Sing: Lonely the Boat, UMH 476
Over the years, the city of Eilat has become the ultimate resort city with hotels and beaches packed with thousands of Israeli vacationers and tourists from around the world, who come to relax in the country’s southernmost spot. The secret of this little city’s charm is its special location at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Eilat’s location made it strategically significant during the many historical periods in which it served as a port – starting in the days of King Solomon, through the Nabataens, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Crusaders, all of whom ruled the Land of Israel. The modern city of Eilat was established in 1950. In the early 1950s, a quay was built in the new city, and subsequently a port which became the basis for the new city’s economy. Toward the end of the 1960s, the tourism industry started developing in the city, and today Eilat is a paradise for tourists, travelers, and vacationers.
We stopped and shopped at an Eilat jewelry store that specializes in precious stones of many different colors. Their work looked absolutely beautiful and I especially liked their jade pieces. The photo above was taken from in front of the store looking across Highway 90, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the city of Aqaba to the mountains of southern Jordan.
The Gulf of Aqaba
Just below the southern tip of Sinai Peninsula the Great Rift Valley splits in two. The western branch forms the Gulf of Suez while the eastern branch forms the Gulf of Aqaba. The entire Red Sea, including these two gulfs, is well known as a divers’ paradise. Scuba divers and snorkelers come from around the world to experience these warm waters and colorful coral reefs. I imagine that one of things that makes the Red Sea so attractive to divers is the fact that there are no major rivers which flow into it, thereby providing very little silt to cloud the waters. All of the land surrounding the Red Sea is desert or semi-desert.
As we drove by in our bus the urge to go swimming was almost overwhelming for several of us. The water looked so clear and cool and the drive through the desert had parched our eyes if not our throats. The Gulf of Aqaba is bordered by Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.