Jordan #4: Dead Sea

Carson Bynum ’23, recounts an “amazing day” that started with a lesson about the Byzantine Empire and ended with good food, great friends and rejuvenated skin.

We started the day with a light breakfast in the King’s Academy dining hall, a nice reminder of our mornings at Deerfield. We then departed to Mount Nebo and got to see the museums, where our tour guide Iyad taught us all about the Byzantine Empire and the stories of the location. The view was gorgeous, and the artifacts were super neat, but the coolest part was seeing the old mosaics in the Byzantine Church. They had detailed depictions of camels and other animals, and I was awestruck that they were able to construct such intricate designs in the fifth and sixth centuries.

Afterward we left for the Dead Sea, and oh my gosh, the drive was incredible! As we descended to the lowest point on Earth’s surface, we saw nomadic tribes and camels who inhabited the hills. Iyad also pointed out that we could see the West Bank in Palestine on the way down, which was crazy to see how small the sea looked from above. We arrived at the hotel, and when we stepped outside it was MUCH warmer than at King’s Academy, so we quickly changed into shorts before heading to the resort pool. We swam for a bit and then walked together to the Dead Sea and covered each other head-to-toe in the mud. Apparently, it’s good for the skin..? It actually kind of hurt and made me aware of cuts that I didn’t even know I had! Then we immersed ourselves in the briny water and tried to get used to the odd feeling of not needing to swim to stay afloat. We floated in the Sea for a while as we fought over the warm spots in the water and tried to do the dabke dance we had learned the night before (unsuccessfully, lol). Afterward, I got some much-needed food and ice cream with friends which we enjoyed in the resort jacuzzi at twilight. With our spirits cleansed and our skin rejuvenated, we indulged in a buffet dinner and journaled to end an amazing day.