Coaching from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea area was quite an experience. The Judean Desert was so vast, so bleak, so empty and so dry. It’s easy to imagine John the Baptist hanging out there. The intense heat seemed to bounce off the shimmering sand. Not the place to be without water! We stopped at various places and read relevant Biblical passages, as we sheltered from the blazing sun under convenient shelters. (No good having the tourists dying of sun stroke!)
Qumran was where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, high up the hillside in caves not usually reached. I wondered if there were any more scrolls there, but no doubt they have been thoroughly searched. Qumran was hot, hot.
Our next visit was to Masada, an isolated rock plateau where Herod the Great built one of his fortresses. About forty years previously a group of Jewish rebels, the Sicarii, committed mass suicide rather than be captured by the Romans. Stirring stuff. We travelled up and down by cable car, though some tough members of our party walked down. Again it was hot, hot.
Keep reading, there is more to come.
Carol, still travelling in the Holy Land.