Israel 2000 Visit » Israel » 12 Dead Sea  (8 Slides)     [Page 1 of 1] :: Jump To  
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After visiting Beersheba we drove on to the Dead Sea approaching it from the South. This was our first view of the sea from high up on the road. It was quite breath taking to see it for the first time from this vantage point. The criss-cross features you see in the water are dikes built to speed up evaporation of the water. The lake is quite shallow on the south end and various minerals are extracted from it and sold commercially. On the far side through the haze are the hills of Jordan.
This is another shot of the south end of the Dead Sea from further down the road. In the middle right you can see the chemical extraction facilities.
This is right next to the water. You can see one of the dikes on the left. The water has such interesting colors. Here, in the south end it is this vibrant green and white. In the deeper northern part of the lake the water is much bluer. Nothing grows down here at all unless it is near a fresh water spring. Sodom and Gomorrah were down here somewhere.

He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. (Psalm 107:33-34)
These are hotels and spas. Vacationers come down here to bath in the mineral waters.
  1 First Glimpse of Dead Sea  
  2 South End of Dead Sea  
  3 Vibrant Colors  
  4 Hotels and Spa  
This is me doing the obligatory float in the Dead Sea. It really was quite an interesting sensation. Just make sure you don't get any water in your eyes. My wife, Michelle, did and she was completely incapacitated. I had to lead her out of the water to the fresh water sinks. The salt concentration is so high even your scalp tingles. Notice how blue the water is here compared to the south end.
This is a shot of Masada looking west. We stopped here after having a dip in the Dead Sea but unfortunately it was getting too late in the evening to make it worthwhile to go up. I guess that's one more reason to return! :) If you walk up to the top you can take the cable car down for free.
This is now Qumran just in from the shore of the Dead Sea on the north west. We actually stopped here earlier on our Jericho trip. What we see here is the marl terrace within which are the caves where many of the Qumran scrolls were found. You can see a cave in the middle of the picture. This is a view looking back somewhat towards the Dead Sea. The Qumran community excavations are just straight ahead over this marl slightly to the left. What struck me when we pulled up to these caves is how low the terrace is (note the grass and shrubbery in the foreground) and how accessible the caves really are. It does take some work to get into them but they are not really that high and they are very visible. I climbed up on top of this terrace from the other side in a matter of a minute or two. It still amazes me that these scrolls stayed in those caves for 2000 years without someone carting them off.
This is a shot up toward the famous Cave 4 at Qumran. The previous photo was shot from the left. Again without a point of comparison this looks like it could be quite large. I took a shot with the Land Rover in the foreground but it didn't turn out. In any case, these hills were smaller than I had imagined.
  5 Floating  
  6 Masada - Looking West  
  7 Qumran Marl Terrace  
  8 Qumran Cave 4  
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© Charles Grebe
This slide show is dedicated to my mother who made possible our summer 2000 visit to Israel.