Sunday, August 24, 2008

Israel:The Blog -- Day Seven

Our last day in Jerusalem …

We started by revisiting the Tower of David Citadel, this time to view the museum and the ruins. It’s a very well done exhibit and presentation of the history of Jerusalem – once again, without the last 100 or so years.

Then I finally convinced Ellery that no trip to Israel would be complete without a trip to the Dead Sea, so we hired a taxi and headed to Mineral Beach. The landscape changes on the drive were drastic – from the landscaped greenery of Jerusalem, to the barren and hilly desert dotted with Bedouin camps, to the deep ravines that lead to the Dead Sea, and finally the steep craggy cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea. While we did not get to Masada, it was easy to see why a fortress on these cliffs would be so valuable.

Mineral Beach was definitely an experience. No question but that you can locate every single scrape and scratch on your body as it comes into contact with the salty water. Ellery couldn’t take it for long, nor really could I. But we did the obligatory mud slathering and floating, and then spent the rest of the time in the cool fresh water pool. (There was also a sulfur pool but it was incredibly hot and smelly).

After a few hours we returned to Jerusalem (necessarily stopping at the Ahava factory) and rested for a bit before heading out once again, this time heading to Ben Yehuda Street – which I’m not sure we ever actually reached, but we did find a wonderful little area with tons of outdoor restaurants and cafes, where we sat for a last, long dinner in Jerusalem.