|Look at the people packed in there!|
As mentioned in the last post, our first stop was an impromptu side-trip down to a beautiful beach on the Dead Sea. It was interesting, because while we were there, 2 soldiers came hurriedly over the hill from a nearby outpost and were staring at the sea with their binoculars. There was something out there, which we also saw & thought was a swimmer, that they were fairly concerned about. After a bit, they noticed our camera's nice telephoto zoom lens, and warmly greeted us and asked if we might zoom in to take a picture for them to see. Always nice to be of service to the local military. As we scaled back up the rocky incline, we noticed they had a truck sitting up at the top armed with a fairly substantial machine gun, and another soldier manning the gun, ready to fire at notice. I wish we could have taken a picture, but it didn't seem worth the trouble we may have faced for trying. The "thing," on closer inspection, seemed just to be some sort of floating buoy.
Then it was on to the main event: Early Bronze Age (3000 BC) site Bâb edh-Dhrâ‘. The main attraction to this site is its expansive cemetery which has been heavily looted...thus lots of leftover treasures to potentially be found.
|pock-marks of looted cemetery|
|Owen is pointing to the buried gravestone and looting hole underneath|
Machaerus, and what a gorgeous drive! We followed a narrow, winding road up through the hills, past some natural hot springs, through various geological layers to the impressive fortress where John the Baptist is said to have been imprisoned and beheaded by Herod Antipas. There was an amazing view of the Dead Sea as we ascended, with the sun gleaming magically through the clouds.
We passed a lonely donkey on the road, traveling by itself to somewhere...
|Machaerus, with Dead Sea beyond|
And that concludes our whirlwind weekend whoopee!