Floating on the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea

My journey was nearly over but I still had the best part ahead of me: the Dead Sea. That day, we took advantage of a hotel’s private beach, also offering lunch. Of course there are also free (or cheaper) options, but I couldn’t be in a swimsuit there because it’s inappropriate. Hotel beaches are full of other tourists who also wish to swim in peace and the biggest possible comfort. We tourists are spoiled, what can I say …

A view of the Dead Sea coast.

After all the routine processes you do when you come to the beach (sunscreen, water, swimsuit, flip-flops that you forgot in the car, hat etc.), we first walked to the Dead Sea. The hotel has pools where there are deck chairs, and there is some Dead Sea coast 200 meters lower, where you can only lie on water (or on the hard salty floor, if you wish).

Dead Sea coast. What looks like mini waves is actually pure salt.

The weather was hot, the water perfect and cooling – I recognize that by shivering when I first step in it. When it’s 30° outside, water just doesn’t make any sense if you feel nicely warm already when you go in. I didn’t know exactly how to tackle going into the Dead Sea. I usually jump into the sea, which is forbidden here, and you also can’t swim. You just … lie down, as if the sea is the softest bed.

Floating in the Dead Sea was one of the best experiences of the journey.

The floating feeling is incredibly funny, but when you turn towards the sun, you have a combination of both: sunbathing and swimming. The problem is that you have to be incredibly careful not to let any water come into your eyes or mouth. Some water dripped from my hair into my mouth and the taste you get isn’t salty. It’s as if you got acid on your tongue and couldn’t get rid of it. Luckily the path towards the deck chairs also has showers with fresh water, which helped me get rid of the feeling.

This is how the “rocks” look. They’re actually a combination of salt and healing mud.

I plopped down beside the pool and figured out how soft my skin was. Maybe they say that the Dead Sea has healing properties because you get a thin layer of salt on your skin that stubbornly stays there … I spent the next three hours being lazy, reading and floating a bit more. The feeling didn’t get any less funny.

My position on (and view from) the pool chair.

Back to the beginning

Whether we wanted to or not, it was time to return to Amman, full of experiences and impressions from the week-long journey. My flight was at eight in the morning, which meant an incredibly early departure as well as that a fair bit of packing waited for me. It was weird to come to the loud and bustling Amman after the quiet places we had visited. My brother took me to the lively centre for the last time and impressed me (as he did many times this week) with his knowledge of Arabic when he ordered shawarma and smoothies.

This is the sunset above the Dead Sea with which Jordan said goodbye to me.

In the morning, I woke up before the morning prayer in the mosque and left to the airport. I got a bit lost there first (I tried to get through passport control before checking in), then sat down in Starbucks in peace and waited for my flight. The plane was completely empty once again and I comfortably had the seats all to myself. One train and bus ride and 10 hours later, I was comfortably at home, with hair full of mud, sand and salt, but otherwise safe and sound. Now I only had to get used to real life again.

Continue (Nice people and you are what you eat)