The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is some 35% salt! There has been a drought for the past five years causing it to become even saltier. In normal years the area, which lies 1385 feet below sea level, receives only some three inches of rain per year.
After wading out, everyone tries to sit down on the bottom. But you can't because you float. It's an unusual feeling to be able to sit on top of the water without sinking!
King David is said to have hidden from Saul at Ein Gedi. We ate a sumptuous meal at the spa. Helaine asked if the meal was kosher. The employee rolled her eyes then said, "of course." At the spa we shopped. A cosmetics company has its headquarters there. The cosmetics are made from the minerals of the Dead Sea.
Though Herod had the place built in case of Jewish uprising, Masada is most famous for the tragic yet brave tale of its later Jewish inhabitants. According to history, in 66CE a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of the Roman Empire. After the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE), the Jewish rebels fled with their families to Masada and used it as their base for harassing the Roman soldiers.
The ramp is 375-feet high! The Romans finally breached the wall of the fortress with a battering ram. But when they entered the fortress, the Romans discovered that its 960 inhabitants had set all the buildings but the food storerooms ablaze and committed mass suicide rather than face certain capture, defeat, slavery or execution by their enemies.