Monday, November 23, 2009

Our Last Hurrah

Hubby and I knew that once we moved to Norway, our ability to travel would be severely curtailed by, among other factors, economics and whatever job I get when we arrive. With that in mind, we promised ourselves one last regional trip before we left. We debated going to Spain, Greece, or even back to Zanzibar but eventually agreed that we would kick ourselves if we didn’t take the opportunity to visit Jordan.

So it was that we found ourselves in Jordan during the brief Eid vacation in September. Since Hubby had another business trip scheduled, we had only a handful of days to spend exploring this wonderful country. Sadly, that meant that we couldn’t explore many of the amazing biblical sites that abound in Jordan. We did, however, agree that we would each fulfill one Jordanian dream during our trip: I wanted to visit the Dead Sea and he wanted to go to Petra.

Being the amazing travel planner he is, Hubby booked us into a hotel right on the shores of the Dead Sea. From our room, it was a quick hop down a series of stairs to the vast salty Sea. Ever the water baby, Hubby was biting at the chomp to go for a swim within minutes of our arrival.

Before we could get into the water, we had to purchase an inexpensive pair of water shoes, as the shore was incredibly rocky. The stones situated at the end of the wooden docks that led into the Dead Sea created an uneven and slippery surface, making the initial steps slightly treacherous.

The lukewarm water was almost oily to the touch and felt almost slick against my skin as I waded further in. The infamous buoyancy of the Dead Sea was evident almost immediately. It took my feet from under me and made treading water virtually obsolete. The simple act of flipping onto my back or swimming further out to where Hubby awaited me became an effort worthy of Monty Python.

Of course, what makes the Dead Sea so buoyant is the salt. If you have ever had the chance to swim in the ocean, you know it is virtually impossible to avoid getting salt water in your mouth at least once while swimming. Although highly annoying, this isn’t normally too difficult a situation to rectify. The greasy liquid salt of the Dead Sea, however, had imbedded itself in all my pores and made wiping my mouth virtually impossible without making the situation worse. This meant that every time Hubby splashed me, I ended up having to get out of the water to rinse my mouth out.

When people aren’t playing beached whale by floating on their backs, the prime activity at the Dead Sea is to slather mud over every spare inch of skin. After waiting for the mud to dry, you return to the sea to gently wash it off again. The end result of this ritual is ridiculously smooth skin. The spa at our hotel offered the same service for $100. I’m always up for a good facial or massage, but even I thought it was ridiculous to charge for something that was free only a few steps away.

The heat of the September sun kept us in the water for much of our time at the hotel. Although I appreciated the cool blue waters of the pools, floating in the Dead Sea has always been on my bucket list so I was thrilled that Hubby and I had time for this final trip before we left Egypt. I also knew we couldn’t spend all our time in the Sea because another adventure awaited us 300 miles away.

40 comments:

Kat said...

You all have done some AMAZING traveling...and seen things that I can only dream about. I can't wait to hear about Petra!

illahee said...

that's really cool!

Marie-Jolie said...

I love hearing what you're up to. I am a world traveler in my heart, but have yet to see many of the fabulous places of my dreams. This is why I read your blog, so that I can live vicariously through your adventures. :)

Connie said...

So glad you got to come visit, and sorry we missed a chance to see you as we were busy moving in, getting kids in school, all that craziness. We haven't been to the Dead Sea or Petra yet. Went to Jerash, then we've been fighting flus and cooties ever since... kids and a new school, sigh... I can't wait to go explore, and in the meantime, I'll enjoy your stories :)

Jennifer said...

Aaaah, do I ever love your life! :-)

LadyFi said...

Oh man oh man.. you're leading my kind of life! The Dead Sea AND Petra... Lucky you!

lizzy-loo said...

what a great experience! i envy your travel. will you miss it?

Protege said...

I am absolutely intrigued by the Dead Sea (the scientist in me). How interesting that the salt content is so high, did you ever get the explanation to why?
I would love to swim in it, just once and I think the mud bath sounds like fun and I bet is good for you as well.;)
xo

mub said...

