Israel 2017 (part III): along the Dead Sea

Dead Sea, Israel:

reading the guide book while floating in the Dead Sea

reading the guide book while floating in the Dead Sea

My journey continued from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.

Our first stop along the Dead Sea was Qasr el Yahud, the site where Jesus was baptised by John (according to tradition). I was surprised that the famous Jordan River is merely a stream of a couple of metres width, but the whole setting was quite serene. Next we took a short hike into the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve which includes a couple of beautiful water falls and protects several animal species such as the Nubian Ibex and the Rock Hyrax. Nevertheless, the absolute highlight of the trip was the visit to the ancient fortress of Masada! An isolated rock plateau overlooking the Jordan Rift Valley was inhabited in ancient times and host to one of the major events of the First Jewish-Roman War. Jewish rebels were besieged here by the Roman army from 73 to 74 AD until they all committed suicide once their defeat became inevitable. Today Masada is a symbol of Jewish Heroism.

I really liked our drive along the Dead Sea with its many magnificent sights, but wished I had more time for each of them! I think it would have been particularly useful to reach Ein Gedi earlier to see more of the wildlife.

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