As I was saying earlier, as part of my trip to Israel we spent a few days in different locations. The diversity and beauty of the country is truly amazing. Our next stop on the tour was the Dead Sea area. So we left Tel Aviv early in the morning and headed towards the Dead Sea region.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, also known as Yam Ha-Melah or the Sea of Salt is the lowest place on Earth, 400 meters below sea level. Our drive there from Tel Aviv was about 2 and 1/2 hours. Our first stop for the day was at the stoic and formidable fortress Masada, known as מצדה or metsada meaning ‘fortress’, that I have written about in another blog.
Ein Gedi Kibbutz Hotel
We then headed to the Ein Gedi Kibbutz Hotel where we stopped for lunch.
This is no longer a working Kibbutz, and has been transformed into a hotel where one can take short getaways for spa treatments using the waters and minerals of the Dead Sea.
After visiting the hotel, we saw the Botanical Garden that has a wide variety of plant life from all over the world. The plants and trees number well over 900! Later that afternoon, we headed to our hotel near the Dead Sea and relaxed for a bit. The treatment rooms in the hotel that pampered us use water from the Dead Sea.
Dead Sea swim and sunrise
In the evening, we had a cocktail dinner with entertainment at the Isrotel Ganim Hotel, and feasted on some fine wine and food. The next morning, we woke up early (well before sunrise) and headed down to the beach. After covering ourselves with the mineral-rich mud, and posing for a few muddy pics, we took a dip in the sea and floated on the dense salty water. You can’t sink, you know!
After about an hour or half, we watched the beautiful sun rise over the Judean Mountain Range.
I even managed to get a pic of the other side of sunrise, the lovely moon setting over the mountains. Almost as different as night and day. By the way, my friend Christine has put together an awesome list of the best sunset spots in Asia that you must check out.
We started our journey to the next leg of our tour and stopped for a minute in a valley with a salty mountain range. Mount Sodom is supposedly all that’s left of the city of Sodom that was burnt with the judgment of brimstone and fire. An eerie reminder of both grace and judgment.
We then continued on our trip to Eilat, with its calm waters and teeming nature reserves.