Herod the Master Builder
A visit to Masada confirmed King Herod knew how to build. Just in case he needed to escape, this legendary fortress included farmland, bathhouses, a synagogue, 2 palaces, and a water source. The story where Jewish refugees held off the Roman army for a handful of years is quite the tale. We hiked the snake path up the cliff, got quite a history lesson, and marveled at the view of the Dead Sea from the top.
Under the Radar
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, sitting at a surface elevation of -1,410.8′. “Flying under the radar” took on new meaning while watching jets book it through the Jordan Rift Valley where the Sea is located. High salt content made for a float-tastic experience! Warm-and-oily-feeling water, minerals, and Dead Sea Mud were staples in the spa treatment scene.
A Desert Gem
Many of the biblical Psalms were written at the oasis of Ein Gedi by King David while being hunted by King Saul. I have no doubt that fleeing for his life was gnarly, but this hideout was a sweet set up for creative inspiration. Refreshing waterfalls produced by a natural spring were a treat to beat desert heat.
Shenanigans & Spirituality
The Jordan River: a place of rafting, epic water fights and baptisms. Pastor Dave, had a blast baptizing a handful of our crew in water reminiscent of Thai green curry. Traveling with an aquatic crew proved that Israel’s water isn’t only found in camel humps, but we did make a pit stop at a gas station for the classic tourist experience of riding camels.