Israel
Naẖal Boqeq

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  • Day12

    Out and about around the Dead Sea

    May 16 in Israel ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    A very full day doing activities around the Dead Sea (this time Israel side). First stop was Qumran which is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 by a young Bedouin sheepherder after his sheep ventured into a cave and wouldn't come out. There he found 7 jars containing the scrolls recounting Biblical stories. After this discovery, many other scrolls were found hidden in caves throughout the area.

    We continued into Masada which is a fortress set high in the mountains overlooking the Dead Sea. Apparently there was an epic movie (Cecil B de Mil style) about Masada but I had never heard of it. Originally built as a Palace for King Herod it became the last bastion for Jewish freedom fighters against the Romans. It's fall signalled the end of the Kingdom of Judea. Masada is A UNESCO World Heritage site as it is the most complete surviving Roman seige system in the world.

    Next stop was another float in the Dead Sea and even though we had already done it on the Jordan side, this was so much better. The access was easier and the water was warmer - I really enjoyed it this time.

    Finally we returned to Jerusalem, calling into the obligatory factory stop where they make the Dead Sea minerals skin care products. No doubt they are good, but outrageously expensive. Then onto Jericho which is the oldest city in the world and also the place where they believe Jesus was tempted by Satan when he wandered in the wilderness for 40 days fasting. It is also known for the place where Joshua's army marched around the city walls 7 times and the walls came tumbling down. However there was nothing really to see regarding the walls and Jericho as a city was quite grubby, particularly compared to Jerusalem.

    Last day in Jerusalem, off to Bethlehem tomorrow.
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  • Day22

    Das Tote Meer - ein Wunder der Natur

    September 16, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Hihi,

    heute hat uns unsere Tour weiter in den Süden geführt: von Jerusalem über en Gedi (da wir nicht wandern wollten, gab es hier nicht viel zu sehen für uns) nach En Bokek.

    Unterwegs war zunächst nur Wüste zu sehen...und dann kam das Tote Meer. Das Meer grenzt an Israel, das Westjordanland und Jordanien. Es misst eine Tiefe von rund 428m unter dem Meeresspiegel. Wir befinden uns also am tiefsten zugänglichen Punkt der Erde.

    Streng genommen ist das Tote Meer gar kein Meer, sondern ein abflussloser Salzsee. Der Salzgehalt beträgt rund 30-33%. Im Vergleich dazu hat das Mittelmeer einen Salzgehalt von rund 3,8%. Durch den hohen Salzgehalt kann man quasi nicht untergehen und schwebt im Wasser. Das haben wir natürlich auch gleich getestet. :-)

    Allerdings ist das Wasser sehr warm, was bei einer aktuellen Außentemperatur von 36 - 39 Grad nicht verwundert. Man soll aufgrund des hohen Salzgehaltes auch nicht so lange im Wasser bleiben. Von daher haben wir auch gleich den Hotelpool getestet.

    Heute gehen wir zeitig ins Bett, denn morgen geht es früh raus. Mehr dann morgen.

    Heiße Grüße aus En Bokek
    Chris und Stephi
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    Robert und Caro

    Genau wie damals am Silbersee, nur einige Maßstäbe größer. 😄

    9/16/19Reply
    Stephanie Bohm

    An was du dich alles erinnern kannst.

    9/16/19Reply
    Petruschka Brenner

    Wie schön! Da kommt man runter, wenn man das Bild anschaut :D

    9/21/19Reply
     
  • Day15

    Day 12 Biblelands trip

    September 25, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Day 12
    Masada-This was Herod's winter palace which at its height housed 1000 zealots. Amazing that they grew crops and had water in the middle of the desert on a huge high Rock.. They had dovecotes for food.. their droppings used as fertiliser.. They had enough food and water for 3 years with 12 cisterns and an ingenious system of redirecting floodwater, so the Romans got sick of waiting to starve them out and took 47 days to build a ramp and used a battering ram for the stone walls and archers with flaming arrows to burn the wooden reinforcements. Almost 1000 people committed suicide rather than face slavery and rape and torture. This act has become legendary and the Israeli Defence Force youth are brought here to inspire them.. 'Masada will never fall again'. is their catchcry and it has become a symbol of staunch resistance against oppression.
    (66AD was the start of the revolt,70AD destruction of the Temple and Masada was the last remaining City to be taken before the Jews were eradicated from the land in 73AD.)