Is the Dead Sea really stinky? I used to live right next to the Great Salt Lake and it did NOT smell good... so I was just curious *L*

only a movie said...

How cool!! I never get tired of reading about your trips. This blog is becoming one of my favorite internet stops. ;-)

Corinne said...

The Dead Sea mud is supposed to be incredibly good for psoriasis...should have ordered a bucket from you! :D Petra is on my bucket list, and I'm a little jealous!

Christine said...

Ooooh, I can just imagine how wonderful a real authentic Dead Sea scrub must feel. You described it beautifully! I love that about your writing...just like I was floating right along, too.
Thanks for the post! Came by from SITS this a.m. to say Hi to you:)

Caution Flag said...

I am so living vicariously through you! It feels great to now be able to check the Dead Sea off my own bucket list. I just can't believe that what I've heard all these years is really true about it :) Thanks.

BLOGitse said...

hm...Jordan. Maybe we should visit there for a short vacation - worthed? (I mean cost of flights, hotel etc. if you compare vacation to...Spain)

Tammy Howard said...

That mudbath sounds divine!

Anonymous said...

As you know, I also had a chance to float on the Dead Sea this year and tick one item off my bucket list. The most difficult part of "the float" was trying to turn around to come back to shore!! Noone is getting to see those pictures.:)
merthyrmum

Eva Gallant said...

Wow! It's great to travel through your eyes to places I could never see.

Susie said...

What a great experience!!

etrich said...

Okay I didn't see you in the picture of 'mud bathers'. Did you and Hubby participate in the mudding or go to the hotel? Glad you both had a good time! I'll need to show Mate the picture of Hubby floating in the water. It'll give him a good chuckle.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

You are living the dream for many of us.

Karen said...

Ooh, I want to go to the Dead Sea so bad!

How long does it take to get from Cairo to where you stayed? I'm just thinking that since it looks like Egypt is winning out, planning some excursions while I'm in that part of the world already might not be such a bad idea...

The Blonde Duck said...

You should write a book about all your adventures!

Sturgmom said...

So did you get ridiculously smooth skin? Did you get to bottle up a little of the ocean and take it with you?

Nicole said...

Sounds like a great time and fun :D

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

That was so cool!!!
Thank you for passing by!
Have a great week!
hugs hugs

GutsyWriter said...

I never realized the Dead Sea has "greasy" water as well as it being overly salty. It must be a great place to teach someone how to swim. Also how long does the smooth skin last?

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

I just love travelling the world with you!!

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

and the nomination:
http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/84582

WhisperingWriter said...

How cool!

Grand Pooba said...

Oh my gosh I can only imagine what the water of the Dead Sea would feel like! I would spend my whole vacation just floating around in it. I love being in the water, there is something really freeing about it. I'm glad you were able to go!

Quincifer said...

Jealous, jealous, jealous!!

Popped over from SITS :)

sprinkles said...

I wish I could travel as much as you do. I haven't done any kind of traveling in a really long time and I miss it.

Betty said...

You really are "Wandering the World"!! Perfect name! You´re so lucky to see all these places and I´m lucky enough to read about them here! Thanks for sharing!

blueviolet said...

I've often heard about the buoyancy of the Dead Sea and to think you were able to experience it! I love the "free" mud spa treatment too!

RennyBA's Terella said...

What a lovely trip and what great travel reporter you are - with great pics too - thanks for sharing!

Melissa B. said...

However will you adjust to the cold Norwegian winters after spending so much time in the desert heat? Looks like you'll have to take a few Mediterranean vay-cays, for sure! Hope, though, you don't change your blog name...love it!

Miss Footloose said...

You described swimming in the Dead Sea so nicely ... Whenever I tell the story of my baptism in said salty waters I say it was disgusting -- the water was slimy and smelly ;)

I did also slather myself completely with the mud and it was a fun experience all in all and of course I'm happy I had to chance to experience it.

I was in Jordan once but only in Amman and unfortunately I didn't make it to Petra. It is supposed to be magnificent, so I am looking forward to your next post and pictures!

Sharon said...

hello from Wisconsin! Exciting news about Oslo... and cool post about the dead sea. So much fun to experience it all vicariously through you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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