Today was one of the most picturesque days we’ve had since we’ve been here. Jerusalem was beautiful and we loved walking around the old city, but as we traveled to the Negev into the desert, we saw a different side of Israel we haven’t seen since we arrived. When we arrived to the bottom of Masada, we watched a really comical video of the history of Masada, then it was time to take the cable car up to the top of the mountain.
When we arrived at the top, our tour guide informed us that, where we were was below sea level near the dead sea, and being at the top of this mountain was now sea level. As we listened to Tayla, our tour guide, with the beautiful vastness of the desert as our backdrop, we learned about how King Herod built his fortress and how people were able to survive in the desert. There was even a miniature model of Masada that helped Tayla demonstrate how water was brought to the desert!
After learning about the history of Masada and it’s role as a part of Israel’s history, it was time to make a crucial decision. To walk down Masada or take the cable car down. For me personally, I was hesitant because it looked like a long way down and the sun was beaming down directly on us. But when it came time to make that faithful decision, I along with about half our group decided to walk down the Snake Path!
The walk down was actually very demanding. There were very few clouds in the sky and Tayla gave us tips all the way down the mountain and how to step in certain places when the railing disappeared but we made it and in the end we were greatly rewarded when we got to float in the Dead Sea!
Our day went from high to low, the lowest of depths, but in the greatest way! As we floated in the warm salt water, our professor jokingly told us not to float away to Jordan because the country is actually across the sea! It was a physically exhausting day, but it was a great one.
– Steph Apollon