Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Floating in the Dead Sea is the life!

Monday April 5th - Wednesday April 7th
Staying at the Jordan Valley Marriott at the Dead Sea was the perfect ending to our trip.  We needed some pampering after our hard travels:)!

The Marriott - now that's what I'm talking about!

Our home for the next two days!

Floating in the Dead Sea was one of the things I was most looking forward to on our trip!  I had lots of questions.  I mean - are we really going to float?  Like really float?  How salty is this water anyway?  How smooth will the Dead Sea mud make my skin?  If the mud really works, could I just start digging and take some back in the zip lock that I brought with me just in case?  Serious questions that needed to be answered!

So - yes - you float.  It was kind of weird though, because I remember treading water even though I saw other people floating and then finally decided to just "trust the process" and voila - I was floating - very cool!  The water is 30% salt - 8 times as salty as the ocean.  And if you want to know - yes it burns like hell if you get it in your eye (thanks for "toeing" me in Zann - I am forever indebted to you as I thought I was officially blind after the "wave incident" - maybe trying to swim to Israel was a bad idea after all).  I also got the water in my mouth - yuck.  My mouth felt so dry and I ended up spitting for the next 3 hours trying to get the salt out of my mouth - it was way worse than the salt water concoction my mom used to make us gargle when we were kids and had a sore throat!:)  Also, the salt doesn't ruin your bathing suit but the mud does - just a word to the wise! And finally, the mud does make your skin as smooth as a baby's butt, but I decided to just buy some from the gift store instead of going with the zip lock!

 It was a bit of a process lathering on the mud, drying, and then floating - but we managed:)

First we float!

Not a care in the world!

Now the mud...how much do we need?

you're gonna need more than that...


You've got to let it dry for the best results!

Now back in the water to wash it off - I think our skin already felt smoother at this point! And what is Zann doing in the background - hilarious!:)

This part of the vacation was the pampering I needed:)  Frozen drinks at the lowest point on earth.  Laying around reading magazines by the pool with an amazing view.  Watching the sunset from the balcony.  Aaaaah - I heart the Marriott and the Dead Sea!  We also loved the food which was very "greek" - more hummus, olives, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil on everything - yumm!  I think at one point I said "I want to be Jordanian":)!

The view from our lounge chairs - this is the life!

Drinks at the "lowest place on Earth"!

Now that's low!

Our last night in paradise - drinks, dinner, the sunset and 31(our new favorite card game)!  Well, my new favorite game since I was the winner!  And I WANT my francs people!:)

Around 2 pm on Wednesday April 5th, a driver came to pick us up and take us to Amman to tour the city and then catch our 3 am flight home!  We hadn't planned to tour Amman, but had heard there was some pretty cool architecture and ruins left from the Romans, so the boys looked up some stuff to do and booked it.  We love our men:)! 

First stop - we saw where Jesus was baptised - well actually just the parking lot.:)  I wanted to say thanks to our driver who teased us with the parking lot saying sorry you didn't pay to go on this part of the tour - nice!  Then he pointed out Mount Nebo - the place where Moses viewed the promised land - we didn't book that part either.:(  But in our defense we only had a few hours and we didn't know how far away these sites were (apparently not that far) - I guess we'll just have to do that next year when we come back to the Dead Sea! :)

First stop in Amman was the Roman Theater built somewhere around 169 - 177 A.D. (but I read several conflicting dates - some a bit earlier some a bit later).  With my minimal knowledge of Middle Eastern history (well history in general for that matter), I was amazed to see all the Roman ruins, but apparently the Romans ruled this area from around 30 B.C. to 614 A.D. and designed it to look like other Roman cities with columns, amphitheaters, roman bath houses, and streets - much of which you can still see the ruins of today. 

The Roman Theater

I found this statement about Amman " Amman is arguably one of the first human settlements in history.  Thus, to visit Amman is to learn about the origin of human society."  Very interesting statement that was backed up when we visited the First National Archaeological Museum at the Citadel in Amman, because it housed artificats from numerous civilizations dating back over 7000 years ago! Who knew?!
The entrance to the Citadel

View of Amman and the Roman Theater from the Citadel

The Dead Sea Scrolls are housed at the First National Archaeological Museum

I can't wait for this vacation to end because I'm sick of taking pictures!:)

Nathan and the Temple of Hercules (which is larger than any temple in Rome itself)

We finished our day with a little shopping at a Bazaar then an amazing Jordanian Dinner that we were all stuffed from and that cost less than $10 total (for all 4 of us)- you know Nathan loved that!:)  Finally on to the airport as our trip was over:( 

Our last meal:(  This was a cheese dessert that I can't for the life of me remember the name of - but it was really good!

No better way to end a vacation than spending the night at the airport!  Gotta protect our souvenirs - especially "the egg" - right Zann?

We had such an amazing time and loved every minute of it!  One of the best trips we have ever been on! 

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