    We then journeyed on and learnt that the Dead sea is today not one sea but 2 landlocked lagoons as the sea is receding at the rate of 1m a year.. as the Jordan River is only supplying 4% of its former volume into the sea due to drought and the fact that more water is being pumped out of the sea of Galilee for domestic use..plans are afoot to pump water from the Red Sea but costs are an issue at present.
    Next stop was Ein Gev(Engedi).. this region lost 30% of its date production in a sink hole in the last 20 years.. Many of these have opened up due to the drying out of the dead sea. The Engedi spring is the source of 30% of the bottled water market in Israel,a major source of income for the kibbutz here, along with date palms.
    This is the area where David fled from Saul and hid in the caves..5 waterfalls from this Spring which was a welcome refreshing stop 😊 Another amazing feeling thinking we were standing under the same waterfall that David would've done😲(1Sam 23/4) We read Ezek 47:10 when the Dead sea in this area will be full of fish.. Hard to imagine the change.
    Qumran -the site where Bedouin goatherds accidentally found some dead sea scrolls that are believed to have been hidden by the Jews living here to preserve them, once they heard Jerusalem had been taken and the Romans were heading to Masada. We saw herds of wild ibex through this area.
    Back to the resort for a relaxing afternoon at the pools and another Dead Sea swim 😁
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  • Day14

    Day 11 Biblelands trip

    September 24, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Day 11 Very sad to to leave Jerusalem but every day brings a new adventure! We drove past Bet Shemesh known for being the area given to the tribe of Dan.. one of the 48 cities given to the Levites..where the Philistines brought the ark of the covenant ..the area where Samson judged Israel for 20 years.
    First stop.. Tel Azeka above the Valley of Elah first mentioned where Joshua conquered the land (Josh10) this area given to the tribe of Judah. Best known as the site where David fought Goliath.We can see the brook where David picked up the 5 stones when he fought Goliath, Israel was camped across the valley, the higher hills we are on was where the Philistines were camped(a definite strategic advantage for them and we could imagine the Philistines shouting out challenges across the valley). David carried the head of Goliath to Jerusalem (an hour and a quarter bus ride for us!!
    Then a slow perilous trip down a narrow winding road.. Our bus has a few more scratches to show for it!!
    Next stop-Tel Lachish held by King Hezekiah, conquered by Sennacherib and the Assyrian army 2800 years ago. Trev reckons he found part of a white flint arrow head(or a chicken bone 😂)and Peter found a pottery shard with writing on it 😲
    We then drove down through the Negev with extensive plantings of jojoba beans, heading to BeerSheva(Beersheba) where we visited an Air force museum and heard how the Israeli air force has thrived despite embargoes being placed against them, and their technology has leapt ahead through their own ingenuity in appropriating other nations aircraft.. We then visited the ANZAC memorial to the taking of BeerSheba from the Ottomans in 1917 by the Australian light horsemen along with the Brits. 2 days after this the Balfour Declaration was presented and 2 years after BeerSheba was taken, the Allies succeeded in taking Palestine from the Turks. Sobering seeing so many graves of boys younger than our children 😢
    BeerSheba was also mentioned many times in scripture including the place where Jacob had the dream of the ladder with angels descending and ascending(Gen28), Abraham's oath (Gen 21), Hagar wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba, sons of Samuel were judges here (I Sam 8) .
    Arrived at the Dead Sea (423m below sea level.. The lowest point on the planet) in time for a swim before dinner..a unique experience!
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  • Day23

    Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm

    September 17, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund
    oder der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm,

    das haben wir uns gedacht, als wir gegen 4 Uhr (! im Urlaub) aufgestanden sind, um ins Gebirge zu fahren.

    Warum? Unser Ziel war der Sonnenaufgang bei der Festung Madada.

    Diese jüdische Festung hat von der östlichen Seite zum Toten Meer (unser Startpunkt) einen Höhenunterschied von über 400m. Unser Plan war, zu Fuß den Schlangenpfad zur von König Herodes erbauten Festung zu erklimmen.

    Den Plan hatten auch noch (gefühlt mehr als 100) andere Touristen, sodass wir zunächst anstehen mussten. Die Festung ist als UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe heute in einen Nationalpark eingebettet. Dieser öffnet eine Stunde vor Sonnenaufgang. Als wir unsere Wanderung beginnen konnten, waren es noch 40 Minuten bis zum Sonnenaufgang (um circa 6.24 Uhr).

