Monday, October 12, 2009

Best of Eid - Dead Sea

Two days after the trip north, a couple of us drove the extremely short 40 minutes to the Dead Sea. Unless you've been living under a rock your entire life (or possibly America), you'll know that the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. It divides Jordan from the West Bank and Israel.

The Islamic legend is that the Dead Sea was what used to be the city in which the Prophet Lot lived, called Sodom in the Christian bible. God wished to rain fire and brimstone upon the people in Sodom for their acts of wickedness and sexual deviance. Lot and his family were spared (except Lot's wife who was turned into a pillar of salt while escaping from the city). The angel Gabriel raised the city and threw it back to earth upside down, thus creating the lowest place on earth. Also, I heard a rumor that the salt in the sea is from all the people turned to salt before the raining brimstone. Cheery.

But it is true that the Dead Sea has one of the highest salt contents in the world, at more than 30 percent salinity. For this reason, it is possible to become a champion floater in a matter of seconds and is, in fact, actually difficult to swim or do anything but float around like a turtle on it's back.

But floating and salinity aren't what drive the millions upon millions of tourists to the Dead Sea each year. It's the fabulous resorts and high-class spas that do that.

We only made our Dead Sea getaway a day trip, so we did not get to experience the luxury of staying at a room there. But we did get to dip in fantastic pools, lie in the sun drinking beers and fresh juice (I've heard it's much harder to burn at the Dead Sea because of the distance from the sun and from the high salt content in the air), and enjoy the awkward yet pleasant sensation of being stuck in a horizontal position in the Dead Sea. We also did the ever-so-popular mud smearing at the beach. Apparently the mud at the Dead Sea is all kinds of beneficial.

Then at the end of the day, we got to see a beautiful sunset from the porch of the Movenpick and watch the twinkling lights of the West Bank. So peaceful.

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