Thursday, January 13

Today we began our tour at Masada, the wilderness palace fortress built by Herod the Great. The cable car was under construction so we could not go to the top, but we watched an interesting film and toured the museum. After a brief stop at the overlook at Ein Gedi (Song of Solomon 1:14,) where David hid from Saul (1 Samuel 26,) we continued back to the north for mass at Qasar El Yehud, an outside spot on the bank of the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus (Mark 1:9-11.)  Passing Jericho again, we traveled through the Judean Wilderness up to JerusalemThe road we were on is the Jericho Road from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37.)  Our first full view of Jerusalem is from a promenade overlooking the Old City, where we stopped for a traditional blessing ceremony. After dinner we toured the tunnels that follow along the Western Wall.