On boxing day 2013, I floated in the Dead Sea for the first time, whilst Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ drifted on the wind from one of the open, but empty, beachfront hotels. It was a surreal experience – mostly because of Rick Astley if I’m honest – but also because the beach was almost completely deserted, and because the ability to float unaided is, frankly, really weird.
I highly recommend a visit to the Dead Sea, even though it is not actually a sea, but a lake in the Negev desert about 1300 metres below sea level. We visited as part of a one week trip to Tel Aviv (we also managed to fit in a day in Jerusalem, which was also fascinating) and I am so glad that we did. For me, the desert scenery en route to the Dead Sea was far removed from anything I had seen before and I absolutely loved seeing camels roaming over the sand dunes with their bedouin owners – not least because there were still remnants of snow around the outskirts of Jerusalem. What an unexpected contrast!
Visiting the Dead Sea out of season meant that we often had the roads, and the beaches, to ourselves which made us feel like real explorers. The outside temperature wasn’t especially hot (between approx. 20-24 degrees celsius) but the water itself was certainly warm enough to take a dip. Ok, fine. I may have whinged about the water being too cold and taken about twenty minutes before I was able to fully submerge myself, but let’s face it, I am a cold water wimp. Once I was in, it really wasn’t cold at all. The one thing I wasn’t prepared for however, was how sharp the salty sea floor is on your feet. Bring a pair of sandals if you go as if you get a cut, the salt really stings!
What was also interesting was the advice that you shouldn’t stay in the water for longer than 15-20 minutes as you risk dehydration from the high mineral content. Nor should you try to swim or float on your front as it can be difficult to right yourself, risking drowning or a lot of nasty tasting minerals in your mouth, nose and eyes! The only way in is to walk into the water, up to about waist height, then lean back. Your feet and legs will pop up to the surface, and then – BOOM – you’re floating in the Dead Sea and giggling like a silly school girl (or perhaps that’s just me). You’ll also notice that the water feels different – almost like it leaves a kind of film on your skin. As such, it is important to take a shower afterwards to wash off the residue – there are showers on many of the beaches that you can use for free. Excellent.
I’ve focused specifically on the Dead Sea element of our trip for this post because it provided me with oodles of inspiration for creating calming and restful bedroom schemes. The colours in the photos we took range from the beautiful turquoises of the sea, the neutral greys of the pebbles and the beiges of the sand, through to the dusky pinks and moody purples of the sunsets we saw. A perfect combination.
For me, the photo below from lushome.com is a pretty good take on a coastal inspired decorating scheme. I’d change it up a little – probably repainting the walls white, swapping out the yellow cushion for a dusky pink one, and changing the current bedspread to one in a moody grey or mauve, but the styling here should give you a good idea of how a holiday destination can provide all the inspiration you need to re-create a positive travel experience once you’re back home (and comfort eating biscuits until you get to go on holiday next…. or is that just me again?).
As ever, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. If you’d like to hear more about our visit to Israel or if I’ve missed anything crucial about the Dead Sea, do get in touch. Heck, get in touch about anything – I love getting mail!! Otherwise, what decorating inspiration have you had from overseas travel? Anything I should be featuring here….?
Happy travels and shopping