You know it had to be a great day when we woke up on the floor of a freezing cold Bedouin tent to Merav screaming, “Mayanot 57, WAKE UP!” Quicker than we knew it we had already began our most eventful day yet on the trip. At 5:50 am we were already out in the desert riding camels, which was definitely an interesting experience. This is the first time throughout the trip we had truly felt we were in a foreign country. After our early wakeup call, we got a real taste for a true Bedouin breakfast including pita and fried egg. It was definitely a breakfast that exceeded expectations.
As if we weren’t already tired enough we left our fellow Bedouins to really start our day at the Masada. The Masada was truly an amazing experience from the beginning. We hiked up the mountain and finally after many stairs we reached the top to see a breath taking view of the desert. We have always heard of the Masada before but who knew how much history it had to offer. Up there on the top we got a little taste of the past and present by singing the Shema in the ancient temple as well as witnessing a scribe writing an new Torah scroll. Some of us were even lucky enough to contribute to that.
After seeing what there was to see we hopped into a cable car and rode it all the way to the bottom where everyone crazed over the first McDonald’s of the trip. Don’t worry, it was kosher. From there, we arrived at Ein Gedi springs where the majority of us were brave enough to endure the cold water and even stand under the waterfall. After enjoying the most breathtaking views we hiked back down to the bus and were on our way to the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea was one of the most invigorating experiences here in Israel. For those who went in, they got to experience something that you can’t anywhere else in the whole world. For those who didn’t go in, they got to experience one of the most hilarious moments of the trip, watching everyone else burn from the salt. We finally made it back to Jerusalem and checked into our youth hostel for the night. After our much-needed showers, we concluded our day by having a guest speaker talk about Israeli short films. With our early start to the day we really got to experience every stereotypical “must-see” that Israel has to offer.
While our trip coming to an end, this has truly been an experience we will never forget. Who knew you could get to know people so well in such a short period of time.
P.S. Happy 21st Birthday Dustin!!