This morning we packed up from our place on the Dead Sea and quickly made our way to Masada which means fortress. It is likely a refuge used by David which later became a fortress built up by Herod the Great. He never lived there, and since it protects nothing in particular it is really just a show of wealth and power.
We rode up on a cable car but climbed down the back, up another mountain then down again. I think George, our guide, wants to make sure we feel the landscape and don’t just see it.
Our next stop was Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Very important for Biblical interpretation.
Our third stop, at 4:30 pm, having started out at 7 am, and did I mention the heat, was the Jericho Road. Jesus took it to Jerusalem and told the story of the Good Samaritan about it. We, of course, walked it. At least those able to walk did. You will be glad to know that we are faring well in the health department and have done every walk. The training and prep was worth it.
This is no vacation. It is hard work and great learning. However it is also fun and invigorating and we stay in excellent hotels with a fine array of local food. We feel blessed. Blessed to be able to be this exhausted and yet eager for tomorrow.
We sleep in Bethlehem tonight. And not in a manger in a stable either.