Typically, Masada (a desert fortress in Israel's Negev) is to be visited in the early morning hours in order to see the beautiful sunrise (see previous post here). However, I quickly learned that another popular reason to visit Masada in the wee hours of the morning (vs. the midday rush) is because....the weather is actually bearable around 5-6 a.m. Unfortunately, during my parents' visit to Israel, we did not make it to Masada until high noon....and I will not ever be doing that again. Looking back, it was worth the trip; however, if given a choice, I would spend the night in the Dead Sea area (a short 15 minute ride away) and wake up early to hike Masada.
Here we are arriving at Masada National Park:
We opted for the cable car to the top instead of the hike up (since temperatures were already soaring):
And here we are at the top of Masada, looking out over the Negev desert toward the Dead Sea:
The views from the top are phenomenal:
After taking in the views, it's time to explore the ancient Herodian ruins:
Before venturing onward, it's time for a sun break inside this shaded respite:
And back out we go to explore the site where nearly a thousand ancient Israelites historically took their lives at Masada in order to avoid their indisputable fate of slavery to the Roman people:
Masada is a huge place...and here we are on the tail end:
We had to make one final stop at the water storage tank to see what it looked like:
|How, exactly, did they get the water in here?|
|I think we might just sit here awhile, away from the oppressive sun...|
Hot and exhausted from our trip to Masada, we couldn't resist making a brief stop at the Dead Sea to get lunch and to take a dip (or...a float) in the cool, clear waters of the Yam HaMelach:
All freshened up, it was time to hit the road to head to Jordan (via Eilat) for our overnight trip to Petra! See post here.