Picture Perfect: Look-a-like


© Photo: Riihele. All rights reserved

The sky looks like the water,
the water looks like the sky,
looking like they were painted in
soft and muted watercolours…

This photo was taken by me in Ein Bokek by the Dead Sea last year. The pic is totally untouched for it is as it was.  Here is some interesting information on this spectacular spot:

The Dead Sea has a climate which boasts year-round sunny skies and dry air with low pollution. It has less than 50mm mean annual rainfall and a summer average temperature between 32 and 39 degrees Celsius. The winter average temperature is between 20 and 23 degrees Celsius.

The region has weakened UV radiation, particularly the UVB (erythrogenic rays), and an atmosphere characterized by a high oxygen content due to the high barometric pressure. The Dead Sea’s mix of bromide, potash, magnesium and salt is like no other body of water on the planet.The shore is the lowest dry place in the world. (iNFO: Wikipedia)

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SUNSET At The Oasis of Ein Bokek

Looking towards the southern tip of Dead Sea

Looking towards the southern tip of  Dead Sea

Marvellous Clouds – Dead Sea
Marvellous Clouds - Dead Sea

Palms Framing the Sunset

Palms Framing the Sunset

Setting Sun in Ein Bokek Setting Sun in Ein Bokek

Rhapsody in Blues & Purples
Rhapsody in Blues & Purples
These are some of the photos which I took one evening
in Israel while on a mini-vacation during my holidays on the
Dead Sea area of Ein Bokek.


More stories to follow…

Rii xx

© Photos: By Riihele. All rights reserved.

The OASIS of EIN BOKEK

The Dead Sea has a climate which boasts year-round sunny skies and dry air with low pollution. It has less than 50mm mean annual rainfall and a summer average temperature between 32 and 39 degrees Celsius.The winter average temperature is between 20 and 23 degrees Celsius. The region has weakened UV radiation, particularly the UVB (erythrogenic rays), and an atmosphere characterized by a high oxygen content due to the high barometric pressure. The shore is the lowest dry place in the world. (Wikipedia)Photo:
Mountain, Palms & Hotel in Ein Bokek
The Dead Sea measures 67 km (42 miles) long, 18 km (11 miles) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley. The main tributary is the Jordan River.The Dead Sea has attracted interest and visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. It was a place of refuge for King David, one of the world’s first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of products as diverse as balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers.Photo: Ein Gedi
”Although the medicinal indications of the water have not yet been adequately researched, this therapeutic resource is a great attraction, which gives the area advantages over other such places in Israel and the world. In addition to the medical properties of the water, the climate and atmosphere of the region have a therapeutic value of their own.The high atmospheric pressure, the highest in fact on earth, results in the highest oxygen content on earth and low ultra-violet radiation. This permits prolonged sun bathing without danger of burning on almost every day of the year.The absence of polluting contaminants makes for pure air, which eases bronchitis and bronchial conditions. On the other hand, the combination of low humidity and high evaporation contributes to accelerating the body’s metabolic processes. These climatic properties have a considerable effect on the non-specific treatment of certain diseases based on stimulation of cells and tissues while acting against unhealthy internal and external stimuli.” WikipediaPhoto: The Swimming Pool
King David, King Herod, Jesus, and John the Baptist stayed in the Dead Sea area. The prophets knew it via the infamous Sodom and Gomorra.During the Egyptian era it is said that Queen Cleopatra obtained exclusive rights to build cosmetic and pharmaceutical the area. Later on, the wily Nabateans discovered the value of bitumen extracted from the Dead Sea and needed by the Egyptians for embalming their mummies. Aristotle wrote about the remarkable waters.

Photo: The Dead Sea is really this colour
Article: ‘The Race is on to save the Dead Sea’ on The Sunday Times September 3, 2006“…proposal is to carry sea water from the Gulf of Aqaba to replenish the Dead Sea, which has shrunk by a third over the past 50 years and faces total evaporation.
At stake is the area’s delicate ecology and a tourist industry — that draws 100,000 Britons each year — centred on the sea’s mineral-rich waters and mud.A sequence of canals and pipelines would channel sea water down through the arid Arava valley in southern Israel and Jordan to the salt lake at the lowest point on earth, 415 metres below sea level. Action is urgently needed. Over the past 50 years the Dead Sea’s depth has fallen by 20 metres. The so-called “Red to Dead” plan is to reverse this fall, which has been so dramatic that it has left the Israeli spa resort of Ein Gedi a mile from the water’s edge.Photo:The Courtyard at the hotel

“However, Friends of the Earth warned that mixing water from the Red Sea with the unique chemical soup of the Dead Sea could create a natural catastrophe. “The Dead Sea’s mix of bromide, potash, magnesium and salt is like no other body of water on the planet,” said Bromberg.
“By bringing in the marine water, this composition will be changed.There is concern about algae growth and we could see the sea change from deep blue to red and brown and the different waters could separate.”

