The Dead Sea, Jordan

On our unexpected detour to Jordan caused by pandemic travel restrictions, after spending the night in Amman, we headed to the Dead Sea. Although less than an hour drive from Amman, the Dead Sea shore practically has a different climate. Amman sits atop a plateau. The Dead Sea is at or below sea level. It was chilly and damp in Amman in early March. As we headed down off the mountain, the sun came out and the temperature started to climb. We shed our sweaters and put on our sunglasses.

It is typically quite rainy in Jordan during the months of January and February. Immediately after the rainy season, Jordan is astonishingly green and alive with flowers. After that, as the temperatures rise and the longer the time is since the last rain, the vegetation turns brown and the flowers all die. We were particularly fortunate to catch Jordan in full bloom.

When we reached the Dead Sea, we stopped to look around and take some photos. In days past (pre-pandemic) the area would have been crowded with local tourist families. There would usually be several camels and donkeys standing by to give rides to children. On this day, however, there were no tourists and only one lonely boy and his rather sad-looking horse. The view , however, was as good as ever.

We stayed at the Dead Sea Marriott. It was our favorite place to stay at the Dead Sea when we lived in Amman, and it did not disappoint this time, either. We took a one bedroom suite with a sea view. The staff was, as usual, very friendly, helpful, and eager to please. The Italian restaurant with sea side terrace dining was magical. We had, at that point, not been back to the U.S. for six months, due to travel restrictions. So we were very excited to discover the sports bar at the Marriott had legitimate, authentic American bar food! We gorged ourselves on buffalo wings, cheese steaks, burgers and nachos. Not haute cuisine, not healthy choices, but yummy and a comforting reminder of home. When I told the chef the food was “just like in America” he beamed and stood a little taller. The hotel grounds and landscaping are beautiful. The high location allows a spectacular view. It was unusually clear and we could see all the way to what we believe is Jerusalem.

Of course, since we were at the famous Dead Sea, we had to take a swim and do a self-administered mud mask treatment. We climbed down to the “beach” just after sunrise on our last day there.

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