Machaerus (Mukawir in Arabic) was the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great. Upon Herod’s death, his son Herod Antipas inhabited the fortress, and it is here that he ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded.

We walked up the steep, winding pathway in a blistering sun and 35degrees to get to the top where the once proud fortress of Herod stood - now only some pillars and a few ruins left. It is very sobering indeed when one reflects on what once happened there.

We met with 2 local Bedouin boys who told us a bit of the history. I have never met warmth and hospitality such as I've experienced in Jordan. These 2 boys were warm and dusty, so we gave them money to buy themselves some water. Do you know what they did? They bought 2 bottles of water, and 2 bottles of fruit juice, and promptly gave us the 2 bottles of fruit juice!

This is the view from the top of Mukawir over the Lake of Tiberius with Israel in the distance.