Dead Sea & Mt Nebo

Trip Start Sep 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 18, 2008

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Where I stayed
Movenpick Resort And Spa

Flag of Jordan  ,
Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our last 2 days were intended to be all about relaxation. The Moevenpick Dead Sea has the world's first spa (supposedly the Queen of Sheba and Solomon visited awhile back...probably before it was the Moevenpick :)

We left Aqaba in the morning and headed north along the Dead Sea Highway. It's close to the border with Israel, so we were stopped often. "Where are you from?" "Passports?" "Where are you going?" "Where are you coming from?". Many of the Jordanian soldiers looked like bored teenagers with rifles. I think we were stopped to give them something to do on that long, empty road.

The colors of this area make me think of the phrase "land of milk and honey"...there are some incredible caramels, honeys and milky colors in the soil. Combined with the red sand, the green scrub grasses and the blues of the Dead Sea and sky, it is quite a striking view along this road.

Eventually, we arrived in the Dead Sea hotel area and checked in to Room N17 (Nebo 17). A gorgeously posh room with a small balcony overlooking the Dead Sea. We changed and headed down to the Dead Sea.

Now, I'd read alot about the Dead Sea--the lowest place on earth, it's shrinking by evaporating, the high salt content that makes you float, the benefits to your skin and your health, and the warnings about how painful small cuts and scratches can be in the sea. Let me just say that salt burns in places you never imagined!

The beach and bottom of the sea is rocky--painful to walk...but super easy to float, when the waves take hold. Even I am buoyant in the Dead Sea! Lifeguards are on hand just in case they get a leaden one--but mainly they are there to pour fresh water into burning eyes for those who don't know not to put their faces in the Dead Sea. Bryan tried the special mud packs--supposedly an extravagant natural mixture to make skin soft as velvet. There are showers to wash the Dead Sea film off--it is quite a coating of salty minerals.

The next day, we went early to Mt Nebo to see the Promised Land. Moses is said to be buried up there somewhere--having been denied entry to the Promised Land after all he'd done. Hazy views of Israel and the Dead Sea. Really enjoyed the morning drive through small towns and wide open spaces.

And on our final afternoon, we splurged. We treated ourselves to the day package at Zara Spa. JD 25 per person lets you into the special pools and whirlpools on a day long pass. There are 3 heated in-door whirlpools with varying degrees of salt. And a lovely outdoor pool with seats along the edges--and all of these were no deeper than 5 feet--so I could walk around and enjoy all this pool-time too. And then there was an infinity pool overlooking the Dead Sea and near a cafe/bar. In the middle of the afternoon, an attendant brought us ice cold washcloths smelling of rose oil. We had a meal out there and fresh juices. As the sun was about to sink--we enjoyed a local rose wine (from "Latroun, Holy Land") and peanuts. We swatted flies, toasted the Holy Land and enjoyed a glorious sunset while listening to a mix of old songs piped into the pool area.
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