Dead Sea, Masada, En Gedi, Qumran, Qasar El Yehud, ~ Today we drove to the area of the Dead Sea to begin our tour at Masada, the wilderness palace fortress built by Herod the Great. Perhaps first used by David (I Samuel 22:3-5; 24:22), Masada was elaborately fortified by Herod. The final suicidal stand of the Jews against the Romans took place here in 73 AD. We took a gondola to the top where we toured this amazing site & heard the even more incredible story. 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 part of the Jordan River thought to be where John the Baptist baptized Jesus (Mark 1:9-11.) We stopped at a Dead Sea beach to take a float in this unique body of water. The mineral rich waters are so buoyant that it seems more like bobbing than floating!