Friday, April 30, 2010

a day off!

Today we met at 8 to head out to Masada and the Dead Sea.

Stopped at Qumeran along the way - the area where in 1947 a pair of Bedouins stumbled across the Dead Sea Scrolls. A cool stop, to visit the area where the Essenes did their thing. Some suggest there's evidence that John the Baptist was an Essene, and that the apostle Paul was as well.

Masada was pretty cool, Herod built this amazing mountain top palace/stronghold, and then never spent any time there, except for a couple visits. It's an Israeli national symbol now ... and at one point the Byzantines built a church and had a monastery up there.

We drove through parts of the West Bank to get there, that was cool.

Best part of the day was the Dead Sea ... I've never ever floated before, I always sink, like most men in the company. We had a great time floating out in the water, goofing around with the black mud full of minerals all over us and paddling back out in to the water. It stung in our cut feet, and MAN does it burn if it gets in your eyes! It was a really great ending to the day - we'd been on our feet all day and listening to the tour guide. It was interesting stuff, we were just all so tired, so it was nice to have some time to play together in the mud and water.

We stopped at the Elvis diner on the way back, outside Jerusalem in the West Bank, in an area of Israeli control in the Palestinian territory.

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