Print | Back

Masada: Up the Snake Path


 
I can’t believe
we’re going to climb that!
Thursday, December 31, 2009

after an early breakfast at the hotel, we set off on a one and one half hour bus ride east then south to Masada National Park. We traveled again through the West Bank and the beautiful Judean desert, where we passed Bedouins living in the same style that they have lived for hundreds of years. We even saw a camel “refueling” at a gas station.

Once at Masada, outfitted with plenty of water and cameras in hand, we began the 45 minute challenging ascent up, up, up the Snake Path. The kids reached the top first, and it quickly became evident who in the group has been frequenting the gym. Once on top, the view was amazing. We toured the archaeological sights and learned about how King Herod built Masada as a fortress and how the Zealots used it years later to protect themselves from the Romans. We learned how Masada’s violent fall four years after the fall of Jerusalem signaled the end of the Jewish revolt against Rome. We then rode the cable car down to the base and returned to the bus.

We continued our journey to the Dead Sea. When we arrived, we were treated to a bountiful lunch at the Hod Hamidbar Resort and Spa Hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. After lunch, we changed into our bathing suits and headed out to the beach to float in the Dead Sea. The water was colder than expected and felt a little like baby oil. The buoyancy was incredible. After floating, we tried some of the other available activities at the spa, such as the indoor heated Dead Sea pool. Then we returned to the bus and headed back to the hotel.

Later that evening, we gathered again to enjoy a festive New Year’s Eve dinner at a nearby restaurant called Joy in the German Colony neighborhood of Jerusalem, toasting our wonderful journey and newly formed friendships.

— The Schenker Family


Back to Israel Journal (2009)


Click on the thumbnails below to download and print
larger versions of the photos.


We took the Snake Path to the top of Masada.
We took the Snake Path to the top of Masada.
Climbing up up up up up up...
Climbing up up up up up up...
This is a great hike!
This is a great hike!
On top of Masada, just like the Zealots of old
On top of Masada, just like the Zealots of old
Descending into one of the cisterns
Descending into one of the cisterns
Light entering a hole in the roof of the cistern
Light entering a hole in the roof of the cistern
This is where the Romans broke through the wall to take Masada.
This is where the Romans broke through the wall to take Masada.
Admiring the view...
Admiring the view...
Playing the part of Elazar ben Yair
Playing the part of Elazar ben Yair
Remains of a Roman Legion camp as seen from the top of Masada
Remains of a Roman Legion camp as seen from the top of Masada
Each family composed a document outlining its basic values.
Each family composed a document outlining its basic values.
Floating at the lowest point on earth
Floating at the lowest point on earth
You can pick up the salt from the floor of the sea!
You can pick up the salt from the floor of the sea!
Everyone needs to rinse off after being in that water.
Everyone needs to rinse off after being in that water.
A relaxing dip in the 'normal' pool
A relaxing dip in the 'normal' pool