Dead Sea, Israel

Afloat, in the Depths of the Earth

It is the lowest place on the surface of the planet and the scene of several biblical narratives. But the Dead Sea is also special because of the concentration of salt that makes life unfeasible but sustains those who bathe in it.

The place was proving epic.

It occurs to us that he deserved a proper appreciation of the heights.

Since the hotel's balcony cut back our view, we decided to repeat the usual procedures while traveling. Check how the access to the top of that almost industrial building would be.

The elevator takes us to the next floor, not the last one.

We moved to the emergency stairs we climbed until we found the last door to the terrace which we tested with a kind of defeatist curiosity. As a rule, hotels are barred from these passages and requests for authorization result in long bureaucratic processes or in outright denials.

It is, therefore, with great astonishment that we see the door open without any problem. We weave through structural obstacles, poorly stored furniture and other construction objects until we reach the east side and are treated to the panoramic view we wanted.

Down and forward stretched the vast Dead Sea, as inert as it was lush, dispersed in shades of blue and emerald green that not even the fog caused by the strong evaporation could make it go away.

Dead Sea, Surface of Water, Lower Land, Israel, coast

View of a bluish sector of the Dead Sea, long in retreat compared to size and a few decades ago.

To contain it, mountainous shores of dusty earth overflown by flocks of black crows supported by the rising currents generated by the heat on the surface were imposed.

We are tens of meters above the 423 below sea level at which the strange geological phenomenon is located. Despite the late hour, the thermometer still reads 38º and dozens of bathers float in it in absolute delight.

We soon returned to the ground. Joining those resistant.

Dead Sea, Surface of Water, Lower Land, Israel, conviviality

Group of friends chat in a more secluded area of ​​the Dead Sea.

The Complexity of Bathing at the Dead Sea

We entered the hyper salty water without any major issues except for an excruciating burning in the sores on the knees resulting from any carelessness of the previous days.

The horizontal adaptation to the environment, on the other hand, proves complicated, which is why hotels install structures with steps and handrails that allow bathers to enter slowly and without incident.

Bathers socialize around the bathing structure of one of the hotels on the shores of the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea has nearly ten times more salt (33,7% or 1.240g per liter) than the oceans and is averse to normal body sinking.

With this same exaggerated concentration of the substance, he punished us with a new afflicting ardor every time we splashed our eyes as we ventured out with simple-to-perform swims and movements.

We can see, from the punishments of the practice, why the most popular image of leisure in this capricious liquid is that of someone completely immobile, reading a newspaper.

Dead Sea, Surface of Water, Lower Land, Israel, floating reading

Bather reads an Israeli newspaper floating on water with huge concentration of salt.

However, Oded, the Israeli guide who led us through Israel, appears. He has fun listening to the complaints we present him.

“Well, this is very common for those who come here for the first time.”, he answers. “But look, I know much worse things. A few years ago, a German who was riding in a car with friends stopped at the edge of the bank in a desolate area and decided to send a dive from the top of a rock.

Believe it or not, he ended up in the hospital and ended up dying.”

Despite the inconsistency with its name, which portrays the fact that it does not harbor any permanent life form – in fact it is home to 11 different species of bacteria – the Dead Sea is also moribund.

Dead Sea: Shrinking the Lowest Place to the Earth's Surface

It was once one of the five most renowned therapeutic resorts in the world, at a time when King Herod, who built the fortress of Masada Nearby.

The future King David, John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, among other biblical characters, also retired to its banks, or to the adjacent mountains and caves.

At that time, the Salt Sea, as it was known, maintained its original dimensions. More recently, water from the Jordan River that feeds it has been blocked by the construction of dams, reservoirs and thus continuously diverted by Israel, Jordan and Syria for direct consumption, agricultural and other purposes.

As a result, the surface that reached 395 m below sea level in 1970, reached 418 m in 2006, and continued to decrease at a worrying rate of almost 1 meter per year, 30% in 30 years.

This shrinkage caused its division into two distinct bodies: there is currently a northern basin that is three times larger and 400 m deeper than the south, this one separated by the Lashon peninsula originating on the Jordan bank.

The last basin – the one in which we bathed – does not exceed 6 meters and has an even greater concentration of salt, which justifies the appearance of enigmatic crystal formations in the style of icebergs.

Dead Sea, Water Surface, Lowest Earth, Israel, Float at 2

Couple buoys without difficulty in the salt-laden water of the Dead Sea, with Jordan on the opposite bank.

The Dead Sea Geological Traps

It is said, in a witty way, that the Dead Sea has developed its forms of revenge and the truth is that the Israeli authorities must strive to prevent their visitors from being victims.

