Bella Ispirazione

5th Day: Masada and Dead Sea

A brief history

The fortress of Masada was built in the year 30 BCE by King Herod, whose architectural feats have left their mark throughout the country. At the beginning of the great revolt against Rome in the year 68 CE, the site was conquered by a group of Jewish zealots, and Masada became their last stronghold. In the year 72 the Romans besieged Masada and succeeded in reaching the steep fortress after constructing a huge earthen ramp on its western side. In the year 73, the 960 Jewish zealots living at the top of Masada chose to commit suicide rather than to fall into the hands of the Romans alive. Their deeds left behind a saga of courage, heroism, and martyrdom. (read more at https://www.touristisrael.com)

Our Day

Masada has a difference in altitude between the bottom of the path and the top of 350 meters, there are about 700 steps along the 2 kilometers of the path and can be ascended on foot by the winding “snake path” or by a cable car (opens at 8:00am) that runs from the tourist center at the feet of Masada. Many like to climb Masada at sunrise,  with the spectacular view across the Dead Sea. The average time for ascending the path is 45 minutes and 30 minutes to descend it. 

Last night we weren´t sure if we wanted to wake up very early to go watch the sunrise from Masada….but anyway we did it, not every day you find yourself in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. So we woke up at 4:50, took our car and at 5:45 we were on the base of Masada, starting our journey to the top.

Masada

Masada Masada Masada

We completed the snake path to the top of Masada in 1 hour (28 ILS if you go up and down walking, no funicular). We were really exhausted but we made to the top to enjoy the sunrise from there. Then we walked all around the ruins. 

Masada Masada Masada Masada Masada

Masada

It took us 40 minutes to go down and our legs were shaking.

We went back to the hostel (HI Ein Gedi hostel) to have breakfast and enjoy the view from our terrace to the Dead Sea. 

Breakfast at our hotel

From our hotel in Ein Bokek

From our hotel room in Ein Bokek

At 11:00 am we left the Hostel to go the Ein Bokek beach (30km from our hostel). We parked just in front of Daniel Hotel, where you can rent chairs and umbrellas. We took this amazing bath in the Dead Sea, that was a little cold, but just perfect to me, and yes, you´ll  float without realizing it and your skin will be smoother than ever. Just be careful of getting a sunstroke. 

Dead Sea Dead Sea Dead Sea

After using the public showers, we had a pretty simple lunch (55 ILS each) in a small mall close to the beach, where we got a  fine for parking in a place that seemed free (after 2 months, Avis has´t charged anything to us yet).

Our lunch

We took our car at 15:00 and 2.5 hours later we were in our airbnb in Eilat (36 euros per night). As it was winter, the sun sets early, so it was already dark when we got to Eilat.

Our airbnb was OK, although I specifically asked about cats because, as you probably already know, I have a pretty bad cat phobia, and I ended up running away (and screaming) because one street cat got inside the house and was chasing me….really…what a horrible experience. If by any chance you have cat phobia, AVOID EILAT, there are cats everywhere, we had to have dinner in Mc Donald´s (12.5 euros each) because it was the only place (inside a mall) where we didn´t see cats.

Anyway, we bought some groceries at the mini market close to our airbnb to prepare our breakfast in the morning (there was one cat inside the mini market too :O). And after this horrible afternoon (to me), we went to bed, making sure the door was fully close, as if a cat can actually open it.

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2 comments

  1. We’ve just read the latest Natgeo History issue. And King Herod may seem to have been vilified more than his other accomplishments. And we did not know there are resorts by the dead sea. That would really be a plus!

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