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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hamat Gader Thermal Springs

Israel isn't known for its hot springs. This meant that apart from The Husband and I, there were no other tourists in Hamat Gader. It always gives me a thrill to visit places that other tourists don't know about... like discovering a hidden gem of a holiday experience.

Hamat Gader sits almost on the border. This sentence is loaded with meaning when one is in Israel. Borders are dangerous places, and require defending. The resort had armed men walking in it and around. From the pool, one can see a guard tower with armed guards inside. barbed wire fences line the road that drives to the resort. One husband turned pale when he realised how near the border we were. I don't blame him for turning pale. Borders are serious business in Israel. Happily, the resort is at a rather friendly border... not one that sees rockets get lobbed over every week.

En route to Hamat Gader, we dropped by a church built over the location at which Jesus chose his 12 Apostles. The gardens of the church were most inviting indeed. At one end, the waters of the Sea of Galilee lapped gently on pebbled shores. At the other, a lush garden with roaming peacocks and peahens. The most stunning feature of the garden was this long bower with FAT juicy grapes hanging down tantalisingly.

The grapes were sour though.

Fat juicy grapes... but oooooooooooh so sour!

Hamat Gader dates from the time of the Romans. The Romans built impressive structures there that are today in ruins. The current building looks like it was built in the 1960s... but it is very well maintained and NOTHING can detract from the bliss of soaking in this hot spring.

At 50 Deg C, the water is crystal clear because it is hot enough to hold the minerals. When the water cools down, sediments form and the water becomes cloudy. Mineral deposits line many parts of the swimming pool mosaic tiles.

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