Friday, April 11, 2014

The Dead Sea

A hazy day view along the shore of the Dead Sea-
  The Salt Sea- the Sea of Arabah
Stretches about 50 miles from the north to the south
 and an average width of 10 miles.
It is flanked by the Moab mountains on the east-
(outlined in the hazy background)

and the Judean Hills on the west.

At 1300 feet below sea-level,
 its shore is designated as the lowest dry land on earth. 
The water that empties into it from the Jordan River
 and a few small tributaries has no place to drain. 
Because of the hot arid climate,
 about 7 million tons of water evaporates  EVERY day-
 leaving the minerals behind and resulting
 in a salt content of about 28-35%.
This is 10 times the salinity of ocean water.
Except for the tourists hanging out in the water,
 there is not plant or animal life in the Dead Sea.
 Only simple organisms can survive here.

One of the beaches created with tourists
 and vacationers in mind.
The Dead Sea is a world famous spa destination-
 for both the special climate
 as well as the salt water bathing.
Legend says that the Queen of Sheba
 imported Dead Sea minerals
 and history states that Cleopatra traveled from Egypt
 to build the world's first spa on its shores.
Today an industrial plant on the SW side of the lake employs about 3500 people to extract minerals
 for manufacturing purposes.
Potash is the most valuable and is used to make fertilizer.

Gorgeous bougainvillea- 
reminds that these plants survive
only with a supplied water source.

Natural mud smeared on the skin
 before heading into the water-
Yup- this is the thing to do when you are there.
John floating away in the lake.
Most of the District Presidents joined in the water-
but for my personal safety- 
I will allow them to post their own photos.

a handful of salt-
 just scooped up from the bottom of the lake

rocky shore line glazed with salt crystals

There is some evidence that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah  may lie in ruins under the Sea.
 It may also be the burial grounds for such
 ancient cities as Adman, Zebouin, and Zoar.

Perhaps the most important role of the Dead Sea
 in Biblical times was that it served
 as a protective barrier from armies
 invading Israel from the East.
Even today, its stark and harsh climate is beautiful-
and environmental concerns are legitimate
 about the shrinking Dead Sea-
 because of the diverted waters north
 from the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River.

And time in this area is not complete-
 without the AHAVA outlet stop-
which allows
 a purchase or two of the fine
sea salt beauty products.

Even the desolate, stark Dead Sea 
shifts beauty
to the horizon.
Where blue and brown meet
in echoes of centuries
lapping at the shoreline.

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