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Archive for May 18th, 2008

The Judean Desert

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

First, the bad news. Several members of our group have come down with a nasty intestinal virus, including Mr C. At first we thought it was food poisoning, but it didn’t make sense because we had all eaten the same stuff. One member was so sick that they called in a doctor tonight and he verified that it is a virus running rampant in Jerusalem. We now have some meds for the sick ones. We are washing our hands at every opportunity and hoping for the best. We have not had any new break outs since the overnight siege. I am hoping to escape this as we are finally due to explore Jerusalem and I do not want to miss it. Mr C has not had anything much to eat since last night at dinner. He is sipping on soda and sleeping it off.

The rest of us went out to the Judean Desert today to see the amazing Masada, Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves and then a swim in the Dead Sea, which has so much salt that you can’t sink. As you walk into the water, you suddenly find yourself floating, standing up. I did not partake in this activity.

Unfortunately, my I-photo is feeling overworked and is acting badly so I lost several of my Masada photos. I don’t know what happened, but I just have outlines of squares and no photos. Here are the stairs we took to reach the lower level of the northern palace, which is built into the side of the mound. This is only part of the stairs and we had to climb back up.

I loved the fragments of frescoes on the walls.

At Qumran, we saw a wild Ibex and this gorgeous Flame tree (Acacia).

The Dead Sea is a striking turquoise color. It is so gorgeous against the golden desert landscape.

It is bedtime. I must get my rest and stay healthy!!