To celebrate Brian's 30th birthday, he and I headed to the Dead Sea last weekend, which is also the lowest point on Earth. We first took Susie to a kennel up in the desert a little north of Amman near Madaba ... which was an experience in itself. Long gone are the days of luxurious Alexandria Doggie Day Care with the couches and webcam.
The route we took from the kennel to the Dead Sea was beautiful...winding roads, valleys, cliffs, and the color of Jordan --- BEIGE. It was a great drive and your ears pop as you descend deeper from elevation into the canyons and valleys.
We stayed at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar. We got a great rate and ended up with a "villa" (AKA room with a view of the Sea). It was really lovely and the hotel is beautiful, albeit a bit confusing and spread out in a way that neither Brian nor I think makes much sense. There are several pools, a "lazy river" and then of course the Dead Sea. We really loved the adult only Infinity Pool - biggest one we'd ever been in, overlooking the Sea. It was also warm enough to almost be a hot tub, even though the weather was perfect - sunny and probably mid to upper 70's!
The Dead Sea was an experience that I think every single person should have. It begins when they give you a pair of crocs to walk around on the rocky shoreline. You then go to a big bucket where someone has just brought up mud from the bottom of the Dead Sea. You throw away your inhibitions and smear this black mud all over your body. Some people just dabble in it and put some on their arms and legs...and others went to town, and coated their faces, scalp, hair and every inch of skin they could reach. The minerals are supposed to have healing and purifying properties on the skin and hair. You let the mud dry in the warm sun, then you can either rinse the mud off in the Sea or use an outdoor shower. It's more fun to rinse off in the Sea, but because it is SO salty, I don't recommend rinsing off your face in it!!
Speaking of the Sea, it's pretty crazy. Due to the salinity of the water, you literally float on top of the water. It's physically difficult to NOT float, or to try to bob around, because your feet just fly up! It is like sitting on a float ... minus the float. People take reading materials out there, basically sit on the water and read. It's a sight to see, that's for sure, and a really cool experience.