Dead Sea Odyssey 422 metres below sea level – 4: Ein Gedi springs

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Ein Gedi is an interesting phenomenon, its a little oasis just on the other side of main road from the Dead Sea.

Its odd that a body of water completely sterile of life has a stunningly attractive beauty spot a few hundred metres away.  Here at Ein Gedi you walk along twisty paths around large boulders and streams, see unusual animals not seen in Europe, and follow your way around streams that twist around rocks and paths up to a big waterfall.  Ein Gedi served as a water source during biblical times.  Joshua 15 : 62 and 1 Samuel 24 : 1-2 feature this place.  The Bible  records that 3,000 years ago hid from King Saul at Ein Gedi. When David surprised the King and spared his life after finding him unarmed, Saul said David would succeed him on the throne.

Not far from Ein Gedi, is Qumran one of the most significant archaeological sites here in Israel as the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

There are more unusual animals, in this case its these little critters, Rock Badgers,  officially called Hyrax, large rodents that seems to dwell around mountainous places with sources of water.

When I came here before in 2006, some people on the tour chose to get baptised here.  Often the river Jordan is the main choice for that amongst Christian pilgrims here, but Ein Gedi is just as good. 🙂

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Dead Sea Odyssey 422 metres below sea level – 3: Masada secrets

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Back to up again on Masada, there’s quite a few buildings that are interesting, for one thing there are an interesting plumbing system that brings water through some clever channels that run around the side of the mountain.

Marcel made friends with a bird that fed from his hand.  These little black birds look like starlings but have orange tips on their wings and have a fondness for biscuits.

Along the top of Masada there are many buildings for the community that lived up here, complete with synagogue and dwellings.

Whats this strange cave room down here?

Not sure what it was, but something moved in the corner of my eye, that made Magnus nervous:

It was this cute quite large mouse.  Not sure exactly what sort of rodent it is.

You can see for a long long way from here.  Of course next door neighbour country Kingdom of Jordan shares the Dead Sea and some of the thriving industry from cosmetics that come from this unique mineral rich lake.

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