we don’t sink (we float)

November 4, 2011

During Sukkot vacation, we did a lot of traveling. I managed to keep pretty busy getting out into Israel to see new things. (While I still could!) I already talked about my second (and more successful) trip to Tel Aviv. Right in the middle of break, a large group of us headed eastward to Ein Gedi, the Dead Sea, and Masada. I’ll keep this short.

We hiked Ein Gedi, which was moderately touristy, and not all that hard. It cost 22 NIS for students, and we were able to leave our heavy belongings at the bottom. There were some small springs to wade in, but they were crowded. Even though we were hiking in a big group, we still enjoyed ourselves.

After the hike, we set up camp just down the road on the shore of the Dead Sea. It was a public camp site with restrooms and a convenience store. I took a short dip in the Dead Sea, and it sure did burn. And I finally could swim! I couldn’t sink if I wanted to. I must say that it’s TONS of fun watching people shower the salt off themselves. We spent the evening socializing, and enjoying being outside. The weather was perfect for enjoying the stars. You could really see so many.

In the morning, we packed it all up and hiked the Snake Trail to Masada. The hike was… the most vertical I’ve yet experienced. At the top, there was history. Amazing views. MANY TOURISTS. The descent back to the bottom was much easier. When we got back to the bottom, I finally had Israeli McDonald’s. Yes, the national park was that touristy. An American woman asked me if it was any good. I told her it was great; I’ll tell you it wasn’t good for what it cost.


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I’d definitely like to do this trip again. Except next time, I’d like to hike Masada early in the morning to see the sun rise over Jordan from the top of the plateau. I might follow that hike with a trip to one of the Dead Sea spas. Perhaps toward the end of the semester.

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