From Tel Aviv, a driver/guide took us to the most eastern point of Israel—the Dead Sea.
We visited 'Ein Gedi Sea of Spa', where we had a wonderful 90 minute massage-- very much needed after so much traveling. Right after waking up from the massage we put on our bathing suits and headed to the "mud".
It is said that the black mud from the Dead Sea improves skin's natural processes, eases rheumatic pains and relaxes muscles, but all I could feel was the relief of putting something cold on my skin to alleviate the burning sensation of the middle eastern sun.
I like to research every place I am visit, but because the trip here was sort of a last minute decision, I didn't come prepared. As we got to the beach I almost started to run towards the water to soon realize that my feet weren't ready for it. The bottom is slippery and in some areas you feel as if you were walking on a reef. Note to self: "Must bring water shoes to the Dead Sea".
Imagine my surprise...
I am very excited to get into the Dead Sea but I've just realized that I can't run nor walk fast enough to get there and enjoy the water. I am sweating and about to faint because of the heat. I finally get there and... (drumroll please!) the water is HOT! I don't mean warm/nice, I mean "jacuzzi hot". HOT!
Thankfully, just the excitement about being there was enough to make us forget about the heat.
This place is one of the most serene places I've ever experienced. The silence is ethereal.
Taking a moment to enjoy the view— with Jordan on the horizon.
Can't decide what is hotter: to be in or out of the water!
I finally got myself into the water as I had to experience 'floating in the Dead Sea'. I thought it would be just easier to float but the minute I laid back I felt as if my body was being pushed up— the feeling was unexpected yet very relaxing. The "floating push" was so intense that it was hard to stand back again on my feet.
No caption needed.
I was looking forward to seeing camels, but not quite like this. "Pay to ride a camel" felt the same way as the "pay for a horse-drawn carriage ride around NY's Central Park"— disagreeable.
Our guide then took us here. Masada, an Israeli National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here, we took the cable car to get to the top of the mesa.
The place is of great significance to Jews as it is the place where the last Jewish stronghold against Roman invasion stood. For many Jews it symbolizes the determination of their people to be free. I invite you to read the story or watch the movie.
The view from the top is magnificent.
The place is so beautifully serene that you almost forget about the heat.
Many have asked me about the jewelry I've been wearing throughout this trip. I did not get in Israel although we did meet and signed some amazing Israeli jewelers. The jewelry is from Kei Jewelry (www.keijewelry.com/) and the scarf is a thrift find from Jaffa's flea market.
Even though a risky move at the time because of the heat, I decided to go back down through the Snake Path. It is not every day that I get to hike down a World Heritage Site in Israel while admiring the beauty of the Dead Sea and Jordan in the horizon.
Here, Pola and I parted ways. Because of her twisted ankle (a "funny" moment in Lake Como, Italy) she took the cable car back down and I went on an unforgettable hike down Masada. I made it an hour later and we headed to Jerusalem.
ISRAEL PART III: Jerusalem (coming later this week)