Emerging from a tunnel under Mt Scopus, I get my first sighting of ‘The Wall’ and illegal Israeli settlements lining cliff top positions in the West Bank. There has to be fair negotiations, and accommodation in some form to right this wrong.
Reaching the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, I see Jordan just across the water with settlements on the opposite bank. This whole part of Palestine (and Jerusalem) belonged to Jordan until the 6-day War in 1967.
A cable car takes us up to Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage site of the impregnable fortress where King Herod the Great built one of his Palace complexes 2,000 years ago. In the Jewish Rebellion of the late 1st century, many Jews escaped to Masada and survived on the massive stores until Roman Legions laid siege and recaptured the site.
After all my walking yesterday, a massage is in order! And what better place than a spa on the shore of the Dead Sea! And a big bear of a young Russian with ham fists did a wonderful job.
It’s interesting to note that in the area where all the hotels are located, the water of the Dead Sea is channeled in from further north as this end dried up some time ago. I chose to have lunch over taking a dip.
But, I couldn’t be here without at least putting my hands in. So slippery and oily, and even after trying to dry them on my shirt, they still felt wet!