The Dead Sea, or Yam ha-Mavet which is Hebrew for “Sea of Death” is located in the southern region of Israel between Jordan to the east and the West Bank to the west. It is called the “dead sea” because of the salinity level is so high nothing can live, the water is 9.6 times saltier than the oceans we sail. It is approximately 1,407 feet below sea level making it not only the lowest point on Earth on any land mass but also the deepest hypersaline lake at 1237 feet deep. (more wiki info Here) The air is denser, due to the lower elevation, and it is actually noticable too! The Dead Sea is fed by the Jordan River, the same river Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and where Jesus came to preach and heal during His ministry. It is the place where in the Bible where King David took refuge from Saul, where King Herod had the world’s first health resort here, and this past century where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a cave in the mountains that line the sea. (interesting facts here)
We ended up staying at the Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel which is right across the street from the Dead Sea and they have a really cool beach/lounge area right on the water. The water was a little chilly but once you got over the intial shock it wasn’t so bad…(ok for Michelle it wasn’t but I’m a warm blooded southern boy so it was feeling it!) When you first get in it is a crazy feeling because not only is the water a thicker-than-water oily/mineral spirits type of liquid, but you can feel the bouancy pushing against your skin. By the time you get past your waist you can start to have trouble staying on your feet because your body is wanting to float, it’s freaky. Lean back like your about to sit in a chair and you would most probably(depending on your gracefulness) still have dry shoulders and neck. The floating is such an other world type of sensation that you can’t stop smiling and thinking about how you shouldn’t be doing it, that is unless you are a PhD in fluid dynamics then I’m sure it naturally makes sense to you. The bottom is covered in big crystals of salt and small pebbles of halite.
After our dip, we headed back to the hotel where they have a heated pool that is filled with the rich water from the Sea. It was nice to float in the warm pool and chat with friends. I must say that after our swim in the waters of the Dead Sea we felt as if our hair and skin was much more moisturized and soft. This place is just amazing to experience! There is just something powerful in the waters in the Dead Sea, it moves you both physically and spiritually. Michelle and I really enjoyed this part of our trip and would go again if/when we go back to Israel.
And here is a quick video of our
swimming floating experience in the Dead Sea.