Adventures in the Holy Land And Our Quest To Find A Nude Beach In Israel
We, Jordan & I, were in Israel for a little over a week at the end of May. Hence a short period of time where you may have noticed we were quiet and missing on Memorial Day. Anyway I thought I’d share a few photos and bits of our trip with you all! The main reason for the trip was a wedding (for Jordan’s cousin), but we extended the stay for traveling and sightseeing.
Despite its violent Arab neighbors and occasional flying rocket (don’t worry, you have to be really unlucky to get hit by one), Israel is truly a fantastic country to visit, filled with amazing historical sites and natural beauty of desert, sea and also plenty of green trees and forest.
The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, was one of my favorite experiences. But I’m sad to report we didn’t find a nude beach! We went to Kalia beach to the Neve Midbar entrance, which would supposedly lead to the nude section, but it looks like it went textile. We talked to the man at the entrance to investigate, but this is how the conversation went:
Us: “Is there a beach here where you don’t have to wear a swimsuit?”
Man: “No, you have to pay entrance to come in.”
Us: “Yes we know that, but is there a nude or naked beach?”
Man: “Do you want to sleep here?”
Us: “No. Is there a beach where you can be naked, no clothes!”
So that was that. We didn’t have much time that day so we went out to a different section to get muddy and swim. Er, bob and float actually. The water is so salty it holds you up. Sadly the Dead Sea is evaporating at a rate of 3 vertical feet per year, which is why Spencer Tunik did a huge (well, his shoots are always huge) nude photo shoot there with 1,200 people in September 2011, to raise awareness. I don’t think it increased the number of nude beaches, though. We were stuck in bathing suits there, as well as at the Sea of Galilee. There is reportedly an unofficial nude beach in Gaash (Kibbutz Ga’ash) on the Mediterranean coast, but we didn’t have time to visit that one.
Israel’s climate is very conducive to nudism and going nude, but unfortunately has few designated public places to do so. However, we did learn of an interesting nude festival in the Desert Ashram called the Pashut Festival. The verb Pashut means “to take off.” This annual event is made up of workshops, body painting, meditation, parties, and celebrates loving yourself and your own body. We couldn’t attend, but hope to one year, as it sounds like quite an experience.
To make up for my lack of nude beach stories, I’ll share some other photos and fun facts. We also visited a huge ruins site of a Roman city called Beit She’an. Walking through it you can still see the amphitheater, wide Roman streets, baths and sauna, decorated columns, and beautiful mosaics. A severe earthquake put the city in ruins in 749 C.E., and it’s incredible how certain things haven’t moved since then, like the collapsed columns. The bathrooms were funny. Below is a photo of the public toilets, where people used to go to the bathroom right next to each other. No walls, just water flowing underneath to carry the waste away. There was also no evidence of separate areas for men and women – everybody together!
We also visited some well-known religious sites in the old city of Jerusalem like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Wailing Wall, and also Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial Museum). It was an unforgettable trip!
Have you ever been to Israel? If so, did you do anything in the nude, such as a nude beach or the Pashut Festival? Leave a comment!