Friday, July 09, 2010

A Biblical Scholar's First Impressions of Israel V: The Dead Sea

If you are going to Israel, on no account miss out on the Dead Sea experience.  We took just a night there, but we would have loved a week.  It is quite remarkable.  That stuff that everyone tells you about floating on the Dead Sea is absolutely true.  I would have illustrated it with a photograph of me doing it, but I'd rather spare you the sight of me in my trunks.  Instead, the picture here is the view from our hotel window.

We managed without a car while we were in Tel Aviv but hired one for the second half of the trip, and this visit to the Dead Sea marked the mid-point.  We drove from Tel Aviv to the south west part of the Dead Sea, and found the drive a lot of fun -- lots of proper deserty landscapes, and the chance to do some camel-spotting.    As you approach the Dead Sea, there are signs indicating that you are getting lower and lower, and then however-many metres below see level.

There are several big resort style hotels in the Ein Bokek area.  Ours was huge, with a couple of pools, and buffet-style breakfasts and dinners on an industrial scale.  The hotel had its own beach area and doing the floating thing is a lot of fun.  The water is really warm, bath-water temperature, and the salt is everywhere, like sand where it is shallow, and then like rocks when it's a little deeper, so much so that I cut myself on it when I went out.

The advantage of staying at the Dead Sea is also the location, close to Masada, which is where we went next.


Jim said...

floating on the dead sea is awesome- but the slimy feeling when you get out is kinda gross.

im glad you went- it really is an experience no student of the bible should miss.

more than that, i'm glad you made it back safe and sound.

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Jim. I don't remember finding it too gross. Lots more posts to go, as time allows.