Posts Tagged ‘hot spring’

Hammamat Ma’in and the Dead Sea

July 6, we went to Hammamat Ma’in and the Dead Sea.

hammamat ma\'in hot waterfall
Going under the hot waterfall at Hammamat Ma’in

Hammamat Ma’in is a hot spring complex off a windy road with views of the Dead Sea. We got past the gates, where there’s a hotel and spa (which are both closed and apparently everything by them is off limits), parked, and were directed to the main attraction — a hot waterfall.

We walked up the steps to the caves behind the waterfall and found two men sitting in the steam who told us that the water up there is too hot to go in. On the lower tiers, under the falling water, the temperature was a bit cooler, but not much. We were only able to stay in the water for a few minutes before getting too hot.

I went in wearing my shirt and Evan’s shorts since there were some families also in the water, and the women were just going in wearing all their clothing, veils included.

There was also another waterfall we had access to, but nobody was swimming in it because it was even hotter than the one we went in. Our guidebook promised nice walks through the gorge, which we were hoping to do, but we were turned back by guards every time we tried to explore farther than the main waterfall, which was a bit disappointing.

Evan by the Dead Sea
Evan covered in Dead Sea mud

After the hot springs, we drove on a winding road down to the lowest place on earth — the Dead Sea. We got day passes to the Marriott resort, and went down to the beach to slather ourselves in dead sea mud, bake in the heat, and float around in the seriously salty water, which didn’t feel as slimy as I remembered from my trip to Israel 10 years ago.

When we were done by the sea, we had some lunch at a Champion’s sports bar, which felt eerily like being back in the U.S., then hung out by one of the three pools.

If you’ve been following my Twitter or Facebook updates, you should know that this is the day that my dehydration problems started — a rather uncomfortable combo of a stomach bug and not being able to absorb enough water, which resulted in spending the afternoon in a clinic getting IV fluids and antibiotics two days later… on both Evan’s and my birthday. More on that soon.

To check out more photos of us at Hammamat Ma’in and the Dead Sea, check out Evan’s Facebook gallery.

From Roman Baths to High Fashion (or not)

Though it seems like we were in Bath many many moons ago, it’s only been about three weeks since Evan, his parents and I journeyed Westward through the countryside to spend a day exploring Roman baths, checking out a fashion museum and walking along some rather impressive crescents.

Roman baths
The Roman Baths

The Roman baths were definitely the highlight of my trip — the complex was bigger than I anticipated, we actually tasted the hot spring water (which was a bit gross), and we got to listen to a ridiculously over-narrated audio guide, which delved into rather long and semi-salacious stories of imaginary bathers like the rich aristocrat Octavio and the widow Flavia hanging out together by the bath.

Roman Baths - Hot Spring
Check out that steam!

We also got to check out some of the inner workings of the complex. Here we can see the naturally hot water flowing down into other channels.

Roman Baths
The wishing well bath

And there was a fun, glittery room towards the end of our tour, which had a sort of funny video display of men walking around the baths, chatting about their days and drying off. There were some slight technical glitches, though — you can see that the projector wasn’t exactly showing us the most interesting display here.

Fashion museum interactive exhibit
The belle of the ball?

Then there was the fashion museum. I had higher hopes from this well-reviewed museum. Some exhibits, like the one on Victorian clothing, were interesting. Others were a little less interesting. My favorite part was the interactive element — we got to try on a corset and crinoline. I couldn’t find one that fit — the medium ones were already being tried on, so I was left first to struggle with one I couldn’t get anywhere near closing and the one in the picture, which left me swimming. It wasn’t exactly authentic either — it had laces up the back, but plastic clasps like a life jacket on the front.

You can more photos from the day on Flickr.