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London, United Kingdom
August 28, 2001
After another quick shower, we adjourned to the restaurant/café for a couple of drinks on the terrace which overlooks the Dead Sea. It’s a kosher establishment, and good value for money, with some good snacks/pastries served around tea-time, which is when we went there.
If you’re in Israel, you shouldn’t miss this experience. A great portion of any visit to the country involves sightseeing fascinating buildings, in hot, tiring conditions. The day’s relaxation in the Dead Sea with revive and relax you, and make you better able to enjoy the rest of your trip. For several days afterwards my skin felt amazing – incredibly soft and moisturised, and really healthy. There are a couple of things to watch out for - the high concentrations of salt in the sea mean that shaving before you go in is a seriously bad move, as you’d feel hundreds of tiny pin pricks as the salt got into fissures. On the other hand, I cut my foot shortly before going in and while it did sting, it also healed up super-fast afterwards.
It’s easy to find this place – there’s only one road along the Israeli side of the Dead Sea, and the Spa is clearly sign-posted and visible from the road, about half-way along it. The phone number is +972 8659 4222
From journal Jerusalem, the golden city
The Spa itself consists of a facilities building next to the "beach", or access point to the Dead Sea. The building is the place where you enter the Spa, park in the ample parking, and pay to use the facilities. There is a good (Kosher) restaurant and café there, and we enjoyed a cup of tea on our way in. There are separate, clean, men’s and women’s changing rooms, and lockers to put your valuables in. Having changed into a swimsuit, you walk out of the building to huge vats of collected Dead Sea mud, which you scoop out of the container with your hands and plaster all over yourself, legs, arms, face, body, etc. As the mud’s drying, you walk down the path to the Sea itself, feeling a bit of an idiot in your swimsuit and drying mud coat, and make your way to the edge of the sea.
Bathing in the Dead Sea is an amazing experience. For a start, you can’t actually swim at all, as you float too high in the water to make much headway. As you wade in to the sea, and start to float, the first thing you notice is tiny cracks in your skin you didn’t even know were there, as they start to sting a little. As you float on your back, in a semi-sitting position, you get to look at the fantastic scenery – the other side of the Dead Sea is in Jordan, with hills behind and a peaceful, relaxing vista is before you. Although there is some industry at the extreme south end of the Sea, you can’t see or hear it from the Ein Gedi Spa, and because of the high salt levels there’s little or no shipping to worry about. Most people adopt the half-sitting up position, as it’s extremely comfortable with the sea supporting your weight in this way, so you can just lean back and relax, and maybe have the obligatory photo taken of yourself reading the paper in the Dead Sea! The mud slowly dissolves off your body, and your skin gets soft and slightly crinkly with the salt.