Every time I mentioned to someone that we were headed to Jordan, they insisted on two activities: 1) float in the Dead Sea, and 2) visit Petra. We did make it to Petra, which is the subject of an upcoming post. Today, I bring you our adventures in floatitude. And mud.
I traveled to Jordan for a work meeting, hosted by the Jordan Valley Dead Sea Marriott Resort & Spa. Not too shabby. (Have I mentioned that I love my job?) We arrived in the middle of the night, which made it hard to appreciate the hotel's proximity to the Dead Sea. After some strong Turkish coffee the next morning, we were delighted to find out that the Dead Sea was RIGHT THERE. If this had been a typical beachfront property, we could have seen the lapping waves from our balcony. However, at the Dead Sea things are a bit different.
For starters, the hotel is already below sea level, and then you have to go DOWN to get to the sea itself.
If that weren't weird enough, the shoreline is rocky, not sandy. Once you get close to the water it's pretty rough on bare feet. The hotel conveniently provides its guests with "beach slippers." Mmmmm, bowling shoes in a foreign country, how unexpected!
Floating in the Dead Sea is a surreal experience. Its hypersalinity makes you bob awkwardly on the surface; you literally can not sink. It's goofy. (I felt like a circus seal.) Do not get any in your mouth if you can help it; the taste is indescribably harsh and mineral-y. Plus it's got this bizarre slippery texture that makes it seem like you're swimming in motor oil. And heaven help you if you've got any cuts or even scratches. After a few minutes my leg started to burn and I realized I had a microscopic scrape on my shin. Not something I'd noticed before getting in the water, but the Dead Sea did not let me off the hook so easily. Owee!
Right, so after a few minutes we'd had enough of that. Floating in the Dead Sea, check. The other must-do is coating oneself in Dead Sea mud, reknown for its therapeutic properties. Mark was a little suspicious, but of course I dove right into the clay jar of mud sitting at the shoreline. I didn't go quite so far as to coat my entire body, just my face and arms. Mudtastic! I could feel it tingling on my skin, which was fun, but it turned out to be pretty tenacious stuff to remove. Thankfully the hotel provides a nearby shower to rinse and scrub off. I'm all in favor of getting dirt under my fingernails, but I wasn't too keen on showing up for my work meetings in blackface.
We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the hotel's lovely infinity pools and gorgeous landscaping. Not a bad way to slough off the jetlag.
Full disclosure: most of you know that I work for Marriott, and since this was a work trip it was paid for by Marriott. But, as always, my opinions are my own!