Atop masada

Atop Masada

We approached through what  looked like a lunar landscape, with the traditional ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah lying off to our left. I looked up at the huge, ship-like mountain we were approaching and could make out the outlines  of  the northern palace terrace,  with some of  the ruins on the flat summit above. I could even see people wandering around up there. Watching the tiny cable cars inch up one side of the mountain, and watching people come and go on the serpent path on the other side, I wondered if  I  would have the nerve to make it to the top.

There was little time to think about it. …When our driver parked the sherut we ran, hoping to catch the next cable car up. Peter, one of  the Englishmen, and I bought one-way tickets, hoping to take the serpent path down.

We made the next car. Minutes later we were dangling over the chasm on our way up the mountain. … It was like being in a bus at rush hour, but in mid-air.

At the upper cable car station I got out and surveyed the rest of  the way to the top. It was not a long distance…but it was not encouraging to look at.  …A railed pathway led horizontally along the cliff face and ended in metal stairs fastened to the rock. The stairs, too, were protected by a railing. Yet they were daunting to a person who feared heights. And I feared everything.

Still, going back was just as daunting;  and I could not go back to America and say I had not been on Masada. I forged ahead on the cliffside path and stairs. Once on the stairs I even managed to look down and see the outlines of  the old Roman General Silva’s camp. To my surprise I found myself leaning over the railing and taking a picture of  it.  Where I lived, Roman camps to photograp[h were not encountered every day.

And suddenly there I was, atop Masada. 

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Опубликовано 28 Feb 2008 в 8:48 pm. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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