Saturday, April 30, 2011

Masada Day Trip

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.

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