Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Lowest Point on Earth

Good evening again my blog readers. Today (Saturday) our group headed out to the region of the Dead Sea to explore. First up was our baptism on the Jordan River. The spot we went to today was much more secluded and far less touristy feeling. Plus it is most likely closer to the actual spot that Jesus was baptized in. It was a sweet time to be together in the Lord's presence and remember our faith and be baptized in the same waters that Jesus was. Everyone agreed that it was the highlight of the day.

Then we headed to Masada, which is this giant fortress built on the top of a mountain by Herod the Great and it was later used by the Jewish during the revolts during 70 A.D. To get to the top we had to ride cable cars like the ones you see in the Alps. I am not a huge fan of heights, and Adam and Alan found about it when we were driving through the Golan Heights the other day and kept teasing me about it...good-naturally of course. :) it was really interesting to see and once we got to the top it didn't really seem so high up so I was great.

Then we stopped at Ein Gedi, which is the site where David and his men sought refuge when Saul was chasing them. David also used these settings as inspiration for many of his psalms. It was a beautiful nature park with walking paths and waterfalls. It was at one of these waterfalls that we stopped to read about David and Saul and also to read some psalms. The psalms really do come to life when you can actually see and experience the things that David is writing about.

After that we stopped at the Ahava store, which is the maker of all the Dead Sea skincare products. We bought a few things before heading down to the Dead Sea for a swim. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and is over 30% salt, compared to only 3% in the oceans. Swimming in the Dead Sea was on my bucket list and today I accomplished that. It was awesome to get into the water and without even having to try, be completely buoyant, floating in the water. The edges of the shore are also extremely cool with salt formations along the edges. The only bad thing is that the shore is extremely rocky and it kinda hurts getting in and out of the water. We also slathered ourselves in the Dead Sea mud and took some really fun pictures. The mud is right there along the shore. It is super rich in minerals and is so good for your skin. It was an adventure getting it off though and we had lots of laughs as we played in the mud.

Then our last stop of the day was Qumran, which is where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in the 1940's and 1950's. The park was officially closed but since Leor is so well known they let us in to explore a bit. (well I guess we kinda jumped the gate....:)  There were caves built right into the sides of the cliffs  which is where the scrolls were found. We loved just getting the chance to explore this awesome place that is so important to our history.

Back at the hotel, we headed to dinner and also visited a little grocery store in downtown Jerusalem before heading to our beds for the evening...which is where I should be so goodnight!

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