Early in the morning four hikers left their nice hotel rooms and cozy beds to hike up Masada.
I took the following picture when about half way up:
And this one when at the top:
It was a steep hike with lots of stairs, and very hot, even for 6:30 in the morning, but we had a lot of fun and the view was amazing the whole way up. We made it to the top in about 45 minutes.
The rest of our group took a cable car and met us at the top. Boaz told us the story of Masada and gave us a tour all around the top.
In the synagogue on Masada there was a scribe hard at work. When he saw us taking pictures of him, he turned and looked up at us. Very cool.
After our tour of Masada was complete, we all took a cable car down the mountain.
Next we drove to, Ahava, the factory of dead sea mineral products.
On the way to the factory, we saw an ibex. Boaz quickly pulled the van off to the side of the road for us to take pictures of it and admire it. Count the rings on his horns to find out how old he is.
In the factory we learned about all the dead sea mineral products, creams, lotions, moisturizers, different creams for different aged skin, oily skin, dry skin, etc.
The four of us in the back seat of the van sometimes enjoyed each others company a little too much and we could get pretty silly. We were told to “shush” not a few times. This is the nice picture:
Ah- Mary and I didn’t quite get the memo that this was the “cool look” picture.
We went to Ein Gedi next. I didn’t have my camera with me for this stop so I am borrowing these pictures from some one else in our group. We had a Bible study time here before we went to the pools. In the Bible, King Saul wanted to kill David and tried to do so a few times. 1 Samuel 24 is the story of how David receives an opportunity to kill the king, but he says, the Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. And David does not kill Saul, but rather cuts off a piece from the hem of Saul’s robe.
We hiked a little ways to a few different pools that were each about 1-2 feet deep. The pools were refreshing, not only to our hot and sweaty bodies, but also to our eyes. In the midst of a desert, waterfalls and green is sweet.
Afterwards, we went to Jerusalem. Our last stop until the end of the trip. These picture were taken on the Mt. of Olives.
We had an uplifting time of worship and Bible study overlooking the view.
We drove a little ways from here, and stopped at the Chapel of Tears. More pretty view. More worship and Bible study. The Chapel of Tears was built in memory of when Jesus (probably over looking this view here) wept over Jerusalem. Luke 19:41.
Mary and I
Katrina and Barbara
That afternoon we checked into our fourth and last hotel of our trip, the Ramat Rachal Kibbutz. Every window in every room in this hotel has the city Bethlehem for a view. After dinner and showers, Mary and I, with Carl, and Christian and Sharona took a bus to Jaffa Road to do some street shopping and to enjoy the evening entertainment with the Israelis.
We went to a bakery/pastry shop and bought a few yummy things.
We also went to Jacob’s Pizza. Jacob is a good friend of Carl’s who loves the Lord. His pizza place is very, very near where Carl and his family lived in the Old City last year, and they became very good friends. We stopped by Jacob’s every day afterwards until the end of our trip. His pizza place is now one of my favorite places in the Old City. It is all brick, inside and out, and smells so delicious, inside and out!
Another long day comes to an end. Blessings from Israel abound. Our Jerusalem adventures have begun…