Trip into occupied territory, anyone? We were in a cab back to our hotel one afternoon when Khalil (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) offered to take us to Bethlehem. $400 NIS includes transportation and tour guide through the Church of the Nativity. Khalil phoned Khalid enroute and he met us at the Church. Small groups with an experienced guide often get to go where larger groups cannot .... and the intimate nature of a smaller group befits this sacred place.
After our tour, we of course were escorted to a 'friends place' where the famous Arab hospitality and haggling over souvenirs began. Some baklava and sweet mint tea, lots of laughter and probing conversation finishing with shopping bags filled with local olive wood handcrafts.