|City Bus to Masada.|
After breakfast, we got on the tram for the Central Bus Station at about 8:30. There was a 9:40 a.m. bus, so we had a few minutes to wait at the departing gate. As chance would have it, I sat next to a Japanese fellow. We chatted and, as it turns out, he knew the company I worked for in Silicone Valley -- Alps Electric. Alps is a Japanese manufacturer of computer peripherals, so it's well known in Japan. It was fun reminiscing about some of the cities I used to visit while in Japan on business.
|Bedouin Settlement along the|
highway to Masada and the Dead Sea
Along the way we saw an occasional Bedouin settlement. Their dwellings look like temporary structures and seem to be made from plywood, cardboard and canvas. Most of the roofs are corrugated metal. Around their dwellings, herds of goats and/or sheep graze in the hot sun. There are about 130,000 Bedouin's in Israel and these nomadic people have been residents of the Middle East for the last 7000 years! Quite a history.
|After Hitch Hiking we arrive|
There are three ways to get to the top of Masada. One, the tram, was our choice and only takes a few minutes. The other two are trails one on each side of the mountain. One may choose to walk up and or down -- but in the heat of summer, we decided against it.
|On top of Masada with the Roman|
Fort and Visitor's Center below.
The rest of the mountain-top is a series of ancient cisterns, storage rooms, living quarters, pathways and public areas. Masada, as an archaeological find, is relatively new and was "rediscovered"
|At the "Commanders" Residence|
Using the audio tour as our guide, we wandered the 27 stations of Masada listening to the descriptions. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to explore the encampment. I'm sure there was much that we missed -- but it seemed a thorough way to see this ancient site.
At about 4 o:clock, we made our back to the Visitor's Center cafe for some lunch and cool drinks. We found the bus stop and headed back into Jerusalem. The bus came fairly quickly and we enjoyed the cool air conditioning and rest on the bus after an exhausting but interesting and enjoyable visit to Masada.
Stay tuned, reader, it "ain't" over yet!!