2019 Family Reunion started in Rome, ItalySeptember 13, 2019
Best Western Amazon (Athens, Greece)September 29, 2019
Shore Excursion: Lowest Place on Earth… the Dead Sea (Kalia Beach)
• $115 / per person
• small group (6-16 persons)
• duration: 9-10 hours
What to Bring
- Israeli Shekel
- Comfortable Walking Shoes
- Dead Sea Float wear
9:00AM was already 80°F
Today's High 96°F | Low 75°F
Dead Sea average water temperature in September is 36°C / 96.8°F.
We spend the morning touring Masada Museum. Next stop: The Lowest Place on Earth - the Dead Sea where its lake’s surface and shores are about 427 - 430.5 metres (1,400 -1,412 feet) below sea level... Earth's lowest elevation on land.
It was probably around 2-3pm by the time we arrived at Kalia Beach. We pay our guide the admission prices (Adult ₪59 Nis = ~$16.84).
Lunch was first on our minds. Upon entering, we were told, by our guide, to eat at the restaurant cafeteria which would be the 1st building we saw after the entrance. It was crowded and we jumped in line. Unfortunately, we experienced some rude behavior from a couple bullying their way forward through the line. We didn't let them pass. Also, my parents were given the highest price on the menu (Soup + Small Salad + Main Meal ₪70 = ~$19.98). We insisted we are only buying the "Main Meal" only and got that price (Meal ₪54.4 = ~$15.53). I think the worker, at the time, targeted tour groups. It really made one feel cheated, as this is how my father felt.
Also, we did find out, after eating here... from the not-so-good advice from our guide), that there were other food choices available in the area (...although not air-conditioned so we did eat in comfort)... i.e. Lowest Bar in the World which served food and drinks on the water’s edge.
Such nonsense (...historic, holy surroundings or not...) but we didn’t let this ruin the rest of the visit. Off for some floating in the Dead Sea.
"The water of the Dead Sea is saltier than any other body of water on earth... Since our body weight is lighter (less dense) than the density of the water, our body is more buoyant in the Dead Sea, making it easy to float." –DeadSea.com
PREPARING TO FLOAT IN THE DEAD SEA
Best to arrive with your bathing suit on (underneath your outfit)! There were changing rooms to change into your swim attire, if necessary... They were very, very crowded and utter chaos. You might have to not be shy about changing without privacy from others.
Bathing Suit of choice - We wore more conservative swimwear to respect the country we’re in although we saw others with bikinis. Also, the soft mud can stain and discolor your swimwear so go with a dark bathing suit or old one.
Remember, salt stings like crazy - Skip shaving (any body part) for a few days prior and careful of any open cuts on your skin (New Skin - liquid bandage to the rescue, if necessary).
Wear water shoes or sandals with a secure fit. Walkways lead you downhill from the entrance shops & restaurant. No grass. So much gravel... even in the water.
We didn’t need lockers as my brother-in-law Patrick stayed out of the water and we brought our own towels, too.
RECOMMENDATIONS WHILE FLOATING IN THE DEAD SEA
Do not dunk/dive in. Your eyes will burn and you don’t want to swallow any salt water. No splashing around. "Accidentally swallowing Dead Sea salt water would cause the larynx to inflate, resulting in immediate choking and suffocation." –ScientificAmerican.com
Tread slowly. Your first initial steps in, you’ll feel the squishy mud. You might see a sign that says, Enter until you can squat, then lie back gently.
We spent too much time eating so we didn’t have too much time to enjoy floating… but we took it in as much as we could with the ~15 minutes we had in the water.
Look ma, no hands!
To think... we’re in the same body of water that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Last few moments to be thankful, enjoy this visit and sharing this moment with each other.
Time to Hit the Showers - plenty of outdoor showers are available… then, changing room (again, hectic and somewhat slippery floors).
A mad rush uphill, up the walkways and ramps to the meeting point.