Israel Day 1: The Dead Sea

Today was the real beginning of our Israeli adventure—we woke up and got our belongings packed up before heading back to cross the border back into Israel. We had to wait quite a while to check-out as they were understaffed this morning and it created an issue with the cab driver—he was unhappy about waiting for us and was not satisfied with the payment when we got to the border.

Crossing proved uneventful for the most part. Aside from Debbie realizing she was holding a cup of coffee in public on the first day of Ramadan, and the border agent on the Israeli side asking lots of questions, we made it in with relatively no issues at all. Upon clearing, we called a cab and ended up sharing it back into the city with some Irish folks that we met during the crossing.

We got in our rental car (the oldest and most beat up one I’ve ever rented) and began our 2-hour drive to the Dead Sea. About ½ way through we pulled over for some lunch at a nice hummus spot before continuing to make it to the Dead Sea. The accommodations for tonight certainly leave a lot to be desired but we’ll survive for one night. They didn’t have a room available for us for a while so we sat in the lobby until it was ready and we could get changed to head down to the water.

The Dead Sea was just as we both remembered—it’s such a strange concept once you get in and realize that you literally can float in any direction you wish and it’s just comical. We enjoyed swimming around for about ½ hour before making our way to the pool to rinse off and shower. We had a few beers at happy hour and with the lack of restaurants offered in town, ate at the hotel buffet before calling it quits for the evening.

The goal of the day was simple and achieved—spend some time in the Dead Sea. Tomorrow we’re due to make our way to Jerusalem for a visit to the Western Wall before ending up in Tel-Aviv before the close of business for the start of the national holidays ahead (Remembrance Day and Independence Day).

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