Blogs from Masada, South District, Israel, Middle East


Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada October 17th 2017

Our last day in the south. We spent 3 hours in Masada today. If you have never heard of Masada please google it. Very interesting I'm glad we weren't there I July-Aug it gets very hot. We are pretty tired tonight as we have to get ready for our trip north to Jerusalem. So I will be brief on the text Here are some photos from today. Lowell... read more

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada March 8th 2016

The reason I got up so early this morning was that today is a day for rejuvenation and learning! I booked a tour to visit Masada and the Dead Sea. Visiting the lowest point on Earth at 1400 feet below sea level was worth it on so many levels (pun intended). The bus picked us up at 7:30, and then ran through Jerusalem to pick up a few more people, before heading towards the Jordanian border and the Dead Sea. On the bus ride, I met a great group of people: 2 other Vermonters, a Houstonian, 2 Canadians, and a couple Californians. I spent the day bouncing between them for conversation and entertainment. First we stopped at a private beach on the north shore of the Dead Sea where we dropped off a few people that ... read more
Where Islam says Moses is buried
Qumran caves
The desert from Masada

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada June 21st 2015

Last night's concert went relatively well, though it wasn't particularly well-attended. Then again we were performing in a kibbutz in the middle of a desert so I'm not sure how many people would realistically have been able to show up. Once that was done with we basically stormed the hotel bar since they told us they'd keep it open until 1:30ish just for us. I'm pretty sure they were wiped clear of any and all alcohol - nicely done boys! The following morning was definitely a bit of a struggle, but at least we had the smorgasbord breakfast to look forward to again. At 8:15 we were off to Masada! Around 30 B.C. King Herod built a palace complex and fortress on a fairly remote desert mountain - l have no idea why anyone would want ... read more
Cable car up/down
Overlooking the desert from Masada

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada May 28th 2014

We were out of the hotel at 7:30 this morning and off retracing part of our route from yesterday. Nadav did some teaching about the status of different Arabs in Israel - Israelis, West Bank, and the special status for East Jerusalem. Then as we headed down along the Dead Sea he taught about the geology and environment, especially about the reasons the water level in northern Dead Sea is getting lower by 5 feet (maybe it was meters?) a year. Where the sea is shallow, that can mean losing dozens of meters of shoreline. This has been clear on all my trips to Israel, as the locations in norther Dead Sea from which one can go "swim" in the water add more paved road and trams down to reach the water from the changing rooms ... read more
photo 2
Lobby of Hod Hamidbar hotel and spa
In the shade for orientation to Masada

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada May 11th 2014

Beautiful weather today for our trip to Masada. We stopped on the way there for a breakfast picnic of Halla bread, hummus, cucumbers and cream cheese and then headed out to Masada where we walked the grounds and visited the museum. Then, back home where Tslil gave us a tour of his workshop and then we were treated to a bar-b-q.... read more

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada May 10th 2013

We started our trip today with Matt, Nikki, Daniel, Ralph and Dorothy. We stopped at Qumran to see where the Dead Sea scrolls had been found in 1947. Can I say Ho Hum? As we left the best part of our trip was about to begin. We were on our way to Masada. This was one of the reasons I had wanted to take this cruise. Masada is a U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage site. Driving alongside the Dead Sea we saw beautiful views around every turn to our left. The colors were turquoise and white from the salt. To our right were rolling hills. All of a sudden, the hills flattened out and we was what looked like a ship in the desert. It was Masada and even at a distance you could tell it was enormous. ... read more
T and T at Masada
Enjoying the Float!
Ahhh, this is the life!

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada February 2nd 2013

Changing faces of Israel We leave Henry asleep (mostly) in Aleeza’s bed (she was kind enough to give us her bed while she slept on her pullout couch). Early morning on Shabbat, even in the party-city Tel Aviv, is very quiet. A few streetcleaners and one or two cars, even in this central location. We walk to our pick-up location, a nearby hotel, and easily spot the loosely bunched group of foreigners on the lookout for a leader. A compact fifteen-seater van/bus pulls up and we’re off. This is an English-speaking tour but we have Germans and one Greek man in addition to the handful of Americans. This is my first jaunt out of Tel Aviv and I avidly watch the landscapes outside. Tel Aviv metro area quickly drops off to be replaced by wooded shrubby ... read more
Dead Sea!
Cable car up to Masada
Masada ruins

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada May 25th 2012

I must first mention this evening that I am sitting in my top floor hotel room in Old Town Jerusalem, beverage in hand. The Sabbath is in full effect here, as it is every Friday night at sundown, which means that the town almost falls silent. Earlier a large group of us congregated up on the roof as fireworks echoed around us, but the lack of crowd noise and the background noise of cars once per week is such a contrast to the norm. But something must be open a few floors beneath me on the street, as I can still hear the din of a crowd socializing. Saxophone, of all things, wafts up through my open window. Jerusalem never seems to disappoint or fail to surprise. The final day of our trip down south was ... read more
Chief Ibex.
Storehouses at Masada.
Brian and Dr. Dallaire at the entrance to Qumran Cave 11.

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada June 22nd 2011

What a thrill to drive through Jerusalem a second time and then journey over to the far side of the promised land. Along the way we were startled and amazed to see the vegetation and terrain change so drastically from green trees and shrub-filled hills to sandy, rocky, desert mountains descending sharply to the Dead Sea. Along the way we saw Jericho off in the distance. We then learned about the Bedowin people and kabutz villages along the Dead Sea. Our bus made a rest stop in Qumran and there we learned how a bedowin shepherd boy found the Dead Sea scrolls in a cave. The scrolls were well preserved in clay jars and the boy was said to have taken some of the parchment to a shoe cobbler - who promised to make the boy ... read more
A Cave In Qumran
Ruins of Masada
Ascending Up to Masada

Middle East » Israel » South District » Masada May 29th 2011

MASADA AND THE DEAD SEA Regent offered all of the world cruisers an extensive tour of Israel with an overnight in Jerusalem. We had a choice of a tour with a Christian focus or a Jewish focus. We opted for the Jewish tour because of the places that we would see and especially because we would be able to swim in the Dead Sea. We started our two day exploration of Israel early on a sunny morning. Our guide, an Israeli woman named Nurit which means ”Buttercup" in Hebrew, would be sharing her knowledge and love of her homeland. As we drove across Israel we were astonished by the agriculture. This country is the world’s leader in developing irrigation and water conservation techniques thereby turning desert wasteland into a bountiful breadbasket. Fruit trees, tomatoes, melons, vineyards, ... read more

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