We left our hotel at around 9 and drove along the south part of the king’s highway towards north. We have not been on that route yet and were tempted to stop by the Dana Nature Reserve, but after reading the guidebook, we realized that this would take more than just 1 – 2 hours to explore, so we keep that one for next time.
Just before At Tafila (which the GPS showed me I should go through, staying on the king’s highway) was a ‘hidden’ sign ‘Dead Sea’ … and we were somewhat confused, as the map showed no road there. While we stopped the car and waited, an old Beduin came and wanted to help (very nice people here). He just pointed in the 3 directions and said what there is … his pronounciation of Dead Sea was hard to make out, but we followed the direction which shows on the GPS as ‘middle of nowhere’. But there is a reason why they put that sign there. It leads to a road through the mountains and at some point one is rewarded with fantastic vistas.
There is one little viewpoint stop that offers water, soft drinks, coffee and those fantastic views. (Look for ‘Al Borj Rest’)
Moving on we soon merged with the Dead Sea Highway and on our way we passed Lot’s Cave (remember? The guy who’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she could not resist the temptation of looking back at the destruction of Sodom & Gomorra? Who then moved with his 2 daughters into that cave, were they spiked his drink, had sex with him and 9 months later both bore him grandsons / sons? The Bible has some really fun stories), but we wanted to move on.
But when we saw the sign ‘Dead Sea Panorama Complex’ we turned, as it was lunch time and we had read that they have a restaurant. And allegedly it is only 2 km off the highway. But those 2 km turned out to be very curvy and steep, so it took some sweet time.
Once there, first we thought it was closed (big metal gates) … then we found out that we have to pay 2JD just to get in. But that was in the end very much worth it. The view over the Dead Sea is stunning.
The restaurant was very nice (Finally a place not playing the typical local music), the food pretty good. Afterwards we explored the adjacent museum about the geology of the area. Fascinating stuff.
Thanks to this break we arrived at our hotel right at check-in time and we got a very similar room compared to what we had 4 years ago. Very nice view, but a bit long walk to the pools / beach. But once we settled in, we got ready to get wet. Julius was brave enough to try the super salty water of the Dead Sea, but got an unpleasant surprise, since he had scratched open a mosquito bite and the pain that results from adding salt to the wound. This made him very unhappy and he rather went to the kiddie pool again.
I did my first round of floating around (which also hurt some) , then mudding up and stand in the sun until the mud dries, then back in the water to wash it off, and then a nice shower … I will be doing this a lot in the coming days, hoping that it will help my skin.
Since we had nice lunch today, we were looking for something small for dinner. Which was trickier than we had thought. The pool grill had closed at 7PM. The sushi bar was overpriced and did not look that great anyways. A buffet dinner place was out of the question, as was the Italian restaurant or the Thai (we tried the Thai last time and it was not very good). We ended up in the Sumerian Bar, where the offer nice little things like a mezze plate or a chicken burger. Both items were very tasty and we enjoyed them with some drinks on a terrace, watching the leftovers of the sunset over Jerusalem.
Julius fell asleep there and it was a mix of him walking with eyes closed (on our hands) and me carrying him. But we got him back and he promptly continued sleeping happily. What was pretty annoying was a party happening on the terrace under our balcony, 3 stories down. And they had some loud boom-boom music on and at times started dancing between the tables. I was about to call the manager and ask for a refund. But they stopped right on 10 PM, which is somewhat ok.