Israel: Dead Sea – Salt More Than Gold
On the borderline of Jordan and Israel there is Earth’s lowest elevation on land, the Dead Sea. This endorheic hypersaline lake is popular tourist attraction, golden mine for companies extracting medical salt as well as a palce of rich and interesting history.
The Dead Sea and its salt are well-known all-around the world. Even in locals conditions we love to buy it for its healing effects. We buy as a salt to bath or just a part of beauty products. Today, we will take you to a place where this salt comes from and we will also tell you some interesting facts about this natural phenomena.
Origin of the Dead Sea
How and when the Dead Sea emerged? This question will answer a science called geology. It was about three million years ago. A tectonic fault moved and thus created a basin which was filled with waters following years. As a result of excessive drawing of water from the River Jordan, one of few tributaries of the Dead Sea, the sea has been facing drying out for many years. Due to this the Dead Sea is separated into two asymmetrical parts of dry land. The authorities try to solve the problem of drying out by construction of an artificial tributary from the Red Sea . The problem is, of course, the distance, difficulty to push water from the sea to lake and thus overcome the elevation of 120 meters. Only then water could flow 530 meters down to the Dead Sea. Despite these difficulties many believe the Dead Sea will be preserved.
Drying out causes hypersalinity. Everyone knows seas are saline but the Dead Sea is extremely saline, actually, one of the most saline places in the world. Water here contains 10 times more salt than in a regular sea. Salt causes people who don’t know how to swim are buoyed. So one can easily read his/her favorite book. You can’t stay in water for long, indeed, for it is so saline you will soon get out to take a shower under normal water. Showers are all along the shore. White condensate salt create great atmosphere and it creates splendid contrast to black mud that contains vast amounts of iodine and bromine. These chemical elements have healing effects on neural system. Other elements such as sulphur or magnesium are well for skin diseases. No wonder medical-relaxating tourism flourishes here.
Salt more than gold
Utilization of salt has been very profitable here. Mostly on the south side of the lake there is intensive mining of salt and other minerals. Economy around the Dead Sea lives from what the sea offers. If you have seen or read the Salt More Than Gold tale you can be sure the salt is really more than gold at the Dead Sea region.
The name the Dead Sea was derived from its extreme salinity, however, is it truly dead? Not entirely! There are several types bacteria and Archea. At some places you can see Dunaliella sea weed. Around the lake there live camels, capricorns, bunnies, foxes and even leopards and hundreds bird species.
From histrocial perspective the area was settled more than 2000 years ago. Utilization of products of the Dead Sea originates in ancient Egypt, it was used for mummification. Not so long ago in the area of Kumran there were found the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Bible manuscripts in the world. It was written in old Hebrew and in Aramaic language. It is estimated they were written in the 1st century B.C.
Whether you are interested in nature, history or you just love to travel you shouldn’t miss the Dead Sea. There are only few places where salt means more than gold on this planet. Thus, you should see this lake, experience it and enjoy it.
Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút
Early in the morning we set out on a bus from Haifa and travel to Jerusalem, a historic city where we plan to spend two nights. We stay close to the Gate of Damascus, one of the entrances to the Old Town.
On train we leave Tel Aviv in the morning. Traveling north we are about to visit the city of Haifa and also a national park there. It is a very comfortable ride for us. The train is on time and wi-fi is available at train stations.
We leave the amazing Ein Gedi oasis and follow the main road along the Dead Sea. We area about to visit the famous ancient fortress of Masada. The historic sight belong to UNESCO world heritage and was listed in 2001. It is one of the main tourist attractions of Israel.
On this day, we visit the famous land of Qasr al-Yahud on the eastern bank of the River Jordan. Then we set out to Ein Gedi osasis.
Our first part on Jordan is focused on the city of Amman. First, however, we tell you something on Jordan and its culture. Then we move to the city itself and tell you something on Muslim dining etiquette.
Before we head back to the south of Israel to the city of Eilat, we make a short trip outside to the neighboring state. Palestine. Less than 4 million inhabitants live there, mostly Muslims and Arabic speakers here. There are ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine stemming from territorial disputes and delimitation of borders.
Caesarea or Caesarei, or Kaisareie in Greek, is a city located near the larger city of Hadera, in Israel, on the shore by the Mediterranean Sea. This historically important city is one of the most popular cities in the country. Why is it so we tell you in our article.
In the article today we continue on our journey across Israel. We move to the third largest city in the country, to Haifa. This port offers not only a splendid view of the Mediterranean Sea but also tolerant atmosphere and beautiful nature.
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Today we move to one of the most popular archeological sights of the world, to Qumran located at northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the city of Jericho. This place is famous for finding of the so called Dead Sea Scrolls, also known as the Qumran manuscripts.
Egypt is a very interesting North African seascape surrounding by the Mediterranean and Red Sea, especially if you do not know, that you are going there. Its history is inextricably linked with the legendary Nile River, which dominated the religious, economic and social life for longer periods of ancient Egyptians.
In the previous article we said a few words about Egypt in general. Today we look a little more on the famous resort of Hurghada. It is the Egyptian city and port on the Red Sea. Originally it was a small fishing village.
In the previous article, we did a tour of Hurghada. Today we will talk about other interesting places in Egypt and from our guide we learn something about local customs.
In the previous article about Egypt, we talked about places such as Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut. This time you can read about the temples in Karnak.
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