MadTrippin

The Amazing Race Meets National Lampoon’s Vacation

Posts Tagged ‘romans’

Andrew’s Day 7

Posted by madtrippin on April 14, 2008

Today we headed out to the desert.  First we went to the Ahava factory.  Ahava is really high end skin care products made from the minerals and mud from the Dead Sea.  I’m pretty sure that was for the ladies of the group.

 

After that we went to Mesada, which is where a Jewish sect of about 900 called the Zealots holed up against the Roman army for 3 years (year 70 AD).  The settlement/palace was built on the top of a mountain by Herod as an escape from the Romans (which he never even visited) and only accessible by a crazy climb or cable car.  Because it was so remote, the ruins are fairly well intact.  The photo is of the remains of the ritual bath area. 

 

On the way out, Gabe and I spotted another mullet.  We could take hundreds of mullet shots every day, but this one was funny because he was wearing a sailing hat.

 

By the time the Romans were almost able to enter the city, the entire population (aside from 3 women who hid in a water cistern) were dead.  The men had taken care of the women and children and then killed each other.  One of the remaining women killed the last man.  This is where we get the term “zealot” – from this Jewish sect.

 

We then went and saw where the area the dead sea scrolls were found – Qumran.  It was found in a cave (pictured) by two Bedouin (sp?) shepherd boys by accident.  They had lost their sheep and were throwing stones into the mouth of a cave to kill time and heard one stone crash into a jar, so they went to investigate and found the scrolls.

 

Next we went to the Dead Sea for a dip.  Of our group of 16, only 5 of us went in.  Because I went in, I didn’t get in pics.  My dad did and I’ll try and get those up before I get back.  The experience was awesome.  You float with zero effort and in as little water as 16 inches. 

 

As I mentioned in the entry about Ahava, the mud and minerals are used for skin care.  The water feels slippery or oily.  The mud is ultra-fine and you are supposed to smear it on your skin with positive effects.  It definitely exfoliates and your supposed to feel the effects for a few days after your swim.

 

We then went to Jericho, which is a Palestinian area.  It was interesting because it’s not a very popular place for tourist.  We saw a famous 2000 year old sycamore from the story or Jesus and Zacheus.

 

Finally, on the way home, our bus just about died.  The air conditioner crapped out, the bus sputtered to a stop and black water started pouring out of vents in the ceiling.  Eventually it got up and running and we limped back to the hotel.

Posted in Israel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Andrew’s Day 2

Posted by madtrippin on April 9, 2008

Today we went to the Sea of Galilee, which is really a large large, freshwater lake (4 miles by 22 miles or so).  We took a 30-40 minute boat ride with some site-seeing.

They have a boat they call the Jesus boat at the museum.  Jesus really had nothing to do with it, but it was dated to the time of Jesus.  I suspect adding Jesus to the name is just a marketing hook and it seemed to be working.  I was impressed with the gift shop.  They advertised their website – jesusboat.com – on everything.

I also got an opportunity to do some mullet hunting.  I bagged a couple of good ones today with Gabe’s help doing spotting and with being a decoy, but again… I couldn’t upload them.  Tomorrow we’ll be in a new  hotel and the pictures will be up. 

We also went to a couple other holy sites (who’s names escape me at the moment).  Most notably the church that contains the altar (more of the remnants of and altar) where Jesus is said to have performed the miracle of the fishes and loaves.  They had a great koi pond and crazy, original mosaics that were totally restored (pictures tomorrow night).

The coolest place, in my opinion, was Bet She’An.  It’s an old Roman/Byzantine ruins site.  Very cool stuff – columns, a theater, aquaducts, mosaics, etc. 

I’ll be glad to move move on to Jerusalem tomorrow.  This place is about 1.5 miles out of the city and the hotel goes dead in the evening with all the older people going to bed at 9:00.  I guess the new hotel rocks and is actually in more of a metro area. 

 

Posted in Israel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »