IMG_5290By Jonathan Sanchez

En Gedi, with the Dead Sea on the east and a mountainous wilderness to the west, proved to be one of the unexpected treasures of the Holy Land. We were fortunate to have a free day there, so I went hiking with several others. The view was absolutely beautiful; not only were we able to hike in the majesty of the mountains in Israel, we could also look out and see the Dead Sea and the mountains of Jordan on the other side. The wilderness near En Gedi offered a different sense of beauty than the enshrined holy sites; here I could walk and see essentially the same view that David saw three thousand years before. Thinking about this was incredible. Eventually our group split up, one group going to peak a plateau while the rest of us went to explore a cave where David hid from Saul. The cave itself was beautiful; a waterfall came down into a pool of light blue water and there was green vegetation covering some of the rocks. But not twenty feet away, you could see a view of the Dead Sea, framed by the rocks of the mountainous area. The whole trip was amazing, but the wilderness of En Gedi will remain one of my favorite places in the Holy Land.

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