West Bank

Day 7:

Our seventh day in Israel was the hottest day of our trip and also the day we climbed Masada! Unlike most groups, who usually climb the Roman Ramp to the top, our group decided to climb the much more difficult and much longer Snake Trail to the top of Masada. We actually rescheduled the hike to earlier in the day because of the heat so we were up bright and early to begin our day.

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Checking out the Dead Sea from the top!
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Ruins of palaces built by King Herod between 37 and 31 BCE.
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Masada was settled again after the destruction of the second temple by a group of rebel Jews, the Sicarii, after they killed the Roman garrison. They remained there until the Romans laid siege on Masada in 73 CE by building what is now called the Roman Ramp. The ramp is regularly used by hikers to get to the top of Masada.

After walking through the ruins on top of Masada we took the cable cars back down to lower ground and hopped back on the bus, this time headed for Ein Gedi. Ein Gedi is a beautiful oasis and nature preserve located West of the Dead Sea. In the book of Samuel, Ein Gedi is noted as the location where King David hides while King Saul seeks him out.

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The Dead Sea may be the lowest point on Earth, but it was definitely one of the high points of my trip! There really isn’t a good enough way to describe just how cool it feels to be in the Dead Sea. I would suggest to anyone traveling to make sure that they pay this incredible place a visit! The Dead Sea gets its’ name due to the harsh environment the high salt content of the water creates, plants and animals can’t flourish there.

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After washing the salt out of our hair, we headed to our final destination for the day, the middle of the desert. That night we got a taste of Bedouin hospitality. We ate dinner on pillows on the floor and slept in tents under the stars.

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Bus 204 serenades the Bedouin camp.

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