Yesterday, Saturday, I took a day off from touring and caught up with my posts. Last night we had a wonderful Italian dinner at a tiny neighborhood restaurant called Cielo.
We were up bright and early this morning, Sunday, and were picked up by a new guide named Shimon for our trip to Masada and the Dead Sea. The landscape changed vey quickly from urban Jerusalem to the desert. Shimon gave us a lot of information and history on the way to our first stop, Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
Wait, where are we on this vacation? Particularly funny since we go to Hawaii every year!!
Click on photos to enlarge.
Our next stop was Masada. We took the cable car to the top and Shimon guided us through the ruins. Masada was the site of Herod the Great’s palaces between 37 and 31 BCE. The siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire ended in the mass suicide of 960 people – the Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there.
We had lunch when we returned to the bottom and then headed to Ein Getti, an Oasis in the desert. Clifford and Neal walked to the Oasis while Ellen and I had an ice cream.
Shimon then drove is through a kibbutz. I didn’t get very good photos because the car was moving.
We then we arrived at a beach where we could swim in the Dead Sea. Ellen and Clifford decided to pass on the swim and Shimon took me and Neal down to the water. I walked in, carefully because it was very slippery, turned over and floated in the water. It was an experience! The place was teeming with tourists, not in the water, but the waiting areas an dressing rooms.
We headed home, rested for awhile, and then walked to a wonderful restaurant called Dolfin, suggested by Shimon. They served about six different Israeli appetizers and fresh-baked pita before the meal. I skipped the main course and just ate the appetizers.