Floating, 423 meters below sea level
The Dead Sea! I’m going to put this at the start, and just get it out there. This experience was one of the best experiences I’v ever had while travelling. And it is such a simple thing – I find it hard to describe with any justice, just how fun it was!
How does it work?
3.7 million years ago, the region was connected to the Mediterranean sea. Between then and now (to make things short) tectonic movements shifted the area, and cut off the Mediterranean flow from being able to flood the valley. With no outflows, evaporation was the only method by which the ‘sea’ shrank to its current size. However those heavy particles (Salts) do not evaporate, they stay behind in the remaining water. And over time the concentration of salt to water has continued to increase. Today, the density is 1.2kg ‘Salts’ to 1 Liter of water.
That’s right folks – you would need 240 kg of salt to replicate this effect in your average bathtub of 200 litres.
Can you eat Salt from the Dead Sea?
Don’t do what I did.. and take a large block of salt, carry it all the way back to Germany, spend an afternoon breaking it up into small pieces, and bagging it for your friends. You cant eat it, or sprinkle it on your food! Which I found out right before giving it to them, luckily! Its not edible! As well as containing our ‘table salt’ ingredients, it contains many other minerals which are not found in typical table salt..
Water + salt + natural mud = priceless, priceless experience.
There are not so many places to sleep/stay in Ein Gedi.. However I will tell you about one great place. The car park. Or if you have a tent, even better. The camping is free, and it’s a magical spot to wake up in the morning.
The Dead Sea is only 29km from Jerusalem. It can easily be done in a day trip with a bus, a day tour with a bus company, and driving is perfectly easy too.
Can you drive a rental car from Jerusalem, to the Dead Sea? Yes! It is not considered a ‘Palestinian area’ (I wont get into this topic too much..) as the road and the area are controlled by the Israel.