The Dead Sea is quite alive, as long as humans count as its fauna. In fact over 33% concentration of salt and other minerals in water, makes underwater life completly dead. This gift of nature located in Jordan, is one of places in the Middle East on “have to see” list. One of unique properties of this solvant is high buoyancy; the body is only half submerged and it is easy to float with arms raised in the air. Those who dare diving will discover how hard it is. Some say it is even dangerouse since a dip of salty water in your eyes in unbearable and diver can lost the sense of direction; I have tasted this soar liquid caused almost pain to my lips and decided not to dive.
The Dead Sea experience was the only half-day pleasure time on my one-week business trip to Amman in Jordan in second half of July. First impression of Jordan, where I was first time, was not that funny – there was a deadlock at the immigration office: the cash mashine was broken, I hade no cash and they do not accept card payment despite the display with card payment allowed. Escorted by security officer I could enter the airport and use distant ATM to get my visa.
Airport is over 30km from Amman. It took almost an hour to get to my hotel while I could enjoy moon-like landscape being in the middle of nowhere (actually the airport is in the desert). I could see the agricultural area where people live in tents next to crop fields. It was unpleasant view that was changing the closer to Amman we were. The capitol itself is typical arabic metropoly, completly jammed by overwhelming road traffic. Despite the really unpleasant temperature, over 40 degrees Celsius, due to windy weather it was quite fine to have a walk outside. The city itself looks like one big construction site, one of ten parcels is completly ruined as if the building was just destroyed but new construction did not start yet. Streets are dirty, hundreds of plastic bags are in the sight of view in any direction. Roads look unfinished – no side bariers, marks and finishing. In other words: high entropy :]
Regarding the geography I am complete noob, so I had to review where the Amman is before travel. I noticed it is a place with long history; you will find the Dead Sea 50km away, Jerusalem and Betlehem, places well known to christians, about 80km away or Damascus a little far away. And there is also Petra, which means “stony” in free translation – one of seven wonders of the world – city completly carved out of stone. Due to distance, which is around 250km from Amman, being short on time I could get there on my own. Maybe next time.
It is not pleasant place to live. With temperature over 40 degrees Celsius windy, dusty and dirty place, it is far too hot and too hostile environment for… skating :]