We then headed up the Aravah valley toward the Dead Sea. Our next stop was Masada. Masada was built by Herod the "Great," as a place of escape should he ever need one (remember, he was totally paranoid). It was an amazing feat of engineering. After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, a small group of Jewish people held out here for a few years until the Romans came and built a ramp to the top. When the Romans reached the top, the small brave band killed each other and committed suicide instead of being taken captive by the Romans. Today, Israelis pledge allegience here, and they say: "Masada shall never fall again." Ironic that today the Roman Empire is gone, yet Israel prevails! The beautiful view from the top of Masada was too much for words...
|Flag on top of Masada|
|Arrival at the top|
|The Roman Ramp|
|Aerial view of Masada (no, I didn't take this one)|
|Laundry dries fast in 96 degree heat and 11% humidity!|
|Salt, not ice...|
As we were settling down for the night, I heard a VERY LOUD noise, so I rushed to my window to see very loud and very fast jets flying up the Dead Sea. The next day, our tour leader told me that the IDF does that all the time, just to let the enemies of their state know that they are there - a warning of sorts. That night, I also noticed a HUGE bonfire at a neighboring hotel. I thought that was odd - seeing as the temps were still in the 90s after sundown - until someone told me the next day that it was a Lag b'Omer bonfire.