Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Visiting Ein Gedi

The trip to Ein Gedi, a kibbutz town on the shore of the Dead Sea, was just under three hours straight down Route 90. This was not the route suggested by our GPS, which wanted us to go way west, then south on the new major toll highway, then back east. I suspect that's because 90 runs quite close to the Jordanian border along much of its length -- in a few spots, a matter of yards. There are a couple of security checkpoints, though one was unmanned and the soldiers at the other took a quick look at us and waved us through.

Bulgarian Sandwich!Dina's comment that "Kibbutz Resort" was an oxymoron is about right! This is a pretty barebones hotel, similar to a seaside motel in any of a number of shore towns, except this and a nearby youth hostel are it. There's a snack bar off the reception lobby, where we just had lunch after arriving, and the "Bulgarian sandwich" was great. Cheese (similar to feta) and olive spread and tomato spread, grilled like a panini.

We're off to the nature preserve shortly, and then Jeff and I are going to go float in the Dead Sea for a bit.

Back from the Dead Sea! What a remarkable sensation, to be able to float -- not just able, but pretty much unable to do anything else. You can swim, but you can't really dive below the surface without trying really hard. The salinity and mineral content are also such that any open cuts or nicks on your skin are going to reveal themselves sharply. Apparently whatever's been making the back of my neck itch, or at least the scratching I've been doing as a result, means enough abrasions to feel a bit of a burn.

Before that, we hit the nature preserve, which not only had some hiking trails similar to Watkins Glen State Park, but also an ancient synagogue excavation dating back about 1,900 years.
Tags: israel

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