Saturday, January 07, 2006

Dead Sea: 31st December 2005

The last day of 2005 saw us at our lowest point since our travels began and arguably the lowest point in our married lives. The only consolation was that we were so low the only way we could possibly go was up. When you get to the lowest point on the planet, 422 metres below sea level, there is no other option.

Jerusalem in the mosaic mapIt was an early start for the coach trip along the ‘King’s Highway’ or Desert Highway to Madaba (Medeba as it is known in the Old Testament). After the obligatory stop at a tourist trap roadside souvenir shop, the first real stop was Madaba where there is a fine C6th mosaic map of the Holy Land on the floor of a Greek Orthodox Church.

Moses probably didn't have the signboardThen it was a short drive to the top of Mount Nebo where Moses stood to look at the Promised Land that he could not enter and where, reputedly, he is buried under the church. We should have been able to see Jerusalem but could only just make out Jericho through the haze.

Then it was down from 900m to –422m to the Dead Sea Spa for lunch and a float. Sunset over the Dead SeaIt is truly an amazing experience to be able to float vertically without treading water and to experience the buoyancy of 34% salt solution. After sunset over the Dead Sea the return trio to Aqaba down the Jordan valley was, unfortunately, in the dark and we could only see the lights of Israel.

Late night entertainmentOn our return to the hotel, a pleasant surprise was waiting for us in the form of an invite to the hotel’s New Year’s Eve party, courtesy of the tour operator, Voyages Jules Verne. There was special food laid on and a belly dancer for entertainment.


Bradley said...

Would it be excessively nit-picky to state that it's not the "lowest point on the planet", per se, just the lowest point that isn't under water? :-)

Murray said...