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On The Road to The Negev Desert

If you think ocean water is salty, try swimming in the Dead Sea!  It was an interesting start to our day.  After a quick breakfast, we rushed to the shores of the famed body of water.  A little background here - the Dead Sea is 32% minerals, and almost 9 times saltier than ocean water. 


Even though it was a little cool for swimming (not to the young people in our group of course) I had to experience this phenomenon!  Adjusting to the cold was challenging, but floating in this salty body of water was so worth it!  Kind of like swimming through gelatin, but not quite that thick.  Really different, really amazing!



Our journey now was taking us deeper into the Negev desert, and into higher elevations.  We stopped at Mount Sodom, a mountain that is made entirely out of rock salt! Not that we didn't believe our tour guide, Arie, but most of us had to do the "tourist thing," and and stick our tongues on the rock to be sure.

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Did I take a rock with me as a souvenir?  You better believe it!

We continued on through the winding roads taking in the majestic scenery until our next stop at the “small crater.” 

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While most craters are caused by things like meteorites, volcanic activity or explosions, there are a very small minority called makhtesh.  These craters are created by geological erosion.  There are only 7 maktesh in the world - 5 of them including the “small crater” are found in Israel!  For a small country, there’s certainly a lot going on!

As we get to better understand the physical attributes of Israel, we also learn more of its political history.  Our next stop takes us to the grave site of David Ben-Gurion - the man who formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel in May of 1948. 

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This major event connects the dots from our earlier visit at the Herzl Museum.  While Theodor Herzl created the dream of establishing a Jewish State, Ben-Gurion implemented it!  Ben-Gurion and his wife Paula’s grave sites are overlooking the Negev Desert; behind them Ben-Gurion University casts a watchful eye.   Before we leave, our group places stones on the graves - a Jewish tradition - and recite the mourner's kaddish.  Through the years, Ben-Gurion made many contributions to Israel, including the consolidation of all the state’s militias to one national army, the Israel Defense Force.  We passed by an IDF facility on our way to Mitzpe Ramon, where we will spend the night.


We have just 3 more days left of our Israeli journey, but that’s 3 more adventures to look forward to!



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What a wonderful trip-enjoyed reading all about it!!

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