May 29, 2010

יום שש ...or Day Six.

The journal entry I wrote for this day was about half a page. (Sad, I know) So I will do my best to think up some crazy details.

We began our bus ride to Mesada with Psalm 139. If you don't know what verse that is, then shame on you. Haha kidding. To be honest, just now I had to look it up on my online Bible 'cause I had forgotten what it was. Haaa. Anyway, Mesada was pure amazing-ness. It's a fortress situated on the top of a 1,300 foot high cliff, built by Herod. Seriously, this place is in the middle of the Judean desert, middle of nowhere. I don't even want to imagine what it must've been like to build such a fortress in 40 degrees celsius weather.
(Hmm..looks just like the gravel pits by my house)
So to get up to this magnificent fortress we had to take a cable car. This was super fun and not scary at all. I've been on many cable cars in my lifetime; therefore, there is no fear. You can actually hike all the way up, which I WAY rather would've done. I mean, think of all the exercise and sun you could get.
When we got up there, we immediately whipped out the Bamba snacks. Our tour guide filled us in on that fact that the birds up on this cliff are suckers for Bamba. (Bamba is like a peanut-butter version of Cheetos, minus the cheese flavour. I know it sounds pretty disgusting, but it's actually pretty addicting. Who knew?) It was an awesome feeling being thousands of feet in the air in the middle of the Israel desert feeding birds. I felt adventurous.
(on the ground)
(in the sky!)
(Larry the professional bird feeder)
(Look at all his jealous friends)

(I am SO excited!)

(The men)

(About a quarter of our group)

After spending an hour exploring the fortress, we took the cable car back down, and then went to the Dead Sea!!!! I'm proud to say that this was my 3/4 body of water conquered on this Israel trip. (Med Sea, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea. And later this week will be the Red Sea!) Some cool facts about the Dead Sea is that it's 2000 feet below sea level. It is actually the lowest place on the face of this earth. It's salt content is 38%. This is HUGE compared to the Med Sea whose salt content is only 4%.
I absolutely loath pool/spa/beach locker change rooms. Ick. Modesty definitely isn't valued there, when it really should be...for certain people at least....if you know what I'm talking about...
So the shore of the Dead Sea used to be right next to the spa building. But since every year the dead sea shrinks up about a foot every year, the walk to the shore gets longer and longer, and the building is further and further away, and the water gets saltier and saltier. It's kind of funny. So first we covered ourselves in Dead Sea mud, rinsed off, then cautiously waded into the Dead Sea water. Cautious is the key word, since you DO NOT want to get that water in your eyes. You would probably die from sheer pain. It's almost as bad as getting shampoo in your eyes (man, that's the worst). But don't worry, a few people from our tour got the water in their eyes and they came out alive, fortunately.
And since the water's so dense in minerals, you FLOAT. It's the coolest thing. It's like all gravity has left the earth.
It's said that after entering the Dead Sea, you come out 35 years younger, so everyone on the tour was worried that I was going to disappear completely. (Hahaa) To be honest, all I felt was dirty and I couldn't wait to have a shower. Haha.
(Rinsing off)
(Floating, for real!)
Our last stop of the day was at Qumran which was where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The highlight of this stop for me, was definitely when I was in the gift shop and this guy comes up to me and asks "Poland?"
"Polish. You're polish, right?"
"Try Canadian. Haha"
"Ohh. See, I was lingering around here waiting to hear an accent from you..."
We ended up talking for the longest time, which was fine with me, since I'm already so sick of gift shops. He had the most interesting life story. He's a dentist from New York, who also serves in the American Army. (which I expected after noticing his apparent huge-ness) Not to mention, he's a REPUBLICAN. Which is awesome. We had way too much in common. I told him everything I hoped to get out of life (go to Bible school, travel, write, get married) and he admired me for actually having goals and believing in a higher power, and all in all, he was very encouraging. That's what this trip has been all about really, just encouraging. I was also flattered that he mistook me for a European.

Today was such an excellent day. I came out not only with a massive sunburn, but a large collection of (cheaper than North America) Dead Sea products. Ha ha.

(The Dead Sea scrolls located in the caves long ago...)
(Dead Sea Scrolls were found inside of these jars?)
(I wore a towel the rest of the day...thanks to my sunburn. Dork alert!)


  1. sssoooooooooooooo cool!!!!!!!!!!!! For only half a journal entry, it was a pretty awesome day!!! I was wondering if you got to do the dead sea thing! That's so fun!!! I love your floating pictures and your mud pictures!! How fuN!! I wonder if the sea is going to disappear entirely!?!?
    I also like your bird pictures! you do look soo pumped! by the way... is that my Rio Bikini that you were wearing??! :D
    I love you! Keep up the awesome posts!!!!!!

  2. those birds look like dress socks to me. peanut cheetos are in Germany too. Robert the chef really likes them.

    mom floats like that in any body of water. she must carry a lot minerals around with her.

    I've been asked if i was Greek, Russian, or German.. its pretty neat. everyone else seems to think i'm middle eastern.