We are on our way to the Salt Sea. I can’t wait to see it!
The rain has stopped and it is a crisp, beautiful day. We are on our way to the Salt Sea. I can’t wait to see it. I have heard so much about it my whole life. I am really looking forward to floating in it.
Notice I said Salt Sea and not Dead Sea. That’s right. Israelis feel the Sea is anything but “Dead.” They believe it to be a very special place.
(The Salt Sea)
The Sea (actually a saltwater lake) is over 3 million years old. Its 34% mineral content is very alive and healthy. For thousands of years people, including Cleopatra, have been visiting the Dead Sea for its restorative qualities. It is thought to help skin disorders, arthritis and relieve stress—making it the world’s first health spa! It is also the lowest place on earth and is rimmed with gorgeous mountains and cliffs with multi-colored striations.
By the time we got to the Salt Sea it was time for lunch and after having just eaten we might not float so we first visited the Masada—where the Judean Desert meets the Salt Sea. The site served as a fortification and or palace for many different civilizations going back as far as 4,000 years. It was the last stronghold of the Jews against the Romans. It is where David hid when he escaped from King Saul.
Afterward it was pretty hot and I was ready for a dip—or a float! I was intrigued by the people rubbing very dark green and black mud all over themselves. Tsion, our guide, had told us the salt was very strong and to go gently. I walked into the Sea, turned backward and just let go. It was pretty amazing. Not sure how it happened but I got water in my eyes and whoa!—it really stung. I thought I could tough it out but I couldn’t even open my eyes and had to be led out with my eyes closed and rinse it out.
(People floating in the Salt Sea)
Later we went to Qumran, a settlement near where the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were discovered. The scrolls were found in a group of caves, believed to have possibly been a library of sorts, when a Bedouin shepherd found his lost goat inside one of the caves and literally stumbled over a scroll. The scrolls are in varying stages of decay and some were in pieces but Isaiah was pretty much whole.
(A cave near Qumran)