Journey to Southern Israel – Experiencing Dead Sea and Desert

Continuing our trip, now is the time to explore southern part of Israel. Half of Israel is desert lands; the sand dune stretches on the southern half of their territory.  We have visited the following places by joining group packages (David’s Tour), which picked us up in the morning from the nearby hotel.

Driving south of Jerusalem within 30 minutes from the cold climate, the Judean Desert will be the sight to welcome you.  Those box houses are Kibbutz – the dwelling place of desert people called Bedouine – they are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arabian ethnic group. Luckily we also saw some Bedouine Camel ride.

Bedouine
Bedouine Camel

 

Passing by the Qumran along the way to the Dead sea, Qumran cave is where Deadsea scroll was discovered (more about the scroll in the next post under Israel Museum).
Qumran

Along the highway, are signboard indicating the sea level of that part of Israel, and the lowest place on earth is the Deadsea (-1200 meter).
Sea Level1000
Qumeran

 

Dead Sea
To experience swimming in the Dead Sea, there are Spa/Resorts owned by Bedouins, one of which is Ein Gedi Spa, inside the spa, we enjoyed the  rich mineral hot springs, mud pack, and float on water of Dead sea.
Deadsea Float
Dead Sea
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mudpack

Beauty products containing Dead Sea minerals are indeed established their factories around this area, such as: AVAHA.
Ahava Salt Sculpture
Ahava

 

Masada
Earlier that day we visited the fortress of Massada.  Its located 15 minutes away from the resort.  It is highly recommended to visit this first before taking a refreshing dip in the resort.
Masada-Cliff
Masada Snake path
Masada

Ascend via cable car to Masada (the last stronghold of the Zealots) the fortress was built by King Herod, atop a lofty natural plateau overlooking the Dead Sea.
Cable car

On top of the fortress are storage areas for food (those rectangular rooms):
Masada

Ancient bath houses, and other ancient ruins :
Ancient bath house
Ancient Ruins
Masada

 

Negev Deserts
We allocated another one whole day to visit the deserts of Israel. For me this trip was least enjoyable among all places we visited in Israel.  Since some tours offer canyon walking, but we chose the panoramic views of desert than getting sands on our feet due to safety reasons since our group was with seniors.

Tomb of Ben Gurion
David Ben-Gurion was the main founder and the first Prime Minister of Israel.  He is sort of the Lee Kuan Yew of Israel.  After his retirement from political life in 1970, he moved to Sde Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev desert.  Ben-Gurion moved to the kibbutz due to his vision of cultivating the arid Negev desert and building up its surrounding towns. He believed that eventually the Negev would be home to many Jews who would move to Israel, and he felt that Sde-Boker was a trailblazer and example for what should follow.

He was buried nearby his wife Paula Ben-Gurion.  Those stones on top of the grave are place by the visitors, this is how they pay respect when visiting Jewish grave. Stones seem better suited to the permanence of memory. Stones do not die, better than flowers which wilt easily in a desert.

Ben Gurion
Ben Gurion Stone

You may see behind the tombs are the geographic sand formation Tzin Valley.
Tzin Valley

Ibex roaming around the Sde-Boker.
Ibex
Ibex

The farming amidst the desert land: Miracle of Science and technology.
Farming in Desert
Negev Desert viewing point :
Negev Desert
Negev Desert

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4 Responses to Journey to Southern Israel – Experiencing Dead Sea and Desert

  1. a guest says:

    Hi,

    Those box houses in the first picture are indeed the dwelling place of desert people called Bedouine, but the are NOT Kibbutz lol. Kibbutz (or Kibbutzim in plural in Hebrew) are Jewish kind of settlements in Israel. They are a unique type of community where there’s no private possessions but all members share everything with one another. They are a very modern and organized settlements with nice houses and gardens and have a huge part in the establishment of Israel because their (Jewish) members had a huge part in the military, economic, political and social elite of Israel in its beginning when it faced huge security and economic hardship.

  2. Guest says:

    Hi! Will it be too cold to swim in the dead sea in Janurary? :)

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