The Dead Sea Effect

My life in Jordan has settled into a familiar routine – going grocery shopping, attending school, spending weekends with friends, and the like. I have adjusted into this new pace of life quite comfortably and I look forward to the new adventures that arise each and every day.

Last weekend I was able to visit the most spectacular place that I have been fortunate enough to see during my time abroad. There are no words accessible in our limited vocabulary which have the ability to justly illustrate the scenery found at the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.

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Snapping a group picture of our skin covered in Dead Sea Mud before jumping back in the water.
Snapping a group picture of our skin covered in Dead Sea Mud before jumping back in the water.

Our group arrived at the Holiday Inn hotel a couple hours after noon, where we swiftly feasted on an assortment of foods before scurrying down to the changing areas to put on our bathing suits. As we walked through the numerous pools, hot tubs, and cafes in an effort to reach the beach, I could not help but to notice the breathtaking view that was right in front of me. The weather was a comfortable temperature – the sun reflected down on the sea and a consistent breeze glided between the giant palm trees and gardens of flowers – making me anxious to feel the sand between my toes.

Remarkably, the water in the Dead Sea was slightly chilly. It took more than a few seconds to become accustomed to the temperature before I mustered up the courage to plunge into the extremely salty water. Words of advice if you ever plan on visiting; take extra precaution to protect your eyes from the water otherwise it will gift you with an unforgiving burning sensation that is far from pleasant.

Look mom, I'm floating!
Look mom, I’m floating!

I was originally unaware about how the floating worked once in the water but I can now tell you that it kicks in instantaneously. It is such an odd feeling to let go of yourself and effortlessly float across the water as if you were a buoy in a lake. Of course we made sure to lather our bodies in the Dead Sea mud, which does wonders for your skin, snap a few pictures, and jump back into the water for a little while longer.  Once you spend a considerable amount of time relaxing in the salty sea, it seems as if the simple act of walking takes more energy than you ever realized it did before.

Sadly, this picture does not do justice to the spectacular sunset we witnessed over the West Bank.
Sadly, this picture does not do justice to the spectacular sunset we witnessed over the West Bank.

As the sun was starting to set, I made my way down to the beach to see exquisite colors of yellow, orange, and red fill the sky. The combination of the colorful sunset over the city of Jerusalem and the calming ripples gliding over the top of the Dead Sea water is an image I hope never escapes my mind. Without exaggeration, I could have certainly sat there for hours – soaking in the silence, being encompassed by the subtle breeze, and admiring the view of the West Bank. I hope that during my time in the Middle East I will have the opportunity to experience this same scenario again, only next time I desire it to be from the beaches of Jerusalem, where I can look across the Dead Sea into the beautiful country of Jordan – a place that is surely becoming a part of me.

From Jordan, With Love