Holy Land Epic!
Massada Travel Blog› entry 5 of 18 › view all entries
From here we headed into
The landscape from there became barren but amazingly beautiful. The mountains of sandstone but mostly of sand were set against a striking blue sky. They weren’t particularly tall but amazing none the less.
From here we started our descent to the lowest place on Earth.
The land became flat and we were even able to see the city of
We continued down from there, all the way to 422 m below sea level (1385 ft). The
We continue in the flat lands, with an interesting grouping of plateaus in the distance. The flatlands continue to the sea. We head south from there. There are date palm plantations and several kibbutz dotting the land between the mountains and the sea.
We passed through another Palestinian check point and now, across the water, the mountains of
Within the wall of mountains, to our right, a plateau with steep cliffs is the magnificent Massada. It’s one of the most frequently visited sites in
The fortress of Massada was built in 30 BC by Herod the Great, who was a great architect whose designs can be seen through out the region.
So…we pull up and get in line to take the cable car to the top. You can take the twisty path that winds its way to the top. We file in and ascend to the plateau. The views of the valley and the
So, the guide took us around to the many sections of the ruins, many of which have been partially reconstructed. You are able to tell the difference between the original ruins and the reconstructed areas by the black line that delineates them.The most impressive structure on Massada is King Herod's northern palace, built on three rock terraces overlooking the gorge below. Near the palace is a large Roman style bath house with a colorful mosaic floor and walls decorated with murals.
From the lookouts you can see several Roman camps and areas of obvious water run off channels. The strategically placed palm groves surround or line little oasises in this barren plain.
In one of the buildings, that was mostly intact, some of the painted walls were still visible…amazing. Some floor mosaics also were intact. Also, on of the ends of a building had bricks arranges in geometric designs. The guide said she could see a menorah but…..I couldn’t.
We had a few minutes to look through the souvenir shop. They had many interesting crafts and ancient artifacts from the surrounding area, used in interesting way. Such was the case for the cross that we bought. It is a circle and a