Am I in me?
Madaba Travel Blog› entry 5 of 22 › view all entries
After missing our flight from Bahrain yesterday we needed to make the most of our time in Jordan. So it's all about cramming tons of events into one day now...time is not on our side.
The plane landed at 930, we stepped out onto the walkway and it was cold! I swear that the earth is ending or something (we later found out that Jordan had had floods and rains the likes of which had not been seen for 40 years- it even snowed on New Years). My favorite part about the airport were the visa officials lighting up cigarettes right in front of a huge no smoking sign. No smoking, no way...
Because the guidebook we were using was 4 years old Ryan went into the tourist office at the airport to get some more up-to-date information. It was most helpful. For those of you planning a trip to Jordan check out the country's web site: www.
Then we jumped in a (overpriced) cab for the city of mosaics- Madaba. It is the Christian center of Jordan. The city has a lot of churches with mosics dating from Byzantium. It's on the pilgrimage route from Jerusalem. Pope John Paul II visited here in 2000 on his tour of the Holy Lands. Madaba was only 25km from the airport, almost the same distance at Amman. We figure we'll hit Amman on the way back. The aiport taxi was 18 JD but, again, we lost the luxury of time when we missed our flight yesterday.
We stayed at the Black Iris Hotel- 25 JD a night, private shower, with a really good breakfast.
We did hurry and join them. 2 things I really wanted to see (Bthany-upon-the-Jordan and the Dead Sea) and one that I didn't plan on seeing (Mt. Nebo) but was great. Her smartness- read me- forgot to bring batteries and I missed out on pictures of Mt. Nebo but I bought some postcards to fill the void.
Mt. Nebo is where Moses died. God told him to climb the mountain and his people would inherit all the land that Moses could see. The promised land of the Isrealites.
When archaeologists arrived in the 1930s there was nothing but piles of rubble. Today there is a reconstructed church and a lovely little museum. The archaeologists also found Byzantium mosaics here- they are beautiful.
Then it was off to my favorite part of the day- the Jordan River. I have always wanted to go here...it's strange to have a life's dream fulfilled.
The day ended with our trip to the Dead Sea. Jordan is a country of hills and valleys and my ears popped all day long in the car. The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth, fed by the Jordan River but with no outlet. The amount of water going into the Sea is declining every year so the salinity percentage is increasing which also increases it's rate-of-evaportation...in short: it's shrinking and might be all gone in 50 years. I wanted to go before it dried up.
There's no real way to explain how the floating works- you literally just sit down and the salty water does all the work.
Our car took us back to Madaba at 5pm and we walked around the city a bit to see local life. I can't remember the last time I got such genuinely friendly hellos and welcomes.