Today was a scheduled FREE day - we chose the option to continue our pilgrimage by traveling to Masada - Qumran - the Dead Sea.
Free Day Bus Trip - Our Daily Ride
Light Traffic - One Car & Camel
Cable Car Ride Up To Masada
Cable Car Option - 45 Minute Walk Up To Masada
Masada because of its height - standing well above the surrounding terrain - made it an excellent location for a fortress and winter home for Herod. At this elevation - plenty of sunshine in the cold winter months - in 2012 at end of July - temperatures were between 115F - 120F - not where you would spend your summer - winter another story. It was here that Herod built his winter escape. It was also here when Jews escaping Roman soldiers - rather than be captured - turned into slaves - killed - committed a mass suicide - refusing to allow their wives to be tortured - raped - agreed to kill off the entire community. Today - Masada - regarded by Jews as a very holy site - a symbol of the strength of commitment.
The Snake Path Gate
Everything Below Black LIne Original - Above Is Restoration Works
Listening About Herod's Palace
Early Sauna Room
Ruins Being Restored
Leaving Masada we next went to Qumran - the desert community location where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Mountain Region of Qumran
Cave Where Scrolls Were Found
Leaving Qumran - heading to the Dead Sea - to float on the water - bath in the mud which has healing properties - not your run of the mill beach - finding camels to ride
Hector - Camel Ride
Kathy - Camel Ride
The Dead Sea
Floating in Dead Sea & Applying Mud
$5 For One Minute - No Waiting
From the Dead Sea we headed back towards Jerusalem - stopping briefly on the way
where we met a boy offering camel rides
Ten Year Old Boy Offering Camel Rides
Next stop - the Church of the Good Shepherd - Daily Mass
Church Of The Good Shepherd
Another very full day - we ended the day by stopping at a local vendor to look at some pottery and honey dates - tired - we headed back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.
Praying Our Way Through Israel