Monday, October 8, 2012

A Day Off From Work Brought Us To the Dead Sea

Sunday is normally a work/school day.  Our Monday holidays are taken on Sunday, so this week Columbus Day for the Embassy was observed on Sunday.  But the kids didn't have off.  So on these rare occasions when Ian doesn't have work while the kids are in school, we try to do something fun.

This time, it was a quick trip to the Dead Sea.

We opted for a Day Pass a the Movenpick Dead Sea Resort and we now know why people stay over night when possible: a day pass for two is 100JD.  The Day Pass can be used for access to the beach and the pools, as well as a small lunch and not much more.

I will say this for the Movenpick resort.  The room areas are quiet and charming.  It's like walking through an old castle village, each door leads outside to a shady courtyard pathway.  There are numerous pools, a man-made beach (visible in the above photo), and easy access to the Dead Sea, complete with pots of Dead Sea mud.

The Dead Sea is kind of amusing beyond the cool factor of being the lowest point on Earth.  The bobbing up and down, the inability to swim, the slick feel of the water.  When you first get in, swirl your hand in the water.  You'll see the same shimmery movement as when you add salt to a pot of hot water.  I can do a pathetic freestyle in the Dead Sea but it's tough on the neck since you really can't put your head under water.  A drop on your lips tastes awful.  Getting it in your eyes would be extremely painful.  

Lunch was good, we each had a salad to offset the heat and humidity.  Returning to Amman was a blessing in that regard.  No heat, no sweat, and definitely no flies here in Amman.  I don't know where the flies came from by the sa, but dozens settled on us immediately while we sat in our lounge chairs waiting for drinks and they didn't let up until we made our way to the sea. Even when we moved to eat our meal they followed, and when we returned to the lounge chairs the cushions were covered in flies.  Above all else, the flies were an annoyance and a distraction and seriously hindered relaxation.  We could have also used better signage around the expansive resort, but wandering is enjoyable as well.

On our way back home we stopped at Jesus' Baptism Site, a mere 10 minutes down the road from the Dead Sea resorts.  There is a shuttle to see the sites as well as an hour+ of walking involved so we decided to save it for another time, perhaps when my parents' visit.

We also stopped at a tourist trap souvenir spot.  Ian picked up a little box to hold his business cards on his desk at work.  There are beautiful game tables for sale as well but 1000JD (or even the very special price for us of 500JD) was too much for a little table.  We have time to keep looking.

We'll go back to the Dead Sea, no question.  When it's a bit cooler and less "fly season," overnight at the Marriott with some of the kids.  It's an easy drive (if we can figure out the proper turn on the way home), and a nice change from the hills of Amman.

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