the Dead Sea forms part of the border between Israel and Jordan
The Dead Sea is almost 1400 feet below sea level, the lowest place on earth. There is no outlet for the water, which flows into the Dead Sea, technically a lake, from the Sea of Galilee (also technically a lake) via the Jordan River. Water leaves the Dead Sea only by evaporation, leaving minerals behind in high concentration. Because of the extremely low elevation, the barometric pressure is higher than anywhere else on earth, there’s a greater concentration of oxygen in the air, greater filtration of ultraviolet sun rays, and the air is practically free of pollen and other allergens.
The Dead Sea has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years, and even today, the unique climactic and mineral properties are used in therapies for conditions such as psoriasis, arthritis and cystic fibrosis. Continue reading →
In 1947, local Bedouins found the first cache of what came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls in a Judean Desert cave. Eventually, eleven caves would yield pieces of some 800 ancient manuscripts, the last found in 1956. It’s generally accepted that the scrolls were collected by the Essenes, or a similar Jewish sect, which had a community living at Qumran, in the shadow of the caves.
Beach holidays are not our specialty. For the most part, American travelers do not cross the Atlantic ocean to lie on a beach. However, many do work a couple of R&R days into otherwise busy cultural itineraries. In any case, while much of the US is still suffering the epic winter of 2015, we offer this brief, mental escape to gentler climes.