Escapism is in order! I have been frustrated and uninspired after months of querying and not finding a home for my memoir manuscript. In addition, one obligation is following another, chores are piling up, and the world outside is drab. Time to transport myself to another world! For example Masada, where I went with my daughter in December.
She insisted on doing the sunrise climb, and so we left our hotel in Ein Boqeq a little after 5 a.m. for the half hour drive north to Masada. The beauty of an early morning undertaking is that hardly anybody is around, even at major tourist attractions like Masada. Only a few other cars were in the parking lot, and the snake path that winds up the 1,000 feet to the Masada plateau was deserted.
My favorite spot at Masada is the ruins of the North Palace. It is such a testament to King Herod’s mania to build a luxurious palace with bath houses and pools on a terrace perched on the rock face of the northern cliff overlooking this desolate vastness of the Dead Sea Valley. The Masada fortress never served a strategic purpose, nor did it guard an old trading route or an important geographic feature. Herod simply built it because he could. Later, in 70 A.D., it famously served as the stronghold of the last stand of Jewish rebels against the mighty Roman Empire.