As we travel along Highway 90 – the deepest road in the world – we see a succession of eccentric warnings that warn of the danger of sinkholes.

As the water recedes, it leaves behind brine deposits that are dissolved by fresh surface water and rain which, although rare, can be tasted diluvian.

Gradually, the process gave rise to thousands of camouflaged holes, geological traps into which, from time to time, tourists fall.

Luckily and with some care, such disgrace never happens to us.

Ein Gedi's Therapeutic Ritual of the Mud

On another day of exploration, we decided to stop at the Ein Gedi spa, sought after for the nourishing properties of the mud that makes up the seabed there or, we are more inclined to believe, for the strange fun of being able to cover and show off the body with them.

Oded refuses to accompany us. “I did it once and I'm not getting into another one! “ Reassures us. On the contrary, a group of American students make the most of the experience and share among themselves the visual results achieved:

“You're awesome Ken! I already saw zombies better looking, believe me”.

Dead Sea, Water Surface, Lower Land, Israel, mud refinishing

Man covers himself in clay from the shores of the Dead Sea, allegedly therapeutic for the skin.

We don't even try to resist the ceremony.

We smeared ourselves with the black mortar and headed with dozens of similar creatures, cooking under the cruel sun that keeps the Negev Desert dry, to the stop of the small train that would take us to the beach, like the rest of the sea, much lower than a while ago.

There, we divided the time between bathing and restoring the coverage we had arrived with.

There is no evidence that any of the biblical characters who passed through the Dead Sea ever made such preparations.

Or this will be missing from the extraordinary discovery that came to reveal a substantial part of the life and history of the Jewish people in the region.

Dead Sea, Surface of Water, Lower Land, Israel, rest

Lady buoys in the Dead Sea in clothes not suitable for the bathing moment.

The Historical Scrolls of the Dead Sea

In 1947, a young Bedouin herder was looking for a stray goat when he spotted and unearthed clay jars lying in a cave at the top of a cliff, near Qumran, a village farther north of Ein Gedi, on the west bank.

Later archaeological work uncovered scrolls that included books from the Old Testament, the apocryphal books, and other unpublished texts.

They also found that the cave was part of a settlement of the Essenes, a refractory Jewish sect that believed itself to be the chosen people of Israel and that had moved to the Negev desert around 150 BC to protect itself from the decay it considered to be raging among the remaining Jews.

Dead Sea, Surface of water, Lower Earth, Israel, Till the end of the day

Bathers stay in the warm water of the Dead Sea, towards nightfall.

It will be a complex task to find out, these days, the reason for this sect.

To prove the theories of archaeologists and other scholars who argue that Sodom and Gomorrah were situated by the Dead Sea, had the Essenes existed there a few centuries before, they would have had much more cause for complaint.

Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

It was a frequent target of the Crusades and taken over and over again. Today, Israeli, Acre is shared by Arabs and Jews. He lives much more peaceful and stable times than the ones he went through.
Tsfat (Safed), Israel

When the Kabbalah is a Victim of Itself

In the 50s, Tsfat brought together the artistic life of the young Israeli nation and regained its secular mystique. But famous converts like Madonna have come to disturb the most elemental Kabbalist discretion.
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Massada, Israel

Massada: The Ultimate Jewish Fortress

In AD 73, after months of siege, a Roman legion found that the resisters at the top of Masada had committed suicide. Once again Jewish, this fortress is now the supreme symbol of Zionist determination
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
Mount Sinai, Egypt

Strength in the Legs, Faith in God

Moses received the Ten Commandments on the summit of Mount Sinai and revealed them to the people of Israel. Today, hundreds of pilgrims climb, every night, the 4000 steps of that painful but mystical ascent.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Orangestad, Aruba, building Dutch architecture
Oranjestad, Aruba

The Dutch Soul of Aruba

On the other side of the Atlantic, in the depths of the Caribbean, Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, displays much of the legacy left in the ABC islands by settlers from the Netherlands. The natives call it “Playa”. The city comes alive with exuberant bathing parties.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Dunes of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Unusual bathing

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

On the way to Guatemala, we see how the proscribed existence of the Garifuna people, descendants of African slaves and Arawak Indians, contrasts with that of several much more airy bathing areas.

Key West Wall, Florida Keys, United States
Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
Celestyal Crystal Cruise, Santorini, Greece
Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

The Volcanic Core of Santorini

About three millennia had passed since the Minoan eruption that tore apart the largest volcano island in the Aegean. The cliff-top inhabitants watched land emerge from the center of the flooded caldera. Nea Kameni, the smoking heart of Santorini, was born.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Bather, The Baths, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Natural Parks
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine “Caribbaths”

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
On hold, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii
UNESCO World Heritage
Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
emperor akihito waves, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.