of the protection of this mountain top fortress along the Dead Sea
was the fact that it was impossible to find from the ground below.
Masada was the last Jewish site to fall to the Romans in 70 A.D.
this reason Masada became a very patriotic site for the people of
It is vowed that Masada will never fall again.
got up around 5:00 A.M. to hike the mountain and see the sunrise
from on top. I was a little late. Sunrise was two thirds of the
way up. I welcomed the break and had breakfast.
on top, I found that it was mostly rubble. There were remains of
some buildings like the oldest synagogue in the world. Still, it
took me a few hours to fully explore the ruins.
Gedi, a short distance from Masada, was the swimming stop at the
Dead Sea. I expected some sort of town, but
there wasn't any that I could see. I was a little skeptical when
the bus driver told me it was my stop. I'd been warned that the
water was slimy and not enjoyable. Wrong! Yes, it was slimy, but
for a non-swimmer like me, it was so great. I loved floating and
it was absolutely impossible to sink in the water. I stayed in quite
a while and had a great time. A lesson learned the hard way -- I
got a painful splash in the eyes and rushed for the showers on the
beach. It was equally unpleasant when some of the water splashed
into my mouth.