Sunday, January 16, 2011

Photos - Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea

We stayed for two nights at the Kibbutz Ein Gedi Guesthouse and Spa.

Our rooms:

They had a concert on the lawn Friday night:

The Ein Gedi Spa is 2 kilometers away. When it was built in the late 1970s or early 1980s, it was on the shore, but the Dead Sea shore has retreated. It reminds me of the spas in Budapest.

The spa has several sections. Indoors are the sulfur pools, with the heaviest mineral water on earth. I snapped a quick shot in the men's locker room of the entrance to them.

Outside, there is a fresh water pool and further down are the mud pits. A shuttle now takes guests to the Dead Sea beach. In the far distance is Kibbutz Ein Gedi.

There's also a lobby area where people can relax:

The Kibbutz is located in the Judean desert, above the Dead Sea and near the Ein Gedi nature preserve.

We had rare rain, so you can make out a rainbow over the Dead Sea:

Inside Ein Gedi National Park, you can see a shafan (aka a "rock hyrax"):

They live in trees and rocks

There are also lots of Nubian ibexes:

We walked as far as the lowest of the David Falls:

Dad and I walked up a bit further to the middle falls.

I then crossed over and went back down a different path:

We drove from there to an ancient synagogue (2nd-3rd Century, CE):

Note the list of donors:

The main sanctuary:

The bimah:

Unfortunately, our visit to the synagogue led to our getting a "puncture" in a tire, which necessitated a visit to the kibbutz repair garage:

The kibbutz looked particularly lovely at sunrise:

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