Friday, August 01, 2008

The Dead Sea

One of the things that I knew I absolutely HAD to see in Israel was the Dead Sea:
It must have been in some science textbook, sometime around 3rd grade, that I first saw a photo of the Dead Sea--it probably mentioned something about supersaturation, and how the high salt content of the water causes our bodies to float, with absolutely no effort--and I thought, "Whoa, now THAT is cool!"
Before we got there, I asked Vitalay if it were possible that I might be the one and only person who would not float--I was nervous about my floating potential, I guess--and he was like, "Um, no. You will have no choice but to float." And float I did:
It's really amazing--you walk out into the water sort of like you're walking on the moon, and then, all you have to do is lift up your feet, and whoosh! Your whole body sort of zooms to the top! And you'll still float if you flip onto your tummy--though my butt seemed to stick out of the water way more than the rest of me. You guys don't get to see that photo.
Walking on a sandbar:I was not expecting such a magical place, but it really is like nowhere else on Earth. I felt like I was seeing something really unique and special, one of the world's natural wonders. And I don't know what minerals and such are in that water, but you seriously feel like a million bucks after bathing in there! We were positively glowing with health.
The water was HOT, BTW! The best time to go was early in the morning, or as the sun was setting behind the mountains. Otherwise, we were boiling. And note to parents of little ones: the kiddies do NOT like this place! The salt in the water is extremely painful if you have any cuts, freshly shaved legs, or if you get it in your eyes--and it seems to really sting the private parts of children. We watched kid after kid run screaming from the water.... This is the stuff the guide books don't seem to mention.
We did the obligatory mud-covering:
My friend Noush did this when we were about 14, and I was really impressed. I can't believe I finally got to do it, too!
You smear the mud all over your body, and let it dry, and then you go in the water and pull up handfuls of salt off the bottom, which you use to scrub the mud off.Afterwards, our skin was like butter!!! Even now, a week later, my skin is still soft and smooth like it hasn't been since I was about 2.
The view from our balcony:
We stayed at Le Meridien, which was a fabulous treat. I should have taken photos of the extravagant dinner and breakfast buffets, but I was too busy gorging myself.
It was a blissful 3 days. I've never been so relaxed in my whole life. If ever you make it to Israel, this is absolutely a must!
Floating, floating....