Photo: Palms in Ein Bokek

(iNFO: Wikepedia)

Photos: Riihele

TIS FOR NOW. Rii xx

HAVE A SUPER WEEKEND!

© Photos: By Riihele. All rights reserved.

Alien Corn in an Alien Land – Shavuot

Nafoura

Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,

She stood in tears amid the alien corn;

Source: Line 65 of the Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats (1795-1821)

The story of Ruth is a story of an alien in an alien land as she originated from the neighbouring and somewhat distantly related country of Moab in the ancient times. I came to think of her and her story as tis the time of the year when this story is read and celebrated in Israel. Shavuot – the weeks – is what this word means; as does the word ‘pentecost’ meaning: fifty in Greek, which both count the fifty days – that is seven weeks – from the Passover to this festival as instructed.

I went to Israel at the time when the war had been going on in Irak for just a short while. Not the best time to go to the neighbourhood, I hear you think. True, but twas the time I had to get away to be totally in a place of absolute rest and recuperating from an extremely hectic time of work and whatnot. A time to get me head together again – not having to take anybody else into account in any way affecting me. I had given so much that I could not give no more, to put it bluntly.

The spa treatments, the complete rest and the time to be still did me wonders. Even with the F16’s and their relatives constantly flying really low – I was on the 12th floor in the hotel and they flew at that height over the Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel – did not disturb my recovery that much. I found the aisle seat to observe rather interesting, actually.

The temperature was just perfect – not too hot, not too cool – to take moonlight walks by the shore and while walking looking over the Dead Sea to the other side where the ancient Moab was and where the present day Jordan is situated, I came to think of Ruth, the Moabite – in that link there is a poem I was inspired to write about her. It must have been extremely tough for her to leave all that was home to her and go to a place unknown, unfamiliar and unsure. One has to be/have been an alien in alien land to get to the depths of her soul. I have been that several times in several countries. And like, Ruth, I did get integrated into the greater society as a member and not as an observer. Here some thoughts on the being an alien in the alien land as an immigrant that I wrote earlier on.

Ruth’s secret was the giving:

  • She gave of herself to her mother-in-law unconditionally.
  • She gave her birthright away in her own culture and country.
  • She gave of every morsel of food she got to Naomi, too.

I am sure that there is more but these are the ones that spring to my mind while writing this here and now. Ruth also received blessings and fame beyond measure. Even today we know who she was/is.

The story of Ruth is the most beautiful love story that I have ever read. I hope that the people in Israel do think of her in the midst of the feasting on the mountains of cheesecakes and the fresh fruit as this also the Festival of the First Fruit – HaBikkurim.

Tis for now again. Riihele xx.

The mountains of Moab are the most gorgeous shades of pinks – one of these days I shall paint them.

PS.
The photograph is by me of one of my very favourite restaurants and it’s in the Old City of Jerusalem. The wall on the right is the actual wall from the 1500’s that surrounds the entire old city there.

The Dead Sea Spa – Nothing Like The Mud

DEAD SEA MUD

“Mud! Mud! Glorious mud! Nothing quite like it
for cooling the blood.
So, follow me,
follow, down to the hollow,

And there let us wallow in glorious mud.”

The Hippopotamus Song
Words by Michael Flanders
Music by Donald Swann and Michael Flanders

When I filled years a couple of years ago, I decided to follow The Hippo down to the hollow ,ie. to the Dead Sea. No better place for wollowing: relaxing, treatments and chilling. I gave meself a present of a holiday by going to a spa for a week at the Dead Sea in Israel. I was in this hotel in Ein Bokek which lies in the southern end of the Dead Sea. Here are some fun facts & history of the region. And a great link is in here for the absolutely gorgeous photographs of the area. (Press the: Photo Gallery link and – voila!

The uniqueness of the Dead Sea has been known for centuries. This is the only place in the world with this particular combination of exclusive spa benefits: peculiar sun radiation and climatic conditions, enriched oxygen atmosphere, mineral-rich salt sea, thermomineral springs, and mineral-rich mud.” (Dead Sea Guide)

As far as the treatments were concerned during my seven-day stay there I had :

  • 4 full body hot mud treatments
  • 4 full body hot oil treatments
  • 2 facials
  • 2 pedicures
  • 2 manicures
  • 2 full body goarse salt treatments
  • et cetera

You understand by that shortened list that I did feel very much like the Cleopatra and Queen Esther by the end of the pampering! Absolutely, so true, I did indeed. Here is a modern twist of the lessons to be learned by the Queen Esther story. I have the book, by the way. I came back to Jerusalem so very much rejuvenated, refreshed and beautified that my friends hardly recognized me! I went back to the same hotel with my daughters a few months later to have some more of these fabulous treatments. It is nigh impossible to get me Misses up in the morns, but while on the spa holiday here the surprise to me was that they would announce at 8 o’clock in the morning: “Oh, I must dash for my mud treatment!” And off they went, leaving their mama stunned, thinking, if it only had been as easy to get them off to school each morning.

Tis for now yet again. Riihele xx.