Israel 2011 travel blog

Model of Masada in the entry showing the Roman Ramp

60 of us in the gondola heading up!

Looking back down at the visitors center and the Romanencampments walls

Rex looking out over the Dead Sea

Grain storage bins

Largest Roman camp and seige wall

Model of Herod's Northern Palace

Looking down from the Top level at the second and third tiers

Bath house dressing room

Cold Soak

Sauna showing sub floor where Hot air was circulated

Tubular tiles in the walls carried hot air around the room

the Synagogue- oldest one found in Israel Predates the destructuin of the...

The Siege Ramp

Site of the Breach

Wednesday 9:30 pm Jerusalem

Another Great Day! we left early, about 7:45 and headed down the roadto Jericho. and Literally I mean DOWN- We drop almost 4,000 feet over 29 miles. However, it was nice to head for the desert and warmer weather. We crossed two spots where the water was crossing the road from yesterdays rain in the highter lands but not too deep fortunately.

Spotted a little wildlife along the way, an Ibis is the local brand of deer, fairly small with very long straight horns that go straight back along it back.

Josepheus refered to Masada as a Ship riding over the desert. And that is prettymuch what it appears as. The top of the mount is over 1400 feet above the desert floor. And I admit that even though I knew it was coming, the gondola ride is a bit intimidating.BUT FAST- 1400 ft in just a few minutes!

Hanging off the side of that mountain is wild, but all I could think of is the poor souls thatcreated this place hanging on the side of a mountain, placing stones and clearing paths. the Bath House is a beautiful piece of acrhitecture as is the Northern Palace. Of course the crowning achievement is that a legion of soldiers could build a ramp up to the top in just 7 months to conquer the fortress.

Masada is a memorial to the Zealots there who chose to die rather than be taken into slavery. They made a pact and when it looked like the wall would be breached, they cast lots to kill one another until the last ten men were able to praythe kadish and then drew lots among them selves so only the last man had to kill himself. A Powerful story.

We next headed to Qumran, where the Dead sea Scrolls were found. Such a stark region, its no wonder noone foundthem fo over 1900 years. The ruins of the Essenesdweelling ther is beautiful- They held ritual bathing and water to be a high part of the life and worship. So if you are in a place wher it only rains 5 days a year, you have to have an elaborate way of collecting all you can. They had intricate channels and cisterns connecting to thee pools throughout the building- running water!

then we headed to a small resort where those who wanted could take a swim in the dead sea- fun because it is 30% minerals so it supports your weight and you are very bouyant!

You bob rather than swim-

A short drive takes us in to Jericho whichis under Palestinian control now. Whe saw the Only Sycamore tree in Jericho- a beautiful, ancient tree in the town center where tradition says Zaccheaus climbed to see Jesus. {Luke 19} We saw the Tel of old jericho where they have found a watchtower that is over 10,000 years old making Jericho and damascus the old civilized cities in the world.

Our budriver took us right to the base of themountain to see an old Monestary that is build on the side of the Mount of the temptations where Satan tempted Jesus. and then as we returned through jericho we stopped at a shop that is one of the oldest glass factories in the region and specializes in Hebron glass, made from the colored sands found around Jericho.

Then back to Jerusalem arriving about 6:30 pm. It is only 29 miles from Jericho to Jerusalem and it is a brand new highway so it only took 30 minutes to get from the gatesd of Jericho into the city limits of Jerusalem. Just climbing 4,000 feet from the Dead Sea at -1300 ft to Jerusalem at 2700 feet Above sea level.

Tomorrow we pack up! we load the buses in the morning and check out of our rooms- we will see some sights around Jerusalemand Bethany , then come back to the hotel here for dinner- and head to tel Aviv to checkin and catch our flight home which leaves at 12:05am Israel time- and arrives in New York at 5:30 am EST. a 4.5 hour layover and then connect to Salt Lake city ariving at 1:30- leave at 2:30 from SLC to Kalispell arriving at 4:10pm friday. (If all goes well).

I will probably get a note off tomorrow be fore we head out-



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