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The Dead Sea

Israel

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No visit to Israel or Jordan would be complete without a swim, or rather a float in the Dead Sea. No where else can you float in a body of water at the lowest point on the earth's surface.

The nicest places are at the resorts on the Jordanian side. However, if you happen to be in Israel, not Jordan, and if you aren't fortunate enough to be staying at a 5 star resort, the next best place to go is the beach at Ein Gedi. There are showers and shade. Showers are necessary as Dead Sea water has an unpleasantly slimy feel to it. You will need to shower off all the residue or you'll be extrememly itchy and uncomfortable, and your skin will suffer from the concentrated minerals. Shade is just nice to have both to avoid sunburn and as a respite from the heat. There are picnic facilities, public restrooms, parking lots, even a souvenir shop and a cafeteria (overpriced and mediocre, but better than nothing).

The water of the Dead Sea is about 33% desolved minerals. It contains 20 times more bromine than regular sea water, 15 times more magnesium and 10 times more iodine. Local spa owners and manufacturers of various brands of 'Dead Sea' cosmetics claim all sorts of health benefits from soaking in the water and using products made from it. Who knows, some of the claims may even be true. Healthy or not, floating in the Dead Sea can be painful. The concentration of various mineral salts will cause any cut or scrape to burn. Ladies, from personal experience, don't shave your legs or arm pits for a day or two before your visit. I did. It hurt. The magnesium chloride in the water also gives it a revoltingly bitter taste. Above all, avoid getting the water in your eyes. It will sting and inflame them. If you do get splashed, rinse your eyes immediately with fresh water.

Jordanian Resorts on the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, lowest altitude on earth.

Click with the right mouse button to see the full size photo.

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Lowest place on earth, mandatory tourist photo.

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Distance to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Directions, route 90.

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A camel for tourist photos and rides.

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Me, floating in the Dead Sea.

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Palestinian mom dressing her little boy after a swim.

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Russians applying the famous Dead Sea mud.

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Our friends enjoying the Dead Sea mud.

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Bathing beauties decked out in Dead Sea mud.

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Old dock hanging high above the water line. The Dead Sea is drying up.

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View toward Jordan across the Dead Sea.

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The beauty of the Dead Sea.

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Jordanian resort across the Dead Sea.

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Route 90, with Jordan in the distance.

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Evaporation pans to collect the dead sea minerals.

Links to the rest of the Israel section of this website:

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Patti

This page was updated on 20 December 2007.

Contact me at: patti.primeau@sympatico.ca

This site was updated using Nvu and Style Master.

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