The Dead Sea

Hello, hello!

We made it to Friday which I have been looking forward to since well, last weekend ended. I am particularly looking forward to this weekend because our friend Andreas is visiting and the forecast shows temperatures in the mid-70’s. I am hoping we will visit the Dallas Arboretum and White Rock Lake where we can soak in the warmth.

Today’s post is all about our experiences at the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is actually a salt lake in between the countries of Israel to its West and Jordan to its East. Besides being one of the World’s saltiest bodies of water, the Dead Sea also marks the Earth’s lowest point of elevation. Biblically, the Dead Sea was a place of refuge for King David, a war site for Abraham, and the supposed location of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. Producer-wise, the Dead Sea manufactures some of the most amazing skincare products that make your skin feel unbelievably soft.

After our one-night stay in Petra, we drove our rental car  back north towards the direction of Amman but slightly to the West towards the Dead Sea. Jordan was smart to bring his little speaker for the car ride so that we could listen to music in English, rather than the Jordanian tunes on the radio.

Driving to the Dead Sea was interesting because we went for so long without seeing much of anything and then all of the sudden, the sea appears in all its beauty. Along the coastline is a plethora of hotels and resorts. We easily found the Crown Plaza where we had booked our stay for the evening. We pulled up and were stopped by a barricade and then a security officer came up to our window. He asked for our name and to state the purpose of our arrival at the hotel. He then proceeded to scan the car, tires, and inside of the trunk for explosives. It was intense.

We passed the test, phew, and then drove up to the lobby where we were able to check-in early and drop off our bags. The concierge and front-desk attendants spoke great English and were very friendly. They mentioned that a couple of the buildings on their property closest to the Sea were actually closed since it was low season. This was a bit of a bummer since our room sat back a ways, but we understood the reasoning.

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At this point we were hungry, so we hopped back into the car and drove maybe three minutes down the road to the Samarah Mall. Consistent with hotel, the mall was absolutely dead. Like maybe two other people in the Pastiche Cafe where we dined. After a pretty tasty and very affordable meal, we picked up some Dead Sea products that I wanted to bring back as gifts. It was then back to the hotel and off to the beach!

This girl forgot to pack a swimsuit and honestly, with the temperatures being in the 50’s, I am not sure I would have been able to handle the cold. I opted for Nike shorts and a dri-fit shirt because nothing screams sexy like that outfit at the beach. No shame here though because it kept me warm and if the locals were making fun of me I wouldn’t have been able to understand them so its all good.

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We first noticed that the red flags were up on the poles which is supposed to mean that floating in the sea is off limits, but apparently they do not follow the rules because they let us get in. In fact, they were overly excited to show us where the mud was and even help put it on Jordan’s back which was very weird. I rubbed the mud on my legs since that was the only area of skin exposed. We then made our way into the water and to our surprise, it was warm.

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The whole thing was such an awesome experience because looking at the water from the beach, it looks like any lake or ocean. But then you get in, and just float. Imagine standing up straight in the water and not moving at all. Mind blown. While floating we rubbed the mud off of our body to leave our skin feeling oh so smooth.

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I am kicking myself now for not having somebody take pictures of us in the water, but hey what can you do. After we did some floating, Jordan surprised me by saying “lets go check out the spa.” Yes, and yes. We get to the spa and when we ask her if they have any discounts/specials going on she says “Yes, from 9-3 every day it is happy hour so all services are 50% off!” The is great except for the fact that we arrived at 3:30 PM. So two full price massages it was.

Although a massage is always a nice treat, these were particularly painful. Afterward we both felt like we had just been beaten up a little. No mercy for the Americans. Post massage, we freshened up and went back to the mall to eat at a recommended seafood place. The salad and fish were mediocre and left us wanting dessert so we went back to our lunch spot to indulge in a milkshake and some shisha, aka hookah. I cannot say I have a whole lot of experience with hookah, but I actually found the lemon/peppermint flavor to be semi-tasty. The Oreo milkshake was better though.

20150113_210046 Full and tired after a fun-filled day, we drove back to the Crown Plaza, had the car searched, and then hit the sack. The Dead Sea was beautiful and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to float in it.

The excitement continues in the next post as I talk about our time in the UAE with some super special friends. I hope you have a restful weekend and thanks so much for reading!

-Abby Dawn

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