    Um pünktlich oben zu sein, hieß es zügig den steilen Weg hinauf zu wandern. Dabei sind wir ganz schön ins Schwitzen gekommen, haben es aber rechtzeitig in Rekordzeit von knapp 35min geschafft (laut verschiedenen Blogs sind 45-70min üblich, aber wir sind mittlerweile nah am professionellem Wandersport angekommen). Wir wurden belohnt: Der Sonnenaufgang über den Bergen Jordaniens und dem Toten Meer sowie auch die Festung waren den Aufstieg wert.

    Danach ging es für uns wieder hinab, unter die Dusche und zum Frühstücken. Es gab es reichhaltiges Buffet. Anschließend war Entspannung am Pool angesagt. Zum Abschluss des Tages haben wir uns eine Totes-Meer-Schlammkur gegönnt und dann rein ins Meer eine Runde treiben lassen.

    Wir verabschieden uns für heute
    Chris und Stephi
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    Petruschka Brenner

    Ihr seid braun geworden! Damit meine ich nicht den Schlamm :D

    9/21/19Reply
     
  • Day5

    Choose Life or Choose Death

    November 13, 2017 in Israel ⋅ 🌫 8 °C

    It's a good place to begin. Any trip that starts in a garden seems like it'll be a good trip. Our first stop here in Israel was a Biblical Garden in the hill country of Judah called Yad Hashmona. I took a bunch of photos there, only to discover that I had forgotten to put my memory card back into my camera. I want to go back and recapture them, but those photos are gone now.

    But even with that little mishap, a garden is still a good place to start a journey. Adam and Eve started in a garden. Theirs was a garden with a choice. They were going to choose to obey God or not. One way would lead to life and the other way would lead to death. "I have set before you life and death," God would tell them. "So choose life." (Deut 30:19).

    We ended last night with a dark drive down 3000 feet to find ourselves on the shore of the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on earth. It actually feels like you're closer to the center of the Earth here. It's dry, the air is heavy and hot. This sea is dead and you can tell.

    One of the reasons this Dead Sea is a dead sea is because it has no outlet. The Sea of Galilee to the north teems with life as the Jordan river flows in and then right back out. It brings nutrients and life in and the Sea of Galilee responds by letting nutrients and life right back out.

    But that same Jordan river only flows into the Dead Sea. Nothing flows out of it. So the water sits.

    All that potential for life sits and stagnates.

    "I have set before you life and death,"

    My devotional this morning reads, "Whether in Eden or Canaan or California, our decision remains the same. The land where we live - be it lush or desolate - is the stage on which we act out God's glory. Regardless of our location or influences, God gives us a choice each day from which tree to eat."

    Paul writes to the Romans in Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

    As we walk through our days today, may we see every opportunity to overflow with hope and to bring life.

    Because if hope and life get stuck in us and never flow back out, it rots.
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    Thanks, Paul. Praying for all of you. Billie

    11/13/17Reply

    Enjoy the blessings God reveals to you....stay healthy and happy! Mike &Deb DeWall

    11/13/17Reply

    Nita DeWeese ...Thank you for sharing...continuing in prayer for all the needs each day & night.

    11/13/17Reply
     
  • Day4

    Totes Meer und Israel- Museum

    February 25, 2020 in Israel ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Wahnsinns- Regen mit überfluteten Straßen, die von den Wadis runterschossen. Dann letztlich Sonne am Toten Meer und Treiben auf der salzigen Oberfläche.
    Abends im Israel- Museum beeindruckende Objekte des jüdischen Lebens aus vielen Jahrhunderten angeschaut.Read more

  • Day7

    Masada and Dead Sea

    November 25, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    We had a bit of time to sleep in (one of the first times) because the rental company just opened at 9. With the car we drove straight to a nearby hostel where you could buy the Israel Pass, a similar system as the Jordan Pass but only for National Parks.
    We made the detour because we went straight to a National Park. The Masada National Park is located next to the Dead Sea and contains an ancient fortress dating way back before Christ. The access to the fortress can be done either via cable car or hiking up. The cable car was way too expensive so we hiked up in the midday sun and it felt pretty hot. I can't imagine what it would be like in summer! The 350m climb led over 800 stairs, surprisingly it took us just a bit more than half an hour. But we were glad that there was water available on top.
    The fortress itself is not a good condition, many parts were just merely ruins. But the views were gorgeous and you could imagine the beauty of it standing on top of the mountain in former times. We took our time exploring the top before moving back down. As it was still daylight we decided to go straight to the Dead Sea. By the time we arrived the sun almost set and I just took a quick dip.
    Our options to stay for the night were limited as there are only luxury resorts nearby starting from 150€ a night. But, to our surprise, there were parking spots available right next to town to camp out. After some walking around in town (also overpriced) and a stop in McDonald's (to our great disappointment there's no McFalafel) we went to the car. We moved the seats all the way back and we were able to lay down quite comfortably.
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  • Day6

