Friday, August 24, 2012

Homestretch

The Dead Sea

After bidding Turkey farewell, I headed to the beautiful island of Cyprus and spent a fantastic 3 days there. Cyprus has gorgeous beach towns, quaint villages, majestic mountains... a little of everything. It was really great to learn about the island from a local, and to spend some quality time with one of the many friends that I've made this year.  It's definitely on my list of places to return.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, it was time to leave and head to Israel.  Since touching down here, the days have gone by in an even faster blur.  Started in Tel Aviv where I got to see another friend from my Rio days.  From there, Jerusalem was the next stop which was really almost beyond words.  I will have to sit and write a post just about Israel when I have more time because it's been an experience, not just a trip.  From Jerusalem, the Dead Sea was next and that is easily one of the coolest places I've ever been in my life.  The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, and the salt content of the water is so high that you just float.  No treading water, no moving, you just float. It's probably the closest thing I'll ever experience to being weightless. Almost indescribable. From there, the next stop was a kibbutz (community settlement) in the north where my friend lives.  The north is completely different (green!) and it was such a great time visiting with her family and friends. We had an incredible meal together (it's up there with the best meals I've ever had) and just sat and talked and laughed. It was such a nice break from the rush that has been this portion of the trip.

The view from my balcony is now the Red Sea, and after one day here I'll be heading across the border to Jordan to visit Petra, and spend the last full night of my trip in a Bedouin tent camp in the Arabian desert. I have a feeling it's not quite "camping in the desert", but either way, I'm sure the night sky over the desert will be just as amazing as I'm imagining. Probably more.

It's the last weekend of my year(ish) of travel... so hard to believe.

~ N