During Max' s break we did a whole lot of nothin'. It was quite nice actually. But we did take one trip to Ein Gedi - an oasis in the desert next to the Dead Sea. One of our "goals" for coming to Jerusalem was to become outdoorsy people. I grew up doing outdoorsy things with my family, but when I faced trying to convert my city husband, I found that it was easier to join in watching movies and eating out than wrestle up the motivation to go hiking or worse, camping. (To be fair, we are both from Davis county.) I think we've struck a pretty good balance here in Jerusalem of indoor/outdoor activities, but I'm getting off the point.
On Thursday we took a bus out to Ein Gedi and hiked through the wadi (dry stream bed, crevice thing) that was covered with plants and waterfalls and little pools to swim around in. At the end, David's Waterfall, you head up the escarpment to the tops of some pretty impressive mountains. The views were amazing, and the different betwee the dusty mountains and the lush wadi floor even more amazing.
That is Ye olde Dead Sea in the background of the picture above the remains of a 5000 year old temple. 5000 years old! We sweated, hiked, swam, sweated, and swam some more. We packed bloated sandwiches of tomato, roast chicken, avocado, and hummus and nearly lost them during a lunch break to hungry rodents. Speaking of potentially hazardous animals (nature, what gives!?) when we were swimming in this little pool Max noticed a good sized crab climbing up behind the waterfall. Maybe 6 inches in diameter. We were a little nervous for our bums after that point.