24.4.12

Israel & Palestinian Territories: Floating in the Dead Sea

Israel & Palestinian Territories, June 2011

Stripped off my clothes at the crossing border between Jordan and Israel. That's how I started my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. As soon as our bus entered the border, some fully armed officers came to inspect our bus. We were led to the immigration hall where they started sorting our group. Older people were easily pass through and got their passport back. I was put among younger people group and our passports were being held because we had to do the full body check. Oh crap !!! I'm flattered if you think I look young but I'd prefer to pass through together with the elders.
They asked me to open my suitcase and examined my stuffs carefully like it's a time bomb. After that I was led to a small cubicle for the body check. My mind was suddenly racing with thoughts....did I put my Victoria Secret underwear this morning ? Who knows the officer looks as good as Josh Duhamel in army uniform in Transformers ?
I had to slap my face for panicking over such irrational things. Turned out it was a female officer. She asked me to undress, checked here and there, told me to dress up and voila ! they set me free.
Holy Land please welcome this drama queen :)


Jordan River where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist

beautiful city of Haifa

Bethlehem in Palestinian territories
Thanks God, no more drama for the rest of the trip. We didn't face any problem going in and out the border of Palestinian territories while visiting Bethlehem and Jericho.
The only problem, due to the Jewish kosher law, I was not allowed to bring my chili sauce to the dining area. Jewish has very strict regulations about how to serve food. For example it's forbidden to eat dairy with meat at the same meal, no cheese with eggs and so on. That means I didn't get my mushroom, ham and cheese omelet for days :(
In every dining room there's a Jewish Rabbi who walks around to check the tables and make sure that no one breaks the law.

Jerusalem


entering the wailing wall of Israel

Jewish family


huge sesame breads



the church of the Holy Sepulchre


Highlight of my trip was Dead Sea, the lowest and the saltiest spot on earth ! I was really excited about it. I've read about it, seen the pictures, watched on TV and I was still curious about how to float in the Dead Sea.
My first impression about Dead Sea was it's freaking hot. I think it was more than 40 C when I got there.
I quickly ran into the water before my skin turns crispy under the fierce sun. At the beginning it felt really weird and my first attempt failed miserably. Only my butt was floating proudly. Then I stood up again trying to balance my body. I sat back slowly and spread my wings arms... and woohoo! I was floating in the water ! Beware not to drink the water though, it could kill you because of sodium overdose.
I've been told that the water is very good to treat skin diseases and relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis. The mud is like an instant botox for the skin, it makes your skin feels really smooth.

Dead Sea

yayyy....I'm floating :D
Despite of the wars and conflicts, I think Israel is a very beautiful country. It was an eye opening journey for me. I did learn a lot about the culture, people, religion and many more. Re-visited Israel is definitely on my bucket list now.

19 comments:

  1. Love your way to see !!!

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    1. Merci Jeffe !!! Hey I didn't know you have a blog, will visit yours now :D

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  2. I still can't believe you are only taking pictures with a point-n-shoot. Debbz, your photos here are amazing. I particular love the view of Haifa. Absolutely beautiful! Great post!

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    1. Thank you Fidel ! Sometimes I can't believe myself too. I guess my Canon G11 does wonders :D

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  3. Lovely photos! I now want a loaf of that sesame bread ;(

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Annette!
      I was on the way to the church and I forgot to get one of those breads when I went home :(

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  4. wow... so stoney... can't really imagine myself going there! like a whole new experience ~

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    1. it was a new experience to me but beautiful indeed. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. is it ok to get a stamp on your passport in israel's customs these days or do they still need to stamp it on another document?

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    1. You can actually choose whether getting your passport stamped or not. I wanted the stamp on my passport and until now I haven't face any problem entering other countries like Europe, Canada even Dubai :)

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  6. Selama ini selalu melihat negara ini dari media. Kebanyakan menampilkan perang dan konflik.
    Ternyata banyak keindahan ya di balik negeri itu... :)

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    1. Saya setuju banget ! Berkunjung ke Israel sungguh2 berkesan buat saya. Dapat melihat sisi kesedihan dan keindahan dalam waktu bersamaan :)

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  7. Selama ini hanya melihat negeri ini dari media. Di media kebanyakan menampilkan perang dan konflik. Ternyata banyak keindahan di balik negeri itu...

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  8. Coooooll! Hahahahaah you're a drama queen just like me, and love your way of thinking, the policeman might just be as hot as Josh Duhamel, so in any situation the Victoria Secret it is!

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    1. I can't help it but sometimes my brain gets crazy, hihihi.

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  9. woh! udah nyampe Israel aja mbaknyaaa.. *menjura*
    yang terlintas di benak, gimana ngurus visanya, mbak? apakah harus ikut tur religi untuk bisa ke Israel?

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    1. iyah, kemaren ikut tour religi kesana. Soalnya lumayan ribet kalau bikin visa sendiri. Udah ikut tour aja proses imigrasi masih tetap menegangkan X(

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  10. Mbak,
    Ke Israel pake travel apa ya? boleh minta rekomendasinya ga? rencana Natal mau ziarah :)

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    1. banyak lho travel untuk pilgrim, tinggal bandingin harga, itinerary dan berapa lama. Aku pakai Panorama tour waktu ini :)

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