Friday, January 28, 2011


I got to Masada today. I can't remember the last time I was there. I had recently read Yigal Yadin's book on the excavations he headed there, and enjoyed the visit immensely. It was quite hot up on the summit and I was happy the guys I were with did not feel the need to stay there too long. We then took a trip up to Jerusalem, were prevented from going to the east side of the old city by the cops, but had a good time anyway.

The painted walls in Herod's palace are quite something. The color, while garish, were typical of high class Roman buildings of the period (If one can believe Time Team).
These birds were very friendly. I assume they are used to people feeding them. Jacky thought they looked like they were panhandling for money.
There seems to have been a whole lot more reconstruction since the last time I was here (more than 10 years back probably). The views are spectacular.
I remember the first time I went to Masada. I must have been 14 or 15 years old, on a trip with my folks. We went into this cistern and the guide told us the story of how they collected and stored water on the summit. The water management systems of the people of these times are quite extraordinary.

All in all a good day. I will sleep well tonight, then tomorrow it's off to the north.

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