Today began slow and leisurely. Some of us went “floating” and then packed in a panic. I spent the morning wrestling with the internet and then saying goodbye to a few items of clothing and some lollies.
That includes a dress, two petticoats, two pairs of socks, and a pair of leggings. Most of it I don’t care about, but I’m still trying to convince myself abandoning that dress was the right thing to do.
Anyway, we then headed back up north to Matsada, which we’d caught a glimpse of yesterday.
Matsada is another of Herod the Great’s building projects, a hill fort which was later used as a last refuge for the Jewish resistance against the Romans.
We met a tour guide originally from Melbourne who was rather excited to see us.
We saw a short movie, and then caught the cable-car up to the top.
About one thousand Jewish rebels sheltered here for about three years until 74AD.
Herod had left full storerooms…
… and water cisterns.
The Romans built eight camps around the fortress to intimidate them.
As we stood at the top, we saw some military planes flying below us. Apparently a lot of people come here to practice flying because it’s a long stretch of below sea level, which means the instruments don’t work properly.
Eventually the Romans built a land bridge and put a battering ram against the wall. The remaining rebels made the decision to commit mass suicide rather than become slaves.
Yuval kept saying, “But who won? Who won?” This seems a bit of a silly question to me, because almost 2000 years later, there’s no Roman Empire, but there is a state of Israel.
But there was a good view from the top.
There were quite a number of school groups there.
Most of us caught the cable car back down…
… but some walked.
At the bottom, we had lunch. I bought a pomegranate and a passionfruit slushy for 35 shekels (about $12).