On the last day of our 3 day trip we were extremely busy. We started at Masada. This was one of the things I was looking forward to the most. Herod built this fortress out of fear that Anthony would give the territory to Cleopatra and he would need a place to hole up. This fortress was built on 24 acres on top of an isolated rock along the Dead Sea. The drop to the East was around 1500 ft, but the drop on the West was much less. Later the Zealots took this fortress as a refuge against the Romans who had just destroyed the Temple. The Romans laid siege to this unsuccessfully. They then spent 3 years building a siege ramp to push the wall down and attack. The remnants of the siege ramp are still there. Anyway, this place was another amazing achievement by one neurotic and disturbed person. Here are just a few pictures. The first is a picture of the North Palace's 3 levels. The second was only part of the hike one side and you can also see part of the siege ramp that the Roman's built.
Next we had lunch at the Dead Sea near En Gedi. It was extremely hot and I was not feeling well this day so I did not get all the way in the water. The water is not refreshing. It is hot and full of things that I do not want to know about. The mineral content of the water is around 35% while the Ocean is around 7%. Incidentally, this is the lowest place on Earth.
After lunch, I was struggling but En Gedi called and I really wanted to do this. I was rewarded with a beautiful and inspiring hike. Additionally, I got to swim in one of the pools and was refreshed to my bones. I know why David hid hear. It was a lush green garden in the midst of a vast wasteland. Here I got some energy back.
Our last stop was Qumran. We were not able to explore the caves at all, but only the communal site of the Jewish Monks. This was a little disappointing and I will not include a picture of this. However, at this place the most important archaeological find of all time occurred since Joshia recovered the Book of the Law.
I am preparing for a 4 day trip to the Galilee region after having had 2 days off. Unfortunately, my days off have consisted of resting and trying to get better. I am feeling much better today and I am ready for the trip north. I will check back with you in a few days.
Blessings - DC