Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Back to Nature: Ein Gedi, Masada and Dead Sea

We got very lucky with some gorgeous sunshine on our back-to-nature day. It was a very full day, but I'm so happy we saw Ein Gedi, Masada and the Dead Sea. Each was more spectacular than the last.

Photo by Sarah

Ein Gedi is a huge nature reserve most famous for its waterfalls and wildlife. Though it is the middle of winter, we still saw some cute critters, like the Rock Hyrex.

We spent a few hours hiking around the falls. It was a bit tough with two pregnant women (both of whom were around 5-6 months!), but it was fun.

Photo by Sarah

We skipped the trail for "fit hikers only;" Photo by Kyle

Next up was Masada, an ancient Roman fortress. King Herod built the huge, fortified palace for himself between 37 and 31 BCE. It is most famous for the Roman Siege that led to the mass suicide of more than 900 Jewish rebels. The story behind it is amazing. I really recommend you read more about it.

I accidentally left my camera in the car, so all the photos of Masada are courtesy of Sarah and Kyle.

Overlooking the Dead Sea

Pictures do not do it justice. This complex is huge and so sophisticated for ancient times. Herod built enormous storerooms to house dried meat, wine, fruit, oil and more. He also built traditional Roman Baths, which included a hot room, a cold room and dressing rooms. Some of the ancient tiles still remain.

Wall decorations


Tiles in the Baths

The whole site was really well-done. I loved the models and videos that showed what the fortress might have looked like in ancient times.

After Masada we made our way to the Dead Sea. I had been looking forward to capturing the must-have "floating" pictures for weeks, but I had a bit of a meltdown in the changing rooms when my bathing suit that I had just bought the week before no longer fit. Thankfully Dan talked me down from the ledge and I was able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon playing in the water.

Photo by Sarah

It's really amazing how easy it is to float, and how hard it is to try and sink! 

Two pregnant ladies

This is such a beautiful part of the country. There are definitely worse ways to spend a day.

1 comment:

  1. You look so good! You guys are getting to see so much. Lucky ducks!