A Taste of Israel: Masada & Jerusalem

By  | 

With only 2 1/2 days in Israel, it was tough to decide what to see on my first visit. I’d originally planned to spend most of my first full day in Israel seeing the sights in Jerusalem, but made the tough decision to spend the morning visiting Masada instead. I figured on my next visit it would be far easier to get an in-depth tour of Jerusalem than find a large group tour to Masada that I enjoyed.

Masada reproduction

I’ve been familiar with the story of the 1,000 Jewish settlers who lived on the mountain and withstood the Roman seige for months before finally taking their own lives to avoid becoming slaves. But as noble and inspiring hearing that story was, being there atop the mountain and seeing the ramp the Romans built across the gorge was even more so.

Masada Dead Sea Breeching Ramp

We took the cable car up since by 10AM the morning was already quite warm.

Masada Dead Sea Israel Cable Car

Before the siege of Masada, it had been the location of one King Herod’s palaces and offered amazing views of the Dead Sea and surrounding countryside.

View from Masada

As well as the remnants of King Herod’s luxury. Including an impressive bathhouse with heated floors.

Masada Bath house remnants

But seeing the ramp that finally breeched the walls was incredibly moving. The effort that was made to take out 1,000 people…

Masada Wall Breach

We wound up hiking down the mountain in only 40 seconds. It was warm, but we made it.

view of snake trail masada dead sea israel

And I got a kick out of the fact there was a McDonald’s in the food court.

Masada McDonalds

Late afternoon we arrived in Jerusalem, stopping first at Mt Scopus, to get a view of the city at sunset.

Jerusalem from Mt Scopus Keri Heels First Travel

Even more amazing, to me, was the view 20 yds over on the opposite ridge. Jerusalem had been green and verdant. Immediately over the other side of the ridge was harsh desert as far as the eye could see.

View fro Mt Scopus

We entered Jerusalem by the Jaffa gate. It was already late, but there was time to go through the old market place with it’s ancient cobblestones.

Jerusalem Ancient Market

Visit the Church of the Holy Sepluchre.

Church of the Holy Sepluchre Jerusalem Israel

Go by the Western Wall which was incredibly moving.

Western Wall Wailing Wall Jerusalem

Visit an ancient restored Roman street.

Ancient Roman Street Armenian Quarter Jerusalem

And get a glimpse of a wall dating back to King Solomon’s times. I’d grown up reading the Old and New Testament and seeing something that ancient and historic was the highlight for me.

King Solomon's Wall Jerusalem Israel

King Solomon's Wall Jerusalem Israel Keri HeelsFirstTravel

Ideally next time I’ll have far more than two days to visit and can really see a lot of Jerusalem. In the meantime, it was amazing enough that I’m already eager to go back!


What did you think of this post? Give us a +1 above or leave a comment! And don’t miss out on any of Jeanne & Keri’s adventures and tips. You can now subscribe via E-Mail or RSS Feed and follow us on twitter and Facebook.

Sometimes when you comment, it goes to a blank page and looks like it doesn’t post. It actually does, I promise!


Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

Related Posts:

Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.