Bethany beyond the Jordan
Bethany Travel Blog› entry 22 of 40 › view all entries
This morning began our incredible taxi ride adventure that I will now write about. Our hotel in Dana arranged a taxi to pick us up and basically take us anywhere we wanted to go for the whole day. For one fee, he would drive us, wait for us, and so on. Well, he showed up on time, was very nice, helped us load are bags into the car, and we headed north. It didn't occur to us at the time that the driver did not speak any words of english during that time...it was only as we reached the Dead Sea area that we realized we had no way of communicating with this driver. Only a minor difficulty, right? :)
The views along the Dead Sea were beautiful.
Or so we thought...after pointing to a sign, the driver only looked confused. We realized shortly thereafter that not only did he not know a word of english, but he couldn't read - english or arabic. It was also about this time that we realized he had no idea where he was going, and as the day progressed we realized he didn't know the area either. What a setup by our hotel in Dana...he was a nice guy, but it's hard not to get frustrated at times like that! Fortunately, there were signs in english and we were able to point our way to the Baptism site.
We paid a small fee for a guided tour of the area. We were able to visit the Jordan River itself, the murky and muddy border between Jