Dead Sea

Sometimes you crack it and sometimes you don’t.  A couple of our hotels were “just OK”.  Our first hotel in Amman had the worst breakfast layout I have ever seen.  Admittedly it was aimed at the Jordanian breakfast experience, but even their food looked uninviting, tables weren’t cleared and dishes weren’t replenished.

Our hotel at the Dead Sea, or more particularly at Ma’in Hot Springs was the best.   Set in a gorge above the Dead Sea but still 250m below sea level, it was comfortable and the attention given to us was superb.  You are a captive audience as there is no cafe to slip out to eat at and the nearest resorts on the Dead Sea are the Movenpick and Marriott – a hairy ride down the twisting roads of those incredibly desolate mountains.

We arrived on the Dead Sea via one of those twisting roads, following a bus that seemed to know every twist and turn.  The view was stunnng, a cloudy afternoon, “the hand of God” appearing through the clouds and the blue, blue Dead Sea, the edges encrusted with salt.

We visited the next day – clear blue sky, water like glass and at least half the Jordanian population picnicking on any flat surface available to them.  It must be Friday!

We bought a day pass to the Movenpick and after a 15 minute stroll though their fabulous gardens, we finally reached the sea.

It’s true – you float.  If you try to swim you clumsily roll over onto your back.  You can almost “sit” in the water.  But don’t get it in your mouth (yuk) or worse still, in your eyes – it stings.  The next thing to do is rub yourself down with mud and stand like a scarecrow while it dries and hardens.  Back into the Dead Sea to wash it off.  It must be good for you.

We watched the sun set over Israel and ate grilled tuna before climbing back up the mountain, and down again to our hotel at only 250m below sea level.

Our last day in this unique part of the world was a lazy one at the resort – it was just so good.  Nearby was the public hot springs, water falling over a cliff and dropping some 30m or 40m into a pond.  The water temperature is between 40C and 60C.  It is a popular place for Jordanians who come for the therapy.  In the modest Islamic way the women are fully clothed as they stand under this hot spring.  That must aso be good for you.