Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Yad Vashem: Trip to Masada and the Dead Sea

Yad Vashem had a field trip planned for our group today. It was a welcomed break from our week of study. We boarded our bus and set out from Jerusalem heading towards the Dead Sea. Once you leave the hills of Jerusalem you enter the West Band briefly and swing by Jericho. The terrain is very different than the city. As you can see the Judean hillside is pretty desolate. I did not get great pictures because we were on the bus but the hillside is dotted with Bedouin tent villages with shepherds tending the sheep.When you leave Jerusalem you are headed down! In about an hour's time you descend about 1,000 meters or so. We stopped at the Sea Level marker and, of course a Bedouin was selling rides on his camel.

I like this photo below. The camel is peeking out from behind Saud.

I've never known an Arab who didn't have tea close at hand. Saud's teapot and blankets where sitting so close to the edge of plateau that we were on.

Here I am at Sea Level. We still had quite a way to go - the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth.

Masada from a distance (taken from the bus...hence the reflection).

On top of Masada looking out over the Dead Sea. Across the sea is Jordan. The mountains are hazy but apparently it was a clear day.

Blackbirds on top of Masada.
Ibex walking along the road next to the Dead Sea. They are indigenous to Israel and are mentioned in the Bible.
The Dead Sea with Jordanian mountains in the background. We stopped at a beach on the and floated in the Dead Sea...that's after we slathered mineral mud on ourselves. You really do float, you can lie on your back, your stomach, or float vertical. I did not take photos because I was busy floating. However photos will be forthcoming thanks to one of the 'chickens' on the trip who did not go in the water. The Sea which has a very high salt content, and the mineral mud is very good for your skin and relaxes you. We had a very nice ride back to Jerusalem.
Tomorrow we leave for an overnight up north to the Galilee and the Golan Heights. See you when I get back.


Cynthia said...

A Mideast spa treatment, au naturel!

Suzanne said...

You betcha!!sw

hoppy said...

You look better at sea level than at great heights! Great shots as always. What fun.