s will to walk, in my case i do like walking and it was a bonus, cause if being right in the center of the city, there s no so much possibility to walk fast and in a sport way, due to the narrow and crowded streets).
The neighbourhood of the appartment is very quiet, one doesn´t hear noises at all, rest and good sleep is warranted. The shower has a good quantity of hot water (i was in winter, so it was important).
Bethlehem is a good base from where other cities and attractions nearby can be visited, without need of tours, for instance: Hebron - around 40 min by van (where Ibrahim´s tomb is located - Attention! On Saturdays tourists can´t enter the Jewish section - only the Muslim one - it was my case). Besides, beautiful ceramics are made in Hebron, and there s a market with spices and other things, where interesting buying can be made, often at good prices, the sellers are generally very kind and friendly, and they usually offer the visitors to taste their merchandise (spices, almonds, etc); Herodion ruins - built by King Herod.
Rachel´s Tomb is just crossing the check point between Bethlehem and Israel - on the way towards Jerusalem.
In Bethlehem there s an interesting hotel-museum called "Walled-off" - just in front of the wall surrounding the city and close to the checkpoint - where one can visit the art gallery and the exposition about the situation of the city and o Palestine in general, very well docummented with photos, testimonials, films, objects, a very interesting place to visit, in my opinion. The wall itself is called "The Wall Museum", because of the profusion of graffitis and poems written by Palestine citizens regarding the situation - even references to the former "Berlin Wall" are made there...
Then there is Nativity Museum , where it s exposed the rooms of a typical ancient house there, together with furniture, cookware and hand - made embroidery by local women. And other places still - Bethlehem Museum , St Geronimous Cave (close to the Nativity Church), the Olive Oil Museum - which i couldn t visit cause there were closed just the day i intended to.
Finally, there is the possibility of contracting a guide who takes one to visit more distant places for half a day - for instance i went to Jerico, Mount of Temptation and Dead Sea. This option is a bit more expensive, but the guide is there for you. A less expensive option is to contract a taxi driver, but guides have universitary formation and they do their work with proficiency.
So, i think Bethlehem is a place worth visiting, for sure, it´s secure to walk at any time, and i highlight once more the availability and hospitality of George and his family,together with the coziness of their appartment.