Saturday, May 10, 2008
As you can see by the subject line, we went to the dead sea yesterday. We started out late in the morning and went to Masada first. That is a huge mountain with a gigantic fortress on the top that was the last stronghold of Jewish resistance to Roman rule before the second temple was destroyed. (Way before Jesus for those keeping track)
The cool part was the cisterns. My goodness, carved out of solid rock, the rain water was diverted by a series of channels also carved out of the rock and sent into huge holes that can hold millions of gallons of fresh water. People lived up there for years with only a few shipments a year of fresh food and animals brought up. It is a desolate place with an amazing view of the south end of the dead sea.
We drove past the border between Jordan and Israel and could see Mount Nemo where Moses first saw the promised land. After walking around on top of the mountain for about 3 hours, we were all suitably sunburned and overheated. So we rode the tram back down to the base of the mountain . The top was only 33 feet above sea level. For those of you who know me, yes my ears were killing me the whole way down. going to the lowest dry spot on Earth 1300 feet below sea level was an experience.
We ended up at the dead sea around 3pm and went to a public beach that was reasonably priced and had clean bathrooms and showers. We floated in the dead sea which was a slimy experience, but fun. Then hopped into a huge vat of dead sea mud and smeared ourselves down. I did not put it on my face because there are razor sharp rocks in that stuff. I guess the little pots of stuff that are so expensive have the rocks taken out for you. That is a plus, but I don't know if it is worth $100 for a cup of the stuff just because the rocks are gone.
The major brand of dead sea cosmetics has their machines about 100 meters away from the pool of goo we were in, so take that for what it's worth. I almost filled a zip lock of the goo, but figured I would have another opportunity later next week when the girls make a trip.
We took showers at the dead sea with fresh water and made it home in time to take another shower with soap, wash my hair and then go out to eat. We ate salads and sandwiches, nothing unusual.
We did pass Jerico on the way home. It is not a place I am allowed to go, but I could see it from the road, we also passed by the place where the dead sea scrolls were found. Every account of how they were found says the word "stumbled" now I can see why. One false move on the sides of those cliffs and you could fall hundreds of feet and bounce the whole way down. Yikes, goats and crazy people live that high up.
I crashed and hit the bed sleeping before 9. Today I need to tend my sunburn! Ouch.
Before lunch we are going to get a rental car and go to Tel Aviv for a half day of sight seeing and lunch. Its funny because there is a Hooters in Tel Aviv and that is where the guys want to go. Sunday we are keeping the car and will go to the sea of Galilee and see the sights up that way.
I will send out photos when we get them downloaded. The mud pictures should be great!
All is Well.