From a Hilltop Citadel to Flying in Water


My first stop was yesterday was Masada, a hill fortress built by King Herod as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt. After the construction of the complex, there were many other historic points to mention. The most famous was the siege of the fortress by the Romans in 72 AD where the Jews killed themselves rather than be enslaved by the Roman Empire. Another story that I found interesting was of a group of Byzantine Hermit Monks who lived and prayed on the high mountaintop in order to be closer to god. In order to get food, they had a donkey that would walk down the hillside by itself where a farmer on the shores of the Dead Sea would load it up with vegetables. The donkey would then walk back up the 400 meter hilltop by itself, daily!

My plan was originally to walk up the hill, but when I took a look at how high it actually was combined with the scorching heat of the day, I bought a ticket for the cable car. This 17 Kilogram camera bag is starting to take a toll on me after more than three months of lugging it around.

The complex itself is quite amazing when you realize that it is over 2,000 years old. My favourite structure was the 7th Century Byzantine Church. The mosaics on the floor and walls were beautiful.

After the history lesson and beautiful vistas of the Dead Sea, it was time to get up close and personal with something I had been looking forward to since I was a child. I saw a documentary with my father when I was very young about the Dead Sea and it completely fascinated me. First of all, it is the lowest elevation of dry land on the entire planet at 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level. Secondly, the chemical composition of the water prevents most organisms from surviving. The 35% salinity allows only small amounts of resilient bacteria to survive.

Aside from the amazing science behind it, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. As soon as I entered the water, I bobbed on the surface like a cork. It was incredible. It actually felt like I was weightless and flying. Aside from turning my feet into chopped hamburger on the sharp salt formations growing on the rocks, it was one of the highlights of the entire expedition. There was black mineral mud that many people were rubbing all over their bodies, but I opted not to. The mud smelled horrible and I still had a long drive ahead of me.

Today is Good Friday and I am heading to Jerusalem for Easter weekend. Stay tuned, I think this next series of images is going to be special.

Another long drive through the desert to get to Masada

Another long drive through the desert to get to Masada

The snake path up to the Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage site

The snake path up to the Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage site

Caves where Byzantine Hermit Monks lived in the 7th century

Caves where Byzantine Hermit Monks lived in the 7th century

Masada

Masada

7th Century Byzantine Church, the most beautiful structure up here

7th Century Byzantine Church, the most beautiful structure up here

7th Century Byzantine Church, the most beautiful structure up here

7th Century Byzantine Church, the most beautiful structure up here

Masada

Masada

Salt production on the shores of the Dead Sea

Salt production on the shores of the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea

Packed beaches on the Dead Sea

Packed beaches on the Dead Sea

It feels like Flying!

It feels like Flying!


About Andrew Pateras

Andrew has lived in the GTA all his life and a good portion of his adult life has been devoted to sales. He studied Business Information Systems Management at Ryerson University. From there, he worked in sales for tier one organizations such as Hewlett Packard, Epson and Intel. Then as North American Sales Manager for GAP Adventures, he gained even more experience in negotiation and client service. Andrew has been a licensed real estate sales person since 2006. In 2007, Andrew also began a new venture in professional photography. Over the next number of years, he travelled on assignment all over the world. This is why he is meticulous when it comes to your marketing images! To say Andrew's travel and photography experience is extensive would definitely be an understatement. He has journeyed to remote and exotic locations in 48 countries on all six continents in search of adventure and authentic cultural experiences. Whether it is diving with great white sharks in South Africa, in a cage with Bengal tigers in northern Thailand or perched atop a land cruiser, photographing rhinos and lions in the Serengeti, he has likely photographed any holiday experience you can imagine. In 2015, Andrew earned the Directors Platinum award from Royal LePage for outstanding sales performance. Andrew's commitment as your real estate professional is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve. Whether you're buying or selling, contact him with any questions that you may have. His promise to you is that your experience will be both stress-free and enjoyable. His focus is always YOU and the results you can expect from him.

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