Hello dear readers. Did you think I’d forgotten all about this blog? I am way behind, but rather than try to catch up, here’s a quick update!
Keith, Rob & I have just returned from a too short trip to Jordan. We absolutely loved it!! We hired a private tour guide (from Jordan Direct Tours – highly recommended, if you’re thinking of going) who organised everything for us, drove us everywhere and enabled us to see a lot more in 4 days than we ever would have managed ourselves.
Here’s a quick potted summary of our visit:
- Jerash – “the best preserved Roman provincial town in the world” (so they say). Fascinating to wander around the remains of a once great city. Very evocative.
- Lunch at the ‘Mountain Breeze Country Club’ in the picturesque Jordanian highlands, lovely views, very green (the views, not the lunch!)
- We visited a shrine alleged to be the grave of Joshua. Who knows if it is really him in there, but it was certainly in the general vicinity of where he died.
- Amman Citadel – the remains of the ancient city of Rabbath-Ammon, the ancient royal city of the Ammonites, and the foundation of modern Amman. Fascinating ruins and fabulous views of Amman.
- Madaba – an early Christian settlement famous for its mosaics. Saw some incredible mosaics from the 6th & 7th centuries, and also visited a mosaic workshop to see the old techniques in use. Fascinating.
- Mt Nebo – the place where Moses stood & took a look at the promised land he was forbidden to enter. (Deut 32:48-52). It was amazing to stand on that spot, and the view was spectacular.
- The Jordan River, at the site where Jesus was baptised. Again, whether it is the exact spot is debatable, but it is certainly in the vicinity, and the spot has been a place of pilgrimage since at least the 5th century. Interestingly, the river itself no longer runs through that spot. We walked to the current river and stood metres away from Israel.
- The Dead Sea – a swim in the Dead Sea (a float really, it’s impossible to swim) is on everyone’s bucket list, isn’t it? An amazing experience, and stunningly beautiful landscape as well. We had a tremendous sunset that night – an extra bonus.
- Aqaba, on the shores of the Red Sea, is a resort town & major port. We spent a pleasant few hours at a beach club, where Keith & Rob went snorkelling and I enjoyed a banana lounge under the palm frond umbrella.
- Wadi Rum, incredibly beautiful desert landscape where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed, we are informed. We drove on the back of 4WD vehicles through the desert for a few hours, then had a traditional bedouin dinner at a campsite (lamb buried in the ground with hot coals all day – mmmm) and star-gazed at the desert sky.
- Petra – what can I say? The reason most people go to Jordan is to visit Petra, and it is well worth it. Incredible ancient city carved from rock in a deep gorge by the Nabatean people 2000 years ago.
These are a very few photos to give you a taste – I’ve added a little more info in the photo captions. If you have been to Jordan I’m sure you’ll agree it is fabulous, and if you haven’t been yet – add it to your must-see list!