Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


About 1300 feet above the cities in the Dead Sea region you will find a plateau called Masada. What is now Masada the tourist attraction has a very colorful history. While there is continued debate in academic and archaeological circles about the details of what took place at Masada, the basic story is as follows - A group of Jews overtook Masada in the first Jewish-Roman war, the Jews making Masada what was discovered by archaeologists in the 60's. The Romans, not liking defeat so much, set up camps at the bottom of Masada (you can see the remnants in the following photo as squares on the ground) and proceeded to build a ramp out of boulders and dirt until they reached the top. The Jews, realizing that there was not much of an escape, applied the scorched-Earth method then committed suicide rather than face certain capture and execution. Again, theres much debate over these details, particularly the mass suicide aspect, which is kind of a big no-no in Judaism.

Dead Sea from Masada, Roman encampments

Ramp the Romans built

Palace Remnants

You can reach the top of Masada by taking the Snake Path, which are thousands of small steps going up the side of the plateau. Or you can take the tram and make it to the top in less that 8 hours. I recommend the latter :)

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Blogger john said...

Don't they recommend taking the steps in any situation to help a person exercise?
Lol! Just kidding. I think I would take the easy way up too.

1:06 PM

Anonymous Jason said...

Awesome pics.
You are wayyy up there. OMG- an 8 hr Tram ride to the top? I would just parachute back down.

4:36 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, yes John in most situations - 1300 feet of little Geisha girl stairs is not most situations. Although my aunt did that trek up the stairs before they put in the tram. She was 6 months pregnant with cousin Avi at the time ( I know, she is a super star!)

6:47 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, no Jason a tram ride instead of spending 8 hours climbing the little stairs to the top. Although the parachute down is a great idea! Next time!

6:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

imagine being a roman soldier in full armor


11:12 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Right cousin! And imagine in full amour and during a war, yikes.

6:03 PM

Blogger Michael said...

I haven't made it to Masada yet, either, but I really, really want to.

Thanks for posting the pictures.

7:18 AM

Blogger Jim said...

I'm sure you'll make it there Michael! Its fascinating given the history.

8:18 AM


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