Yay for sleeping in! Since we didn’t have to leave the hotel until 11am, Jill and I slept in. We had intended on watching the sunrise over the Dead Sea from our hotel room… but we missed it by about 15 minutes. A bit disappointing, but I got to see pictures of it from others. It was nice, however, to take our time getting ready and repack our suitcases. My suitcase had gotten fairly disorganized by this point, so it was nice to make sure everything was in its proper place and to keep dirty clothes from fraternizing with the clean ones.
By 10:45 most of us had boarded the bus, and we headed back north a little ways to Masada. The word “masad” means “strong foundation.” Masada is a mountain plateau – it is 23 acres on top, and sits 900 feet high with a fabulous view of the Dead Sea. It was here that Herod built another one of his palaces as well as an army fortress. At the bottom we boarded a cable car that took us smoothly to the top. One of the first things I noticed at the top was how windy it was, but this helped the high temperatures feel not quite so hot. (more…)