Whatayado in Eilat?

We needed a free day after yesterday’s Petra trek. Marsha promised a beach and a Red Sea dip…. Yes, but after “just a couple of other things”….
[Correction: yesterday I said Lebanese restaurant. Not many of those in Jordan. It was a Jordanian meal]

20140225-211656.jpg
Taxied over to the Eilat Botanical Gardens. Saw a sign yesterday, checked the internet for their in-progress website…and even cabbies didn’t know where it was. But it is quite a special place growing out of the desert where such a thing shouldn’t exist.

20140225-212054.jpg
Right across from the airport, and bird sanctuary (Israel is a major flyway between Europe and Africa), the gardens were developed on an abandoned military base 14 years ago.

20140225-212326.jpg
Not too much different that you see in New Jersey, but amazing to find here.

20140225-212603.jpg
Papayas.

20140225-212723.jpg

20140225-212854.jpg
The oldest date palm seed found and germinated was over 2,000 years old and uncovered in the excavations at Masada.This alone makes the place worthwhile.

20140225-213148.jpg
A waterfall in the desert.

20140225-213304.jpg
From this vista point you really get the idea of growing something where it doesn’t belong. Looking over a huge water desalination plant toward the beaches of Eilat and the Red Sea.

20140225-213523.jpg
After a ride back, and a quick bite to eat we hustle over to the marina for a two hour glass-bottom boat ride around the ports of Eilat and Aqaba and over their extremely beautiful coral reefs. We didn’t go snorkeling in the morning, so this would have to suffice.

20140225-213848.jpg
The trip gave us spectacular views of the contrasts between the rich Israeli waterfront…

20140225-214035.jpg
…and the much less-rich resort area in Aqaba. It’s a pretty wild thought that we are sitting right between Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

20140225-214352.jpg
Approaching the coral reef…from the boat deck.

20140225-214503.jpg
And, from the glass bottom.

20140225-214614.jpg
On the way back part of the Israeli Navy in front of what must be one of the largest Israeli flags ever.

20140225-214757.jpg
Finally, about 4:30 I get to dive into the beautiful, clean, clear, cool waters of the Red Sea…

20140225-214952.jpg
…while Marsha takes in a few minutes of sun waiting for our…

20140225-215105.jpg
…private yacht. Some wine and off to dinner at one of the better seafood restaurants in Eilat. Barramundi and Red Sea Bream. Delish.
Back to Jerusalem tomorrow for last day of our trip. Hard to believe we’ll be back to below freezing and snow. But very happy to get back and see the kids and grandkids, and our own beds, and far fewer daily calories. Should be a very special day tomorrow. Will tell you about it if all works out. Good night.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Whatayado in Eilat?

  1. Larry says:

    We didn’t make it to Eilat, so glad to see it. Especially the botanical gardens and the old date palm. When our conference was in Cairo, it took us over to Sharm so we know about the coral reefs in the Red Sea. We went snorkeling–our first time, and Carol loved it so much and stayed in so long, she almost got hypothermia, despite the warm water temperature. I loved it too, but my mustache made my mask leak slightly, so about every five minutes I had to come up and empty my mask.

  2. Sol says:

    Looks like you discovered some wonderful sights in Eliat – we spent time at the experimental fish farm research units that were fascinating and then wandered the beaches but it was mostly too cold to swim that day! Have a great day in Jerusalem and a safe trip home! Good news – the predicted snow skipped us today!

  3. Steve (across the street at home) says:

    Awesome pics! Most intrigued by Petra so far… 🙂

    Perfect time to come home btw – snow is gone!

  4. Pauline Candaux says:

    Wonderful! You saw more of Eilat than we did. Our snow is gone though it is once again quite cold. Safe journey home!

Leave a Reply to Larry Cancel reply