Laura and I decided to join the optional trip to Masada and Qumran today and were glad we did. Masada was very impressive, although I had to get over my fear of cable cars to get to the top. We were there for about 90 minutes and moved by all the history we learned. That is the subject of the picture of the day. We had super weather too, much warmer here than in Jerusalem!
Backtracking on the bus to Qumran (both locations are right along the Dead Sea), we experienced the full fury of Holy Land tourism where hundreds were gathered at the restaurant/gift shop where we were scheduled to have lunch.
Far more seemed interested in buying
bath salts than experiencing the ruins. Still, once we got out in the open and saw the caves where the scrolls were found, it was all worth it.
We ended up our trip with a stop at a Dead Sea beach for those who wanted to float. It has been so cold it never crossed my mind (nor did a bring a suit), but all had a good time and Laura and I experienced a "low point" in our lives at 1200 ft below sea level.
Tomorrow we will be up very early to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
so we can experience worship there before the crowds arrive. Then we come back to St George's Cathedral where I am going to celebrate at the 11 AM service.
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