    Totes Meer

    November 2, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Ausflug nach En Bokek am Toten Meer - eine Wüstenstadt in skuriler Umgebung, sehr touristisch: ein Hoteldorf. Salzgehalt des Wassers 28-34%. Erst neugierig einen Zeh ins Wasser gehalten: es passierte nichts! Aber was soll auch passieren, ist ja nur Wasser. Dann mal hinein .. und schon ist man den Kräften ausgesetzt, man fühlt sich wie eine Boje im See (nicht Meer ☝️😩😏). Das Wasser macht sich mächtig dick und verleiht dir Flüüügel. Man liegt eher AUF dem Wasser, als darin. Nahezu jeder probiert normal zu schwimmen und gibt es schnell wieder auf, denn der Auftrieb lässt einfach kein natürliches Schwimmen zu. Tauchen? Hmm,... besser auch nicht, denn so wie jede Wunden brennt, sticht es sicher erst Recht in den Augen. Einzelne probieren es dennoch, später sieht man sie Augen zusammenfekniffen zur Dusche eilen,. Amateure,.. scheinbar keine Leser meines wissensgeschwängerten Blogs. 😉 Selbst schuld.

    Zu den Regeln die du entweder befolgst oder dir der See beibringt:
    + Nicht tauchen!
    + Schütze Augen und Mund vor Wasser.
    + Schwimme auf dem Rücken.
    + Besser nicht frisch rasieren, sonst brennt es.. wie jeder Kratzer,.. wie Feuer,.. wie unnötig. 😉

    Zum Wasser: es ist verdammt ölig - du kommst raus, das Wasser kommt mit. Es will einfach nicht (wie seriöses Wasser) abtropfen, sondern bleibt an dir haften wie ein ungebetener Bekannter. Los bekommst du ihn nur mit Duschen. Wenn es doch immer so einfach wäre. 😜

    Zusammengefasst: eine echt tolle Erfahrung im Meer zu schweben und die obligatorische Zeitung zu lesen. Ich glaube in dieser Stadt werden Printmedien noch lange weiter verkauft - einfach für das eine Foto. Geschäftsidee: Kinderbücher! Unser Wimmelbuch wurde uns förmlich aus der Hand gerissen. Verlage: Profit!! Ich schreib euch gleich mal. Nach 'German Kindergarden' kommt nun das 'German Kinderbuch'... über das tote Meer - über die Welt geschwappt.

    EDIT: ich war ein wenig voreilig und bin direkt 'ins tote Meer eingestiegen'. Die Anreise habe ich völlig ausgelassen. One step back: wir sind zur tiefsten Stadt der Erde gereist. Unten angekommen waren es 430m UNTER dem Meeresspiegel. Blubb, blubb,.. ach ne, ist ja (fast) ausgetrocknet. Der Wasserspiegel fällt durch intensiver Bewirtschaftung (Salz- & Mineralgewinnung) rapide. Genauer gesagt: der südliche Wasserspiegel wird mit pumpen konstant gehalten, der angezapfte nördlichen See sinkt: -0,7 bis -1,2m/Jahr. Das tote Meer scheint also bald auszutrocknen.

    (Sakasmus) Tja, mir egal: ich hab's schließlich gesehen. Für euch Stubenhocker und meine eigenen Kinder habe ich Fotos gemacht. Dieses vermitteln zwar nichts von der Schwerelosigkeit und dem witzigen Gefühl. Aber so ist das halt, mit Raubbau an der Natur. Die Natur braucht den Menschen nicht, sie macht auch ohne uns weiter.

    For the hebrews reading my blog: ביי קכוי 😉
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  • Day16

    Zwölfte Etappe Tamar nach Ein Bokek

    February 22, 2019 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Nachdem es hier unten (immerhin sind wir schon 219m unter dem Meeresspiegel) in der Nacht und beim Frühstück endlich wieder angenehm warm war, ging es danach gemütlich auf der 90 hinunter bis runter zum Toten Meer (fast 400m unter dem Meeresspiegel). An der Straße gibt es erst eine riesige Magnesium Fabrik und dann die Salz Fabrik zu sehen und sehr viel Salz😉.
    In Ein Bokek haben wir dann erstmal gebadet, geduscht und so am Strand rumgelegen😎.
    Man kann hier sogar kostenlos Campen.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Naẖal Boqeq, Nahal Boqeq, Naẖal Bokek

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