Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 91 Ashdod, Israel

We squeezed everything we could out of our Israeli adventure today. Ed, Becky & I met up with our guide, Danny, at 7:00 am and headed for Masada, the last stronghold of Jewish freedom fighters against the Roman Legions around 74 CE. The Jewish Freedom Fighters held out against the Romans for around 3 years. When it became apparent that the Romans would overrun the fortress, around 1000 survivors committed suicide rather than submitting to the Romans. The visit to Masada was very moving…. It is easy to see hold things transpired back then. The remnants of the Roman camps, where the Tower was brought to bear against the fortress and the strengths of the stronghold itself help tell the story. The dramatic scenery around Masada is breathtaking. At times it reminds me of the southwestern USA. On top of that, the beautiful color of the Dead Sea as a backdrop makes it all the more spectacular…. The cable car ride up and down the mountain was quite nice as well. If we had had more time it would have been nice to hike it. At noon, we headed out from the Dead Sea & Masada toward our next destination, Jerusalem…. The drive, once agin was nice filled with great landscape, Bedouin camps and lovely cities. Before we went into Jerusalem, we went up to an amazing viewpoint to capture the entire city with the Dome of the Rock from and center… beautiful! Then came the challenge of finding a parking spot (a big challenge for Jerusalem). Danny did a nice job getting us situated. We entered the old city through the Jaffa Gate and from there it was a great explorations of all the various quarters, Armenian, Arab, Jewish, Christian…. Danny took us to great view points throughout the city and to a number of highlights like the Western (Wailing ) Wall, the Via Dolorosa (stations of the cross), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to name a few. At 5:00 we headed back to the car to go to a restaurant in Jerusalem. It was great seeing my friend Dikla… I haven’t seen her in about four years. It was nice of her to come from Tel Aviv to join us for dinner. We had a great time and it was sad to have the evening end….. What a great day!!!


John--Phuket said...

Have family in Israel-seeing your photos has made me decide to revisit them THIS year--Shalom !

Anonymous said...

What an incredible landscape! I'm so glad this port wasn't cancelled for you all. Seeing these photos, I am trying to imagine being a bedouin, wandering around the vast and endless terrain... and those individuals who made such historical, significant discoveries.

Thanks for the "visit" to see some of these Biblical sites, Jeff! Just wonderful!