Ein Gedi

Cairo, Eilat, Ein Gedi, Jerusalem

I will write about everything since the last time I wrote (which was the first day in Cairo, a Thursday last week).

 

Friday

We visited the Museum of Egyptain History (it's not called that, but that is what it is). It was interresting. We also visited the Coptic erea of Cairo and went to the Hanging Chruch (it's called that because there is nothing underneath it).

Saturday

We drove to Isreal with a bus. First our driver broke down and a passenger drove. Next we switched into another bus. This bus broke down. We switched back into the bus with our sick driver. Next we switched to another bus, and that one got us all the way there. We went to Eilat and swam in the Red Sea.

Sunday

We stayed in The Shelter Hostel, they have a Bible Study every day. A few Jews, but mostly tourists attend. They have a minister from America.

Monday

We got our rental car and drove to Ein Gedi. We stopped in Timna Park where we saw a reconstruction of the Tabernacle. There where also lots of natural formations like arches and pillars. It was very fun to climb those things.

Tuesday

We started with a swim in the Dead Sea. You float no matter what you do, the feeling is funny. Next we went to the Ein Gedi Park. We had a nice walk and lots of swims (because it is really hot here). There are 4 springs in the park, the David Spring was very long with about 6 swimming places. After walking through a dessert in 40 degrees, it's nice to swim.

Wednesday

We went to the park early and stayed there the whole day. We walked a lot more than the previous day. We went up the cliffs to the source of the David spring and passed 2 other springs on the way and swam. In the afternoon we drove to Jerusalem.

Thursday

We went into the old city and walked around it. There are many small streets and shops line the roads. We also went to the Garden Tomb, which is an old tomb in a garden, a place like the one Jesus would have been buried in.

Friday

We walled around half of the old city wall built by Suleman about 500 years ago to stop another Crusade. I went to the Great Synagogue with my mum to look around, it was a large place. The way they worship is interresting, with a lot of movement like standing, bowing, and turning around.

Saturday

We walked around the second half of the wall. We were planning to go to the beach close to Tel Aviv, but the carpark was closed beause it is Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath).

Ein Gedi National Park, end of Day 1, and Day 2

Below three pictures taken when we were on our way back from Ein Gedi National Park, should have been part of the previous story.

The kids liked the springs so much, they wanted to go back another time. So we went early next morning: 8am at the gate (Wednesday September 9). We wanted to do a longer treck around the mountains. This is somewhat up. The white is the dead sea, because of the heat and sun it just fades away with a camera. In reality you don't see a lot either. The mountains of Jordan on the other side are hardly visible during the day.

We didn't go all the way to the top: according to the office you may only do this if you take 5 liter water per person... Halfway the mountain was hot enough though. Ida was just near collapse, but luckily we came to the Shulamit spring which Ida could let run over her back as much as possible. Refreshed we continued down to Dodim cave, a very unique cave. With cave we always think about a real cave in a rock, but perhaps the cave where David hid was more like this, a pool with a cave over it?

We climbed up again and went to the Ein Gedi spring. Just five minutes in this heat is already enough to scorch you! When we came at Ein Gedi springs, the water just feels so good. The pool was small:

As you can see, the boys enjoyed themselves!

A very nice place.

Ein Gedi National Park

After swimming in the Dead Sea it was already very hot, so the kids went back to their airconditioned rooms, while Ida and I went in our airconditioned car to the Ein Gedi kibbutz for some work. Ida really had to the laundry, I had to upload photos.

We were back quite late, perhaps 2pm or so and had lunch using the lunch provided by the Youth Hostel. Came with our take away yesterday evening, very useful. After we went to Ein Gedi National Park. It's basically a small valley between scorching rocks, with water supplied through underground channels from the Western side of the Judean desert. This creates a unique climate. There are waterfalls everywhere. The following photo shows the waterfalls, not the true depth unfortunately. But I reallly suggest you click on the picture and zoom in (zoom button in the bottom right corner) to see it in its full glory.

The park was home to some unique animals. Here the hyrax.

Their colour is very well adapted to the background:

The same for the ibexes (wild mountain goats). We could seem them trekking high up the hills, going up impossibly steep ascents.

But the big attraction are the springs and pools of course. You just can't believe how refreshing it is to get in one of those pools after having walked through possibly 55℃ in the burning sun.

So that's basically what we did: we went from pool to pool. The kids enjoyed themselves immensely.

There was even a natural slide in one of the pools.

The pool the kids liked most was the one where they could climb up and jump down.

Just before closing time we reached the last and largest spring, the David spring.

Swimming in the Dead Sea

We stayed in Ein Gedi for two days. It's even hotter here than in Eilat, just soring desert. In the morning it's ok (but still hot). Below sun rise over the Dead Sea on Tuesday, September 8.

Access to the Dead Sea was fairly close, only 2 minutes by car. This particular access point must be very popular given all the amenities.

Ida enjoyed it.

As did Anne Roos.

The water is actually clear.

The backdrop of where you swim.

The hotel is next to a national park with lots of wild goats, ibexes.

Who don't mind crossing the street.

To Ein Gedi

After Timna National Park we continued our journey towards the Dead Sea, and specifically Ein Gedi. Ein Gedi is known as Engedi in the King James. David lived in this area when he fled for Saul. At the south tip of the Dead Sea we could already clearly see an important industry here.

Somewhere from a top, towards the North East:

The water is really blue here.

And then we arrived at our apartment. Luckily we could get dinner at the hotel, there is basically nothing else here, no villages, no restaurants, no shopping.

And without air conditioning we couldn't survive here. At night it's still hot, probably still 36℃ or so.

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