Hamat Gader used to be my idea of bliss and a favorite spot to relax and melt stress away (see a previous review of mine entitled Ahhh)
My family visited the site today for a long awaited day of relaxation. We were appalled to find the place crowded with screaming mobs of people - many of whom entered the water in all their clothes. To enter the water one had to walk over a layer of sunflower seed shells spit out by other visitors, there were all kinds of nasty things floating about in the water, people were puffing away on cigarettes in every corner (including underneath no smoking signs). In the special room with hotter water (which used to be my favorite) the acoustics are so horrible that even though I put my hands over my ears I had a headache within 5 minutes. My daughter was appalled and refused to even enter the water - my husband and I went in and out. We'd planned to spend the day but left after half an hour...that was probably 25 minutes longer than we should have stayed. We've crossed this off our list of enjoyable places to visit. We live in Israel so are somewhat used to the noise and dirt which can be found in every watering hole in the country...I wouldn't want to think how this scene would strike someone who came from abroad!
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