A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE MIXED WITH A HORRIFIC MASS SUICIDE STORY – THIS IS THE HISTORY OF MASADA. The day of our swedish christmas eve we went on this (very) early morning trip to the Jordean Desert in between Israel & the westbank (aka Palestinian territories) to hike up the Masada fortress to catch the sunrise, explore the waterfalls in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and take a floating dip in the Red Ocean. We´ll start with the sweaty hike up the cliff and the mass suicide story behind it. HIKE UP MASADA CLIFF
This is one of the must-see-things in Israel we where told, so hey, why argue, let´s go! The alarm went off waaaay to early and we jumped ym a car that picked us up from our hotel. After one or two (can´t really remember) hours of dark roads through Palestinian territories we had arrived. Still in the dark. As we started climb up the cliff the world started to lighten up. I was regretting this hike after 10 minutes, all sweaty and my legs where shaking, despite that I dont do workout, ever! I´m also afraid of hights….one hour, 700 steps, (pretty sure it was a hell of a lot more) we where all the way to the top, 400 meter up the cliff. Ready to watch the sunrises over the Dead Sea. It was pretty stunning I say. No regrets!
HISTORY OF MASADA
This place is quite isolated in the Jordean Desert, it pretty much just one big cliff in the middle of nowhere. It´s also known as a mesa, like a table top mountain. The king (way back in ancient history) Herod the Great built two palaces on this spot between 37-31 BC. This is also one of the first places in the world where a mass suicide took place (that we know of) when almost a thousand people took their own lives – except from two women and five children who where clever enought to hide down a cave. This is what the history says according to Josephus from Jerusalem. What really happened up there during the first Jewish-Roman war, the siege of Masada is hard to tell. Masada is an important place in Israel and one important story to be told and not to be forgotten.
Like so many other historical places in the world, Masada is listed on UNESCO World Heritage.