Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dead Sea

The next day we went to the Dead Sea region. The drive from Arad to the Dead Sea is all downhill. Way downhill. We watched as the elevation signs went from 800 ft above sea level to 1378 ft below sea level.

Galina, HEU Tara and Jim @ Dead Sea Lookout

You can kind of see the Dead Sea in the above photo but the next one shows it a little more closely. If you look close enough through the haze you can see the mountains on the other side. Thats Jordan. You see those vertical lines in the sea? Those are from companies that are harvesting the minerals from the sea. There is a big stink about that believe me, some people claim this is destroying one of the most unique ecosystems on Earth.

Entering the Dead Sea itself is bizarre. The floor depth drops off quickly. Its like you take a step off the deep end, then you just start floating. It was as if all of a sudden I weighed 3 pounds. I pulled my feet up and instantly started floating on my back. Looking into the water you can see what looks like molten salt; its clear but you can still see the outlines of crystals swirling around in the water. Everything coming in contact with the water is covered in salt crystals.

I thought as I was floating that I could just float over to Jordan. It doesnt look that far from the shore honestly. But then I noticed all the Israeli Air Force flying the perimeter, they would probably try to stop me :)

Truely a unique experience, do it once in your lifetime!

Jim & HEU Tara in the Dead Sea

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Blogger JC said...

Been to the Great Salt Lake in Utah - it is a unique exerience. I thought it was funny that they had showers all along the shore where we went swimming - that was until I got out...
We saved a few salt crystals

10:40 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Havent been to the Salt Lake in Utah, I wonder how differnt the salt concentration is there vs. the Dead Sea. Oh yeah, the showers are an important aspect, particularly if you have a cut or two (or you get some water in your eye - ouch!)

7:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

look it up:


12:31 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Thanks cuz!

Interesting: the Salt Lake is between 5-27% salinity depending on the area and depth. The Dead Sea is a consistent 30%. Salt Lake's water is like seawater, the Dead Sea is nothing like it.

2:55 PM

Anonymous Jason said...

That is a unique experience. Cool to see it from your eyes. The name, "The Dead Sea" doesn't ring of a Disney vacation. lol.

What purty ladies you have with you. Oh, and I love how the tree on your shirt is so strategically placed ;)

4:41 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, no Disney there Jason. I think its called the Dead Sea because at that level of saline nothing lives in it. Kinda nice knowing there are no creatures to sneak up on you.

So you liie my tree of life, eh ;) (snort)

6:41 PM

Blogger Michael said...

I haven't been to the Dead Sea, yet, either. Again, thanks for the pictures and description.

I have been to Tiberias, at the northern end of the Rift Valley (the Dead Sea lies in the center of the Arava Rift, and the whole valley is, geologically, the northern extension of the Red Sea and Africa's Great Rift Valley). At Tiberias, the elevation does not go as low, but the differences are more extreme: the lake level is -620 feet, and the heights reach +2000 feet (Galil, to the west) and +2500 feel (Golan, to the east). Pretty impressive geology.

3:01 PM

Blogger Jim said...

I'll have to explore that region next time Michael. Maybe I'll tie that into the West Bank tour (since I missed that this time).

Definitely see the Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi!

10:43 PM


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