Results tagged “Dead Sea” from Eurasia 2012

Woke up a couple of times in the night, but eventually slept through til 6:45am.. w00t!

Today we headed south. Drove first through Tiberias, which was easy because it was the Sabbath so nothing was open and no traffic around.

The first stop was Yardenit, an area on the Jordan river just south of the Sea of Galilee. This area has been completely commercialised and is used to perform baptisms. So we get there and are told we can spend half an hour looking around. And I'm like.. you rush us through cool stuff but give us half an hour at a tourist trap? The river was cool and all, but hardly "authentic" (they think Jesus was baptised a lot closer to Jericho, but that whole area is sealed off by the military; plus, the river is completely surrounded by eucalypts which makes it seem like just any other Australian river, not a biblical one). Fortunately Bruce hated the commercialisation of it and got us out of there a little early.

People being baptised in the Jordan River<br>Photo by Dad
People being baptised in the Jordan River
Photo by Dad

Jordan River.  Looks like somewhere in New South Wales.
Jordan River. Looks like somewhere in New South Wales.

Next stop was Bet She'an, a cool old Roman city. We had a few talks at the beginning then we had half an hour to roam ourselves. Could have used a bit (lot) longer but did get to go up the hill so got a bunch of cool photos of the city.

End of the hippodrome in Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
End of the hippodrome in Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Bet She'an park sign.  Notice the bushes of rosemary - this stuff was everywhere!
Bet She'an park sign. Notice the bushes of rosemary - this stuff was everywhere!

Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Bet She'an
Bet She'an

Roman bath house in Bet She'an
Roman bath house in Bet She'an

Toilet block in Bet She'an
Toilet block in Bet She'an

Tree stump on a hill next to the town.  This was put there for the movie Jesus Christ Superstar filmed there in 1973
Tree stump on a hill next to the town. This was put there for the movie Jesus Christ Superstar filmed there in 1973

Main street of Bet She'an
Main street of Bet She'an

Mosaic in Bet She'an
Mosaic in Bet She'an

Collanade in Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Collanade in Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

At the top of Tel Bet She'an
At the top of Tel Bet She'an

Bet She'an from above
Bet She'an from above

Theatre and main street
Theatre and main street

Byzantine Sigma
Byzantine Sigma

Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Bet She'an<br>Photo by Dad
Bet She'an
Photo by Dad

Theatre
Theatre

Theatre
Theatre

Drove through a checkpoint and into the Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Was a little nervous about this actually.

By this point the landscape was a lot more arid, and a lot more like I imagined Israel would be like. By the time we got to Jericho it was *very* arid.

Arid hills in the Jordan valley<br>Photo by Dad
Arid hills in the Jordan valley
Photo by Dad

Looking up the monastery in Jericho
Looking up the monastery in Jericho

Monastery in Jericho
Monastery in Jericho

At Jericho we had lunch at the "Temptation" restaurant (supposedly this is where Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert). Really it's just a big tourist trap, with shops attached to the restaurant and kickbacks for the tour operators. Still, the food was pretty good, even if the toilets were a nightmare.

Glassware for sale in Jericho
Glassware for sale in Jericho

Cable car over ancient Jericho<br>Photo by Dad
Cable car over ancient Jericho
Photo by Dad

Elisha Spring Fountain
Elisha Spring Fountain

Peacock jump
Peacock jump

After lunch we took the cable car up the side of the mountain. Had a whole ten minutes at the top which by the time we went for a walk up to see if we could see the monastery gave us really no time at all to enjoy the view, I just got all hot and sweaty (good for the step count though I suppose).

Township from the cable car
Township from the cable car

Going up the cable car
Going up the cable car

Mountainside
Mountainside

Looking back down towards Jericho<br>Photo by Dad
Looking back down towards Jericho
Photo by Dad

Monastery in Jericho
Monastery in Jericho

Came back down and had a wander around the ruins of the old city. The place was made of mudbricks so there's nothing much left, but there is a tower that they think is one of the oldest human constructions still surviving on the planet.

Ancient tower in Jericho - one of the oldest man-made structures in existence
Ancient tower in Jericho - one of the oldest man-made structures in existence

Ancient Jericho
Ancient Jericho

Ancient Jericho
Ancient Jericho

Continued driving south through lots of desert and past the odd random camel just standing around.

Random camel
Random camel

Then it was driving past the Dead Sea on the left and cliffs and canyons of very loose looking rocks on the right. I was vaguely worried we'd be crushed in a rock slide. The Dead Sea sure was pretty though.

Dead Sea
Dead Sea

Dead Sea
Dead Sea

Canal entrance to the southern Dead Sea
Canal entrance to the southern Dead Sea

Dead Sea hotels
Dead Sea hotels

Got to our hotel on the Dead Sea (I was right - the "fancier" the hotel the less likely you are to get free internet - $15/day here. And "fancy" prices for drinks here too - about two and a half times the prices of the last hotel. I used the drink voucher we got, but didn't buy any more).

Our hotel room with nice big bed for me
Our hotel room with nice big bed for me

Of course the first thing we all had to do was go for a swim in the Dead Sea. Which was bizarre and cool and slimy and salty.

So yeah, you totally float much much higher than you do in regular water. It's really hard to describe what it was like. Crazy!

Floating in the Dead Sea<br>Photo by Dad
Floating in the Dead Sea
Photo by Dad

Floating in the Dead Sea<br>Photo by Dad
Floating in the Dead Sea
Photo by Dad

Floating in the Dead Sea
Floating in the Dead Sea

After we'd had enough we headed back to the hotel pools for a more regular swim (although they had a pool with Dead Sea water in it, so had another float there too).

Then washed my hair, had a drink with some of the others, had dinner, downloaded photos and suddenly it's 10pm.. hrmmm..

Hotel pool by night
Hotel pool by night


Distance covered on the GPS: 226.4km (didn't get above sea level all day!)
Steps walked: 15371
Photos on the Canon: 731
Photos on the Sony: 86
Videos: 22
NIS spent: 10