On The Road to Masada
We bid a fond farewell to Jerusalem this morning as we made our way to the West Bank - destination, Masada. Within miles of leaving the city the terrain made a drastic change as we entered the desert. We passed the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found!
Before making our way to Masada, we stopped at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and National Park.
This picturesque oasis within the Judean Desert dates back to the Biblical Era. It is filled with serene waterfalls throughout the rocky hills. As we began our hike, we came across several ibex looking for a mid-morning snack!
The ruins at Masada are all that is left from the massive complex that was built by King Herod in 37 BCE.
After his death in the 1st century a group of Jewish Extremists took over Masada during the Jewish-Roman War agaist the Roman Empire. The Romans, determined to break through the seemingly unreachable complex, built a ramp over the course of 3 years in order to break through and conquer the fortress. When the Jewish Extremists realized they had been defeated, rather than die at the hands of their enemies, we are told the 961 people living there, instead committed suicide.
Today, visitors from all over the world hike, or take the cable car up to the top of Masada to walk through the ancient historic site. It is a challenging trail, but incredibly rewarding!
In case you were wondering...we took the cable car back down! Tomorrow we float in the Dead See!