A really good tour. I took it on Thursday, surprisingly there were not as many tourists in the main places of interest as I expected.
The tour started in the morning. We were picked up at a place, which was just a few minutes walk from my hotel. The pick up bus was around 20 min late due to traffic (which had been mentioned as a possibility in the tour confirmation letter). The lady who was meeting us with the pick up bus was rude, which obviously spoilt the mood at the beginning. After that we were taken to the main bus stop where our big bus was grouped according to the tour that everyone had booked and we were taken to the right buses, so the tour could officially begin.
Yoav was the bus driver - tour guide. A very cheerful and funny man, who knows his job and is willing to answer any questions. He joked a lot, which made the tour more entertaining. Sometimes it gets overwhelming to listen to a lot of history and dry facts na this jokes definitely helped to keep everyone's spirit high. Unfortunately the traffic was heavy and we were always in a rush, trying to get to places on time. Luckily the group was small and it was easier for Yoav to manage us.
We had to change the bus and tour guide in Bethlehem. Mariam, who took over Yoav and continued the tour in Bethlehem, was amazing! Such a warm and welcoming person, who is truly passionate about her job and is proud of who she is (a Palestinian Christian). A very inspiring lady.
We had lunch at a Christian cafe. The food was very simple, yet good. I would appreciate if we had more choice of where to eat (I think some people in the group were surprised by the place and the price was a bit expensive for a quick casual lunch). Nevertheless the waiters were very friendly and tried to make us feel comfortable.
We finished the tour in a Christian shop where one can find all sorts of religious artifacts, handmade decorations, beautifully carved crosses, fantastic jewelry, etc. I think you should mention this in your itinerary as a point of interest. One doesn't have to buy something in this shop, just to see all those beautiful items is worth visiting the city. Honestly, in 4 days that I spent in Israel, I didn't see anything as gorgeous as what I saw (and bought) in that little shop. One girl from the group truly regretted later that she hadn't bought a hand carved Bible as a gift for someone back home. I saw something similar but not as beautiful at the airport later but it wasn't the same. Hope she managed to find it somewhere else.
Jerusalem and Bethlehem are the cities of contrasts. It was interesting to see the difference between the Israeli and Palestinian territories. I recommend this tour to people who would like to understand a bit better the history of Israel and how religion started in general. I learnt some really interesting facts from this trip. Next time, I'll take a private tour though, so I have more time to wander through the souq and spend in the holly places without being rushed.