Monday, March 19, 2012

DEAD SEA and En Gedi~Day 7

Shabbat began at sundown the day we were in Galilee, so the next day we went to En Gedi and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is about a two hour drive from Tel Aviv, and it was really neat because the windy road going down to the sea showed our elevation changes as we traveled down...
down... the lowest place...

...on Earth.

Welcome to the Dead Sea.
A Sea so salty and full of minerals that NOTHING but some algae live in it.
The Sea is said to be so good for your skin, that a company called AHAVA prides itself in its natural Dead Sea skincare products! I bought some while we were at the factory and LOVE them! If you have an ULTA nearby, they also have AHAVA products.
I am a BIG fan now!

Right across the street from the Dead Sea is a national park, so before we took the plunge, we went for a little hike through En Gedi. It was gorgeous. It was an oasis in the desert complete with waterfalls, TONS of those strange rodent things called Hyrax, and these goat-like animals that we were promised to see tons of but failed to see a single one! To Stewart and Elizabeth's defense, I DID see posts on their blog with TONS of the goat things-the Ibex, confirming that THIS was the place where David hid from Saul "So Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats. 1 Sam 24: 2".

This was a really interesting place! The water was aquamarine blue! The views were amazing! The Israeli kids (and some Israeli adults) had stripped down to their skivvies and were swimming!

"And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi. 1 Sam 23: 29".
THIS is where David could have taken Saul's life, but chose to only cut off the corner of his robe!
You can read 1 Samuel Chapter 24 for the whole (intense) story!
...but it happened HERE!!!

The views of David's "stronghold" were amazing! The Dead Sea is below, and beyond that is Jordan!

After our hiking adventure, we changed into our suits so we could experience the Dead Sea!!!
I don't know what I was expecting, but this was NOT...what I was expecting!!!

The water was SO crystal clear! You could see the oils and minerals on the top of the water if you looked closely!

You couldn't sink in this Sea of you tried!

Because of the high levels of salt in the sea, it just pushes up against your body. It's as if the sea is trying to throw you out! It's hard to get your balance!

Woops! it!

There! Finally!


I'm FLOATING here, folks!

It was so fun to float in the sea, but the colors were intense and amazing, so beautiful!

AHAVA...TAKE ME AWAY! (wink, wink...)

Two friendly reminders about the Dead Sea:
1) Do NOT splash Dead Sea in your eyeball or you will DIE. (You will not actually die, but you will WISH you were dead as you flush your eye out with bottled water while you scream and your spouse proceeds to pretend she doesn't know who "that crazy American" is)
2) If you swallow Dead Sea water, per the signs and posted placards, you must immediately see a lifeguard. (We didn't try THAT one. What? You think we're STUPID?!)

After our time at the Dead Sea, we decided to let the minerals seep into our skin (ie. We didn't rinse off). Later, we had a layer of dried-on salt and an oily residue that we rubbed into our skin. It was amazing! I would travel down there as often as possible if I lived there, but thankfully, I can buy bottled Dead Sea Salt, toss it in my bathtub, close my eyes and pretend I'm floating in Southeast Israel, courtesy of AHAVA!

(Kelly does not receive any compensation from AHAVA or its partner corporations)

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