This is Ellie and I’m going to be talking about what we did on Monday of our trip. After a day full of lots of food and good conversation, we took a different path and went on a big tourist adventure! We started out the morning by renting a car and Laura fearlessly drove us through the crazy streets of Jerusalem. We got lost one or two (or three) times but we eventually found our way out of the city in the right direction. Our first stop was the ancient fortress of Masala. It was here that King Harod had a fortress and, in 70 or so A.D, the Jewish people that were inhabiting the plateau were overthrown by the Romans. It was very interesting to be there, taking in more of the Jewish narrative and exploring old ruins. After a very hot couple hours, we got back in the car and drove to Ein Gedi, a nature reserve. We weren’t sure what to expect, but after hiking about a mile we came across the most beautiful waterfalls. The pure beauty of nature has always been something I have loved and the waterfalls in the middle of the Judean Desert were no exception. After our hike we found a beach to take a dip in the Dead Sea. It was very salty and very very hot! We floated for a while and then headed back to Jerusalem to rest.
Today was more of a tourist day compared to the others we have had. However, I never stopped looking at today through both Israeli and Palestinian eyes. This country is absolutely beautiful and I can travel 9000 miles to come and see it. However, many Palestinians can’t travel the 15 kilometers (and technically the Dead Sea is in the West Bank) to see their own backyard. I hope that someday every person that lives in this country will get to see waterfalls and float in the Dead Sea.
We are excited to keep sharing our adventures and leaning with you!
Shalom and Ma’assalama.