Today is Friday, day off! Since this is a Muslim majority country Friday and Saturday is the weekend, just like for Christian majority countries (The Americas: Canada down to Argentina, Europe and others) Saturday and Sunday are the weekend since Sunday is obviously the holy day for Christians. Well here Friday is the day everyone goes to prayer (just like Christians in the US, you’re supposed to go everyday but Sunday’s the important one.) But I am staying with a Orthodox Christian Palestinian family, so for them it’s a nice day off. It’s a day to have a good breakfast of Hommus, Hobiz (Pita), zatar, and fool. They usually also have a family, friends get together lunch, today Yousef (the Rotarian I am staying with) and his sisters family came over. But before they came over, right after Breakfast, Yousef asked if I wanted to go to the Dead Sea! It was only an hour away and we could check it out and be back for lunch. The drive was basically all down hill from Amman. We just kept going and going, passed sea level, and kept going.
I saw check points that Yousef said were usually active but were closed this time. We finally came around a mountain and Yousef said, “That’s the West Bank.” You could see the other side of the Jordan Valley, one large slab of volcanic mountain, level at the top from this distance. But there was really no river visible, the irrigation goes toward Israeli use so it basically dries up, especially in the summer, all that is really in it is waste water from the villages nearby. That’s kind of a bummer seeing as the sight where Jesus was baptized was only a few kilometers away. We drove by the shore, there are lots of new big hotels going up along it. There were a couple of beaches where you could pay to enter, the usually don’t allow single men though, only families and no alcohol. I took a few pictures and then we drove up to a view point, that was up this amazingly steep road. There was a good museum and a great view. The water was a deep blue and it was almost surreal to see the West Bank, at least from a distance. The mountains are insanely steep and brown with black, they look as if they’d been charred by the sun, but its volcanic.