Some weeks ago, we went through the splendid streets of Jerusalem and I told you about all the excited things you could do there in 3 days. As promised, here we are again to conclude our trip in Israel!
After 3 days in Jerusalem,
let’s go for the magnificent Masada
Then the amazing Dead Sea while discovering
things to do in Israel
Part of the world heritage sites of UNESCO, Masada is an ancient fortress telling stories of power, toughness and dignity; its beauty is enthralling.
I suggest that you rent a car in Jerusalem to be autonomous. Within only two hours, you will reach this stronghold and start your trip.
Masada is at the borders of the Judean desert, between Sodom and Ein Gedi. The best period for going there, considering also the idea to take a bath besides the Dead Sea, is in between May and September where the weather is hot and there is a low probability of raining.
MASADA TELLS STORIES OF POWER, TOUGHNESS AND DIGNITY
According to some tales, the fortress of Masada must be attributed to the Hasmoneans (150 b.C). There is a part of the story that is certain: the king Erode chose Masada as his refuge against enemies and a place of rest during winter holidays.
Erode built sumptuous palaces, several buildings and many other defensive walls.
After his death and the successive annexation of Judea to the Roman Empire, the romans established some of their men there to guaranty the control and the protection.
Durant the great rebellion against them (66 a.C), Masada went conquered by the help of hit men, a Hebrew group of extremists who assaulted the fortress, then settled with wives and children and started living like a normal community. Exactly four years later, other refugees from the destruction of Jerusalem joined them (70 a.C).
Shortly (73 a.C), the Romans arrived again to besiege the fortress and cut out the last rebels deploying legionary Roman forces and auxiliary military groups. The siege took several months until the day when the 960 besieged, encouraged by a speech of Elazar Ban Yahir (captain of the fortress), lost any hope of freedom and preferred suicide to a shameless life of slavery under the Romans. The conquest of the Judea ended up with the decline of Masada.
THINGS TO DO IN ISRAEL:
MASADA NOWADAYS, AN UNMISSABLE WAY BACK IN THE PAST
Accessible to all since 1966, the National Park of Masada is a place you couldn’t miss once in Israel.
It’s possible to reach the top using the cableway or having a great (and challenging) walk through the Snake Path (within 45 minutes).
Several tours recommend that you enjoy Masada at the sunrise; it corresponds to about 5:30 am so the departure is at 3:30 am from Jerusalem. Gianluca and I were so tired that we couldn’t follow that suggestion but we believe that the panorama at that moment must be dazzling and you could take astonishing pictures!
For the lazy people like us, don’t be scared; that fortress offers peculiar landscapes at any time of the day! If it’s quite hot, take with you a hat for protection against the sun and a bottle of water because once you are the top, there is no shop where you could buy something.
You’ll be surrounded by the red and orange ground, the ruins, the Judean desert and the far away Dead Sea…
You’ll go through it reviewing in your mind the numerous battles endured by Masada but you’ll also be able to peace together the daily life of the Hebrews who lived there.
The synagogue, the houses, the bathrooms… it’s possible to seize the daily routine of the people who made of this fortress their home for years.
The panorama is just wonderful and turns Masada in the perfect place for parties, private events, concerts and even weddings!
Whether you are reckless and go to behold the sunrise against the horizon which gradually changes color filling eyes with marvels, or you are sleepyhead and reach Masada during the day, this stronghold will set you forth a breathtaking landscape and enrich you. It’s a MUST!
THINGS TO DO IN ISRAEL:
FROM MASADA, WE GO THROUGH EIN GEDI AND THEN DETOUR IN THE DEAD SEA
After the gorgeous Masada, driving for about one hour, we’ll reach the so-called Garden of Eden, let’s recall Ein Gedi.
Exactly at some paths from the beaches lying in front of the cobalt waters of the Dead Sea, here you can walk through the pure and luxurious green leading to different ways which allow you to contemplate the beauties offered by this piece of paradise; one of them is the flawless Shulamite waterfall.
And now? Here we are arrived on the banks of the world most peculiar sea!
The Dead Sea is found on the earth deepest depression; at approximately 395 meters under the sea level. Why is it so salty?
Due to its depression, the Dead Sea is almost without any emissaries and for thousands of years until today, it has received and still receives waters from the Jordan lake and other minor water streams which, while flowing, take huge amounts of salts from rocks and soils before ending up in the basin. The weather around the Dead Sea is extremely hot and dry; it then drives to a high evaporation which has promoted and still promotes the accumulation of salts presents in its waters.
Thanks to its very high salinity, it possesses healing properties useful for skin diseases. Don’t go back home without buying salts of the Dead Sea and muds in those numerous shops, so you’ll continue to take care of your skin once at home!
Taking a bath in those waters will help you to realize that… you float without any effort! You could relax reading a book while floating on water!
D o n ‘t m i s s t h i s e x p e r i e n c e.
With this article, we close our trip and the things to do in Israel!
Personally, I have been filled and enriched with story, beauty and unbelievable experiences,
Only in this spellbound corner of the universe.