On Monday we gathered at our friends' place again to enjoy what we called 'Asian night' because Ismail from Malaysia and Mizuki from Japan cooked some delicious Asian food for us. I don't really recall the names of each and every dish that was made (partly because there were many!) but some that come to my mind are Teriyaki chicken and also something Indian. What is important is that we ate a lot and well.
So, during our conversation at the table we found out that Abeba and her friend Marie from Sweden who was visiting her at that moment decided to go to the Dead sea and the hot springs the next day, and they were looking for some people to share a taxi with them. ALthough it was quite out of my budget, I decided to go because I wasn't sure if I would have any other chance to go since I am going back to Russia for two weeks, and it might be too cold by the time I come back. So out of the blue I was going to go to the Dead sea with my international friends from all over the world. We rented a car for 60 JOD which I believe is a bit expensive, but since we split between 5 people, it didn't really cost a fortune, and it was nice since the car took us to the hotsprings and the Dead sea altogether.
First we went to the hot springs of Ma'in which are located nearby the Dead sea (about 10 km or 6 miles). The place is amazing! Who would have thought that there are actually some waterfalls in Jordan, AND - what is more - with naturally hot water which resembles that of Iceland. In fact, water in Ma'in hotsprings even smelled the same as in Iceland - of sulphur. It's a privately run attraction, so you will have to pay for the entrance - 10 JOD for students/residents and 16 JOD for non-residents (which is totally worth it, especially taking into account that there are some relatively clean changing rooms and bathrooms there). Since we went there during the week day, there were only a few people there (oddly enough, Russians), so we had a chance to fully enjoy ourselves. The water temperature varies from 45 C to 60 C, so be careful since it might be hot!
After spending about an hour in the hotsprings (which we felt wasn't really enough) we headed to the Dead sea. Since being in a public beach might get very embarrassing - I personally recall a story from my Polish university friend who went to a public beach in the Dead sea and got all harassed and embarrassed becaue the locals were taking pictures of her and her friends! - it's really a smart idea to pay 10 JOD (students/residents) or 16 JOD (non-residents) and go to a privvate beach. We went to the most popular one called Amman Beach. The beach itself is ok, pretty clean and nice, and there are changing rooms, showers and a swimming pool (although the water was freezingly cold and therefore not really suitable for swimming).
The Dead sea is just as they say it is: because it's so salty, you are literally floating on the surface like a cork without putting any effort into it! Besides, there is no chance that you will step on a jellyfish or coral or any other creatures simply because there are none. No living creature except for some weir bacteria can survive the level of saltiness in the Dead sea. By the way, they say the sea is pretty deep - about 300 meters in some places. Oh, and the water is kind of oily as well, as if you put some lotion. Not particularly a pleasant feeling, I should admit.
The other entertainment in the Dead sea is to get oneself completely covered with mud taken from the sea itself. Sadly, we had to pay for it as well (the fee is 3 JOD) but if you want to avoid extra expenses, you can try, dig inside and get some mud from the bottom of the sea. I am not so sure that this mud is so very useful and good for health and skin, but oh well - at least the pictures turned out great :)
By the way, the temperature in the Dead sea region is normally higher than that in Amman, so plan in advance: if you go there during summer or the beginning of fall, it will be uncomfortably hot there.
After our little adventure we dined at a nice, cheap and tasty Yemeni restaurant near the North gate of the University (God, do I love their bread!) and I was so full that it hurt even to talk, let alone walk back home. But it was a great day and a good getaway from Amman for one day.