Masada and the Dead Sea. November 17
Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
18Trip End Dec 04, 2013
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The ship docked at Haifa this morning which will be our home for the next 3 days. Today we drove to Masada, the Israeli equivalent of the Alamo. It was here that 960 Jews held off 10,000 roman soldiers for 3 months before ultimately committing suicide rather than being taken as slaves by the invaders. Equally interesting is that the location of Masada is where Herrod had built his winter palace. It is located on a plateau 1000 feet above the shores of the Dead Sea. Herod created quite a compound in the middle of the desert which included an elaborate system to collect and store the scant amount of rainfall in the area.
After lunch at a local hotel we spent several hours on the shores of the Dead Sea where many of us experienced the rather unique phenomenon of floating weightless in water that is 34% salt, ten times that of the Great Salt Lake
Along the 3 hour trip to get to Masada our guide regaled us with stories about Israel, its people, its history, compulsory military service, life in a kibbutz, relations with neighboring Jordan, the issues surrounding the Palestine state issue, Israeli economy and various other topics. She was simply one of the best guides we have ever had and I hope we will get her tomorrow when we visit Jerusalem.
Language lesson of the day: when greeted with "shalom (hello)" one responds with "shalom, shalom"! Also "good or okay" in Hebrew is "shababa(sp?)