When you travel a lot as I do, sometimes you can get pretty jaded about what you see, even complacent – things are fun or interesting but not inspiring or overwhelmingly beautiful. Hence, it was especially nice on a recent, albeit brief, trip to Israel to have the amazing experience of seeing Masada, high above the Dead Sea, on a beautiful, clear January day. The travel time from Tel Aviv is about 90 minutes, but the journey is well worth it, even as you descend downwards in altitude and feel the change as you enter into the West Bank.
Along the way, the settlements, the date trees, and vineyards provide a view that prepares you for the amazing sight of Masada from a distance. Up close, however, it’s even more striking as you consider what it represents for the Jewish people. The story of the choice between freedom and slavery, and the history of the conflicts that have marked this place are powerful.
Not everyone considers Masada to be worth the time it takes – a full day is best, given the travel that is required – but I highly recommend it and would not have missed seeing it for anything. One of the highlights of my travel life!