Day 5, Jan 11

11 JAN ~  Wednesday ~ Masada, En Gedi, Qasar El Yehud, Judean Wilderness, Jerusalem ~  We began our day at Masada, the wilderness palace fortress built by Herod the GreatThe final suicidal stand of the Jews against the Romans took place here in 73 AD. We took the gondola to the top where we toured this amazing site. After a brief stop at the overlook at En Gedi (Song of Solomon 1:14,) where David hid from Saul (1 Samuel 26,) we headed north for mass at Qasar El Yehud, renewing our baptismal vows at the wilderness sight on the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus (Mark 1:9-11.)  Then we visited Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found view the site and do some shopping. Passing Jericho again, we travel through the Judean Wilderness up to JerusalemThe road we traveled is the Jericho Road from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37.)  We experienced our first full view of Jerusalem from a promenade overlooking the Old City, where we stopped for a traditional blessing ceremony before heading to our last hotel, the Olive Tree Hotel. In the evening, Emily gave a power point presentation on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which we will visit in a few days.