Driving south thru the Judean wilderness towards the Dead Sea we headed towards Masada, the site of King Herod's fortress in the desert where the Jewish Zealots took refuge during the revolt against the Romans. Herod had constructed this fortress high above the desert and it was well fortified with arms, supplies, and food. Around 66 AD, the Romans surrounded the Zealots in the fortress but could not penetrate the mound. Finally, the Romans built a ramp to the gates and stormed them with battering rams to gain entry. The Zealots decided that death as a free man was preferable to life as a slave to the Romans, so they killed their wives and children, then drew lots to see who would kill the remaining men, then fall upon their own sword.
We ascended to this fortress on a cable car, with Charlotte huddled in the middle so we could protect her! We got her up there and back down, none the worse for the wear. Another fascinating site!
Before we forget...we need to say "Happy Birthday" to Jack-B-Quick!! From Susie and all of her new best friends here in the desert!
We spent the rest of the day driving thru the desert, around the Dead Sea and then past the Red Sea, to the town of Eilat, where looking across the Red sea, you could see Saudi Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt .
The Dead Sea is a turquoise color with white salt edges and mounds all around it. In contrast, the Red Sea, is a brilliant sapphire blue and refreshingly clear. We drove several hours, stopping for french fries and ice cream at another kibbutz which runs a dairy farm. We crossed the border into Jordan, without any difficulty (even Pastor Kevin was cleared for passage....he wore his hat today! :) We arrived after dark at our hotel in Petra, which is just beautiful!
Pat was feeling rather frisky this evening and began giving "dancing instruction" to Nancy! Omar Abdul just happened to pass by so Pat got to do her dance with the Arab! Photos will follow for sure!!
Melody (aka as Debbie #4) says Hi to Dad and hopes he is reading this so he will know that she is behaving and having a great deal of fun! We have all adopted her as our own!
Tomorrow we walk the five miles thru Petra and then we will head for Amman!