Finding quiet at the Dead Sea in Israel

Floating in the Dead Sea

10 September 2016

Floating in the Dead Sea. Wow, that’s something… We’ve all heard about it, but really, it’s all it’s said to be and more. Incredibly salty, below sea level, a 100% natural health resort, but mostly, it’s probably one of the quietest, most awe-inspiring places on Earth.

Finding quiet at the Dead Sea in Israel

If I could recommend one thing as you make your way to this part of the world, it is to avoid the regular beaches that will most likely be overtaken by tourists. There are deserted places to be found all along the shore, where you will be alone with yourself and the tranquil landscape to enjoy this experience fully, in your own time. Near Mitspe Shalem, a few kilometers from the En Gedi natural reserve, there is a spring of fresh water that runs to the Sea, with a handful of people living around it. A quiet, hidden beach, in the middle of the desert, only known to seasoned locals who sometimes camp here to escape the cities turned too hot by endless summers.

“As you make it into the water and start floating, feel how time slows down, how you are one with nature, in this moment and always.”

The first thing you want to experience when you think about the Dead Sea, is this well-known floating phenomenon. Well, it’s not a myth and it’s an absolutely wonderful feeling. Some find the water too harsh, but I tell you, my native Atlantic Ocean feels a lot harsher than this clear, greasy water. Because the high concentration of salt actually makes a film of oily, cloudy substance on the surface of the sea, when you’re immersed in the water, it really is surprisingly soft on the skin. And the mud, below your feet, is even softer. It is the smoothest mud I have ever come across. No wonder it is so well-known around the world for all its natural beauty benefits. Spreading it on your skin is like applying pure silk, a very sensual experience. Take the time to enjoy it and give your body some restorative self-love.

As you make it into the water and start floating, feel how time slows down, how you are one with nature, in this moment and always. Feel the water effortlessly carrying you, surrender yourself to it and trust that it will support you, that nature in its entirety supports you. Let your body relax, let your mind relax, let your thoughts calm down and wander, contemplating the beauty of this moment. Stay still and let the wind blow you softly away, watching the shore file by under your eyes. The colours are mesmerising. A soft, tonal palette of pastel tones, from sandy whites to frozen pinks to limpid blues. Cold, frosted hues that seem so warm under the rich Middle-East light. Here, lying languidly in the water, embrace the most pacifying yet most powerful feeling of all, acceptance. Let go, give control up, accept the flow of life as you accept the flow of this water. Breathe and let go…

And when you are ready to come back to the here and now, there are also intriguing salt stones to be found, if you dig softly under the mud. Tiny, perfectly square, clear or cloudy minerals, like precious pearls that the Dead Sea would have hidden for the worthy. Realise your luck as you pull them out of the mud, smooth and shining in the sun light. Like mythical stones from a faraway legend, they dissolve under sweet water, as if to make us aware of the temporality of things, of life, of how important it is to enjoy every little moment to the fullest, like a gift bestowed upon us. Take a few home as tokens of this instant, but like a local said to me “don’t be greedy, only take what you need”. After all, these belong to the Sea..

And as you make your way back to the shore and back to your life, be deeply grateful for this moment, and thank the Sea for giving you this restorative, grounding, mind-opening experience. Take the stones and this feeling with you, to come back to and reminisce upon when you most need it.

Finding quiet at the Dead Sea in Israel

The things you want to know

– The Dead Sea is 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation on land. Your ears might pop slightly when you go down but nothing like driving up the Alps…

– The mineral content of the water (20 times more bromine, 15 times more magnesium, and 10 times more iodine than any other sea), and the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, have highly soothing effects on the nervous and respiratory system

– Avoid splashing your face and mostly, mostly your eyes. It won’t harm you but it will hurt… Likewise, if you have an open wound, do not soak it in the water. And don’t shave on the day you expect to take a dip..

– Do NOT drink the water. A- it’s disgusting, B- it’s extremely dangerous. If it happens seek medical assistance

– Drink a lot of fresh water as the minerals contained in the sea dehydrate the body.

– Take off your jewellery. The water will darken silver instantly and might even damage gold

– Float, don’t walk. The crystallised salt on the sea floor is rather sharp and it’s easy to cut the skin on the sole of your feet.

– Despite the scorching sun, you run little risk of getting burnt as the high atmospheric pressure acts as a filter against ultraviolet radiations

Finding quiet at the Dead Sea in Israel
Finding quiet at the Dead Sea in Israel

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