The Last Day – Matsada (Dead Sea)

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.

01 - Goodbye

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.

Map - Matsada

02 - Matsada

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.

03 - The Green Koala

the “Green Koala” tells you to put cans and bottles in the bin

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.

04 - Storeroom

Herod had left full storerooms…

08 - Water Cistern

… and water cisterns.

The Romans built eight camps around the fortress to intimidate them.

06 - Roman Camp

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.

05 - View

There were quite a number of school groups there.

Most of us caught the cable car back down…

11 - Cable Car Stats

… but some walked.

10 - Stairs

At the bottom, we had lunch. I bought a pomegranate and a passionfruit slushy for 35 shekels (about $12).

12 - Before

13 - After


One thought on “The Last Day – Matsada (Dead Sea)

  1. Helen Hayes says:

    Really interesting blog, and photos. What a wonderful and interesting trip you have had. Thank you so much for sharing, and have a safe trip home. Xx

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