Before going to big Petra, we decided to take a day trip to the Dead sea. We ordered a private bus the night before to take us early in the morning to the Dead Sea. Even though the it isn't too far away kilometers-wise, the trip required us to go through some mountains, making the trip last about 2.5 hours. Here was a picture I snapped while we took a break at a scenic spot.
Along the way to the Dead Sea, I knew we were getting close as a noticed some salt deposits, and what looked like some factories that may have been used for refining the salts. Our driver dropped us off at a private beach, where we had to pay about $15 USD just to enter the beach. The place we went to was the equivalent of a resort hotel without the hotel part. There were some nice pools, a gift shop or two, and if I remember correctly, even a restaurant. However, we were there for one reason, and we marched through the mass of people straight to the beach area.
Immediately upon entering, the first thing I noticed was the pleasant temperature. It felt as though I was swimming in warm bath water. Once I reached a point where the water was up to my waist, I could just sit down, and float. This sounds so simple and unexciting, but it is honestly one of the most unique things I have ever experienced. This is due to the Dead Sea's high salinity (about 9 times saltier than the ocean, the Dead Sea is second only to Djibouti's Lake Asal). You can try to swim, but you can't put your head under the water, or the salt will get in your eyes, which is extremely painful. At one point, the cuts on my hands I had incurred since the beginning of my trip were burning so bad that I had to get out of the water and chill out in the pool for a while. Nevertheless, I got some much needed relaxation by just laying down and floating effortlessly in the water.
Floating in the Dead Sea
View from one of the pools
Some interesting facts about the Dead Sea:
- Its shores are the lowest point on the surface of the Earth
- At 330m, it is also the deepest hypersaline lake in the world
- It is 42 miles long and 18 miles across at its widest point
- It is considered one of the world's first health resorts (King Herod used it for this purpose)
- Its mud is considered to have special healing and therapeutic uses
Although an expensive day trip, our visit to the Dead Sea was fun and relaxing. The scenic drive to and from also offered some more great views of such a beautiful country.
Petra up next!