Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Masada and the Dead Sea

Tuesday was an early day, we got up at 2am to leave for Masada at 2:30am. It was only about an 11/2 drive, but we wanted to be able to see the sunrise. Originally we were scheduled to go to Ramallah, but the flotilla incident changed our plans. Instead, we found ourselves waking up super early to climb a mountain, all before the sun was even up. Masada is only about 350meters high and the hike didn´t seem like it was going to be too long. Once we started hiking, we realized how steep the grade was. After a few mishaps with directions, we got onto the correct path and began our ascent. Having been a few years since my last hike and starting out at a very fast pace to try and reach the tip before the sunrise, I soon found myself behind the main group. I ended up hiking with a few other girls and we knew we wouldn´t be able to get to the top in time so we decided to hike as high as possible and then stop for the sunrise. It was gorgeous. Watching the sun rise over the Dead sea was certainly an experience.
Once we got to the top of Masada, we walked around and explored the ruins for a bit before hiking back down the mountain. It was strange to have already climbed a mountain before 6am Israel time. Everyone at home was just going to bed. We rested a bit and then began the drive to the Dead sea. It wasn´t quite what I expected. The shore was more rocky and the waves were crazy. I didn´t expect the sea to be quite so choppy. I went in anyway, eager to see what it was like. You can definitely float on the water, but not as much as I was expecting. After floating around a little while and getting some salt in my eyes, I got out and waited for the rest of the group to be done. I definitely had a great day and really enjoyed combining the mountains and the seas.

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