Israel Day 10 - Beit She'an, Masada and Ein Bokek

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Middle East » Israel » South District » Ein Bokek
November 2nd 2017
Published: February 14th 2018
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I have not been looking forward to today’s journey, we are heading to Eilat down R90, an Israeli controlled road which runs through The West Bank. But first, the Roman town of Beit She’an. You can climb the hill behind the town for a great view looking back across it.

We head out of Israel, and yet weirdly still in it, along Route 90. Security is tight; both on the ground and overhead, with MIGs speeding up and down the road corridor. The journey is without incident and we reach the other side of the West Bank. We know we have reached ‘civilisation’ when we spot a McDonalds in an oasis.

We reach the ancient town of Masada, which lies on a plateau above the Dead Sea, where 1000 Jews attempted to defend themselves against the might of the Roman Empire’s Tenth Legion. I’m impressed, I’ve seen the Tenth Legion in action on Dr Who and they look scary. Ultimately the people of Masada failed and took their own lives rather than be captured by the Roman soldiers (where’s Dr Who when you need him?) The town is reached either by following a footpath up the side of the mountain, or by cable car from the visitors’ centre. It’s sweltering hot, so we opt for the cable car, but there are a steady stream of nutters making their way up by foot.

Our room for the night is The Desert Inn in Neve Zohar. It’s a small settler community next door to the resort town of Ein Bokeh. It appears to have no redeeming features. The hotel isn’t a hotel; the village consists of prefabs put up for workers mining the Dead Sea for minerals for cosmetics. We are staying in one of these. The owner, who is lovely, has attempted to make up for the drabness of the hotel and its environment through her choice of bed linen.

We decide to go and see what the more up-market Ein Bokek has to offer. We are told to be back by dark, as Neve Zohar is locked at night (yes, the whole village locks itself in at dusk). We wander along the sea front past and watch the sun set over the Dead Sea. Then rush back to Neve Zohar before our curfew.

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