Masada at Sunrise
We were so grateful to have a full moon today! Normally, our hikes have been conducted under the blazing Israeli sun, but today we decided to mix it up and hike up Masada before the sun even decided to make an appearance. We were jolted awake around 4:15 am and crept out into the still night landscape to begin our trek up the mountain. The hike was beautiful and the higher up we climbed, the more of the Dead Sea and the Jordanian mountains we could see. As we climbed up one of the ancient stair-masters of the world, we watched the landscape brighten and come alive as the sun crept up behind the mountains. Silent silhouettes slowly became illuminated and by the time we reached the top (around 5:45 am), the world below looked drastically different than the world we had awoken to. After a few group pictures (of course), we gathered along the fortress wall and watched the sun burst over the mountains and float higher and higher over one of the most beautiful landscapes we have ever seen. We took lots of photos - including enough elegant pictures of people doing yoga that another Birthright group thought we were a special yoga birthright program.
Drenched with sweat and only slight fatigue, we proceeded to tour the fortress that King Harod built. We viewed some lovely aqueducts and learned about the ways they got water up to the top of the mountain. It all seemed very complicated, to say the least. After our tour of the fort, we began our descent back down to reality.
After a quick breakfast we hopped on bus 144 and headed to that brilliant body of water we’d been ogling from the bus . . . The Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water on earth and also the lowest point below sea level. Upon plunging into the water, we were delighted to discover that all the rumors we’ve heard are true. You an float with no effort and even do synchronized swimming moves on the surface of the water with ease. We all took advantage of the excellent exfoliation options at the sea by slathering up in some bona fide Dead Sea mud, baking in the sun and hopping in the water and rinsing off to reveal the softest, smoothest skin we’ve ever had.
Our day continued with some recreational shopping back in Jerusalem and a night of rowdy laughter with an American-Israeli comedian. What a day!! We can’t believe tomorrow is our last day. L