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looking up to Masada

the view from the fortress

world's oldest synogogue

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MASADA...... Part 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. For this reason Masada became a very patriotic site for the people of Israel. It is vowed that Masada will never fall again.

I 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.

Once 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.

En 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.

MARTIN

Copyright 2001 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.