Friday, November 18, 2011


Masada is a desert fortress/palace built by Herod but used by other groups fleeing from or protecting Jerusalem.  It went undiscovered and untouched for nearly 1300 years (I think I remember that correctly.)  Now it is a UNESCO Heritage Site.  And again I am amazed that something like this was built more than 2000 years ago in the middle of the desert!

Masada is built on top of a mesa, high above the desert.  Today there are three ways to get up to it.  A gondola, the serpant path which winds up the mountain with trail and stairs, and a ramp built by the Romans to attack the fortress.  Chris was eager to try the serpent path but we were short on time.  Our guide said a quick trip up would be 30 minutes but 45 minutes was more likely.  We took the gondola and Chris chose the serpent path.  He said not to wait for him at the top but promised he would not be far behind.  We watched a short film about Masada, got on the gondola, and caught this photo of Chris running up.  He made it in 16 minutes - according to Shmuel that is certainly a record!  We did not have to wait for him and he missed none of the tour!

From the top of Masada you can see the
Dead Sea in the distance

An original mosaic floor from the time of Herod

Kids checking out the view

Kids checking out the display which demonstrates the unique
water capturing system built to sustain Masada in the desert.
Canals were built along the ridges to divert rain water
into huge cisterns dug into the bedrock below.

Our whole group
(The small black spot is a person on the portion of
Masada which juts our over a cliff)

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