We spent this past weekend in the Judean Desert which is home to Masada, the Dead Sea and other desert adventures.
This blog post has been created entirely by our three children. Together they selected the photos and the format. Jacob keyed in his descriptions while Allison and Michael dictated their descriptions for a parent to key in verbatim.
(Jacob) On Friday after school we drove down to the Judean Desert. We saw all the signs where we were in relation to sea level. We stopped at a bunch of cool places to take pictures. We saw that our hotel was next to the Dead Sea in the middle of nowhere other than a bunch of other hotels. I took this picture below of my parents at Sea Level.
(Michael) Masada was really cool. We went up the gondola and at the end we saw the Roman Ramp. And when we first got up we went through a tunnel and there were old baths. Amit (our tour guide) gave us some treats. Amit told us to take the gondola because it was really long and hot.
(Allison) We walked all around Masada. We saw the steam room, the temple, a map of Masada and walked all around King Herod’s palace. It was really hot.
(Allison) The views were really sunny and really nice. We looked at a lot of views. We saw the Dead Sea from a lot of the views.
(Jacob) We learned how the Jews could just throw rocks down onto the Romans and it would crush them. It would also create avalanches of rocks. We saw how they collected water and used clay pipes and then heated the water to create steam. The steam heated the floors and walls and created a steam room. We could see a lot of the Judean desert and it looked like we were in Star Wars.
(Michael) We went down the gondola and got a snow globe for Allie.
(Allison) Masada was the last place before Israel fell to the Romans.
(Jacob) It was the last place that Jews could be free before Israel was officially conquered and destroyed.
(Michael) When I was in the Dead Sea I floated.
(Jacob) When I was in the Dead Sea I did not think I was going to float and then I just sat down and went up. I felt like I was being held up by a net. If you stick your hand on the bottom of the Dead Sea and scoop up a handful of what would normally be sand, you pick up a handful of salt.
(Jacob) There were giant formations of salt. This is just a small example. But there were gigantic salt-bergs in the Dead Sea. Some were the size of a truck.
(Michael) When I was in the Dead Sea water splashed in my eye. It hurt. Someone picked me up to where I could wash my eye.
(Jacob) We had to shower off all the salt because we were so unbelievably salty. If we rubbed our eyes at all it would hurt a lot.
(Allison) We went kayaking in the Dead Sea. I went with my mom. My dad and Michael went together. Our tour guide went with Jacob. We stopped and got salt crystals.
(Michael) I kayaked with daddy on the way there and I kayaked with Amit (our guide) on the way back.
(Allison) We stopped to put mud on our bodies and my skin got really smooth. And the same with Michael and Jacob.
(Jacob) When the mud was on our bodies, our tour guide showed us a fresh water spring and there were little salt diamonds all around us. We tried to take them home but they were too small and we lost them.
(Michael) I put mud on my body but it didn’t make my body soft.
(Allison) We went on a really long hike in En Gedi to see waterfalls.
(Allison) We saw a lot of wildlife along the way.
(Jacob) When we first started we got to see a bunch of cool animals all along the path. Then we saw a lot of waterfalls.
(Jacob) It was a hard hike. We got to play in all the waterfalls. I even got to stick my head in one of them. There were a bunch of cool forts made out of the bushes. It was surprising all the greenery and how much water there was in the desert.
(Allison) I went in the waterfall and it was fun.
(Michael) At the end of the hike I saw a giant waterfall. And at the end when I was walking back daddy said I could dunk my head under the waterfall.
(Allison) I went on a camel with Michael and mommy. We rode the camels to tents where we made pita bread and ate chicken.
(Michael) On the way there I rode with Daddy and on the way back I rode with Allie. When it sits down it’s a little scary because I feel like I’m falling forward.
(Jacob) We got to ride camels. It was so cool how it stood up starting with the back and then the front. It went down front to back. We road right next to a cliff and that part was a little scary.
(Michael) We stopped to make pita bread that we ate for lunch.
(Jacob) We had lunch in a tent with a guy dressed up, pretending to be Abraham. He told us several biblical stories and how he lived.
(Allison) We went on a jeep ride in the desert over a bunch of mountains.
(Jacob) We went on a jeep ride all through the Judean desert near cliffs and up mountains. We also saw a few caves used to store water. We came upon an oasis with fresh flowing water and lots of green plants.
(Allison) It was very bumpy and I was tossed all over the place.
(Michael) It was really bumpy. We went up huge hills. I saw the running river.
(Jacob) It was extremely bumpy. Every time we tried to drink water it would spill all over us! We got to see some Bedouin tents and entire families living in the desert.