Masada and Dead Sea Spa
Trip Start Oct 14, 2007
28Trip End Nov 11, 2007
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We bussed out to Masada in the morning and when we arrived we were greeted with a beautiful, slightly hazy, typical, 92 degree day. When I was with Amanda we hiked up the snake path very early to watch the sun rise. Today I filled my camel back to the brim and hiked up during the hot day. Only 9 of the parents group (no kids today, they're in class) decided to hike up. It took me about 35 minutes, all were up by 50 minutes. The rest took the three minute tram. The views on the way up are really cool. The dead sea laid out before us with the hills of Jordan on the distance.
The hike and weather were good for me, I must have sweated out the last of the Bedouin tea as I felt good after the hike
The top is just a huge bonanza of history and ruins. The best preserved Roman siege sight, the water system, etc. This is my second time here and would love to come again.
The best part of the tour, given by the vice principle, is the new attitude toward Masada that has come about over the last decade. All soldiers used to come here for a swearing in ceremony. This practice has stopped and now the ceremony is held at the Western Wall. Why? Well, the Zealots, the Jews would fled to Masada, lived there for three years and in the end committed suicide rather then become Roman slaves, are really NOT considered heroes. "If these were the last Jews on earth then the religion would have died with them". In other words, they are NOT a good example of how to survive adversity and carry on. A nice, brave story, but the lesson here is that being smarter, thinking of compromises and remembering the actual goal should be given more thought.
We tram down, I buy a cool pair of Noats (Israeli Birkenstocks) at the gift shop and then we head to what I thought would be boring, a spa by the dead sea.
After a little lunch, we change into swim trunks and go into this super sulfur smelling, hot mineral pool. It feels slimy, hot and stinky. Luckily you stay in for only 15 minutes. While there I meet a nice gal from Belgium. She is black and as we talk I find out that she speaks 5 languages and is very interesting. Upon further discussion, I find out she is from Rwanda. She had escaped the genocide. When I mention the genocide, acting as if I am well versed on the subject (I did see hotel Rwanda!), she is surprised that I have even heard of her country.
After relaxing in the fresh water pool we take the tram down to the float in the dead sea. we have be shuttled down as the sea is evaporating pretty fast due to water consumption in the region. Some say the next war will be fought over water, not land. We then rub on smelly mud, let it dry, rinse off and then head to the fresh water swimming pool for R&R. I did all the silly soaking and mudding. Why? I assume it is to suck out all the bad chi and/or karma? I actually feel better. Maybe acupuncture is in the future!
While in the pool I did meet the life guard. He is a Russian immigrant and we discus how he felt like a second class citizen and was considering a return to the mother country
Side note : His take on Putin is that he has no money and the Oligarchs are the ones who run the show, and Putin is his puppet. I ask about the one Oligarch that was thrown in jail and all his assets seized by the state. He says it is all for show and guy is still living the good life!?
The day was long, but really nice. Camille and the kids are happy to see us when we get back for dinner?