Now, I really know what they mean by oasis.
Wednesday morning we headed for Jerusalem to take the bus to Ein Gedi. Ein Gedi is an oasis in the desert which is opposite the Dead Sea. Leaving Jerusalem the landscape changed immediately. There were vast areas of white sand with very few trees. Here, the land was irrigated and fruit trees were planted in certain areas. In one respect, it is mind-blowing to see how the Israelis have made the desert bloom. Our journey took us on a road along the Dead Sea. Amazing, one side, the Dead Sea and the other side the hills and valleys of the desert. Then, after about an hour the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere. We looked around and noticed that it was just white sand with a nice view of the Dead Sea. How could this be an oasis??? I did not see any fresh water,or even any trees except for a big building that said, Ein Gedi Field House. Now, we were standing in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, for us some boys who had gotten off the bus with us explained that it was about 1/2 mile from the bus stop. We started walking along the road and approached what seemed to be a huge tent made of dry grass. That was supposed to be the entrance, but still not the oasis that I imagined. After having a much needed lunch break with tons of water, we entered the park which looked like a creak in a rock formation. (Hopefully my pictures will do it justice) We walked up the side of the formation and there in front of us were beautiful falls and lush vegetation. We dived into the pools that the waterfalls made and sat and enjoyed the scenery. Wow!!!!Ein Gedi rocks and it instantly became a highlight of our adventure thus far.
Next day- Akko. Akko is a small city north of Haifa. We got up early again and made our way to the train station. We bought a ticket to Akko and made the trip to this beautiful city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Akko is made up of an old and new city. We, of course wanted to see the old city. We walked to the port and noticed a beautiful area with many mosques. There were also many Christian churches. Akko has a long history and if you are interested you will have to pick up a book and read it, because it would be too long for this blog. We took some incredible pictures, but alas when we arrived home, our camera was gone. That evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner with Aaron and Rifka and watched a rally of young people who are protesting the high rents in Tel Aviv. They have camped on Rothschild Blvd. to show the government that they are very angry. Tel Aviv is like all major cities, something happening all the time.