I was mesmerized as we drove along the shores of the Dead Sea in Israel. I had swum in its waters, but only at a spa where Dead Sea waters were piped in. Just like the stories I’d long heard, it was impossible to sink in its super-salty water. But I longed to dip my toes in the real thing. Those Dead Sea beaches looked so inviting.
When I couldn’t stand it any more I asked our tour guide if we could take a short detour to do just that. He explained that access to the Dead Sea is limited to a very few beach areas that are deemed safe. Swimming in areas other than these designated beaches is very dangerous, as the shoreline is littered with sinkholes that can open up unexpectedly and swallow everything. We were far from any of those beaches, so I had to be content with watching the sun set over its azure shores and the shimmering white mountains in the distance as we drove back to Jerusalem. But one day I am determined to return and stay at one of the spa hotels that dot the shores of this famous shrinking inland sea. My toes are itching to sink into the real deal.