Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Better Late Than Never

I've been home for over a week now, but I'm still in catch-up mode. I feel like a hamster running on that wheel, chasing the rhythm of normal life. I was able to document most of the trip from the road, but I have one more post to crank out.

Our last day in Israel began with a stop at Qumran, a village near the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Our next stop was decidedly less ancient, the Ahava manufacturing plant and showroom. Ahava is a brand of skin care products made of mud and mineral-based compounds from the Dead Sea. The women in my life love the creams and lotions, so this was prime souvenir time for me.

the square is where the Romans camped out
Then it was down the road and back to the ancient past at Masada. Herod the Great established a fortress and built an amazing, terraced palace complex overlooking the Dead Sea. When the Romans attacked Masada, the Jewish inhabitants killed themselves rather than be taken into slavery. This is an extremely important site for Israelis, and one of the more memorable stops on the trip.

my mom soaking her feet while I float
The last stop of the day, and the trip, was the Dead Sea itself. Floating in the Dead Sea was on the bucket list, and the experience did not disappoint. The water is so salty and full of other chemicals that you don't put your head under the water. In fact, you don't splash around in the Dead Sea at all. Just a little bit of the water in your eyes is very painful. You wade out, sit back, and float. It's amazing. After my float, I partook in another Dead Sea tradition, covering your body in Dead Sea mud. I'll spare you the pictures, but that was a blast too.

The journey home was exhausting, but overall, the trip exceeded my expectations. I love it when that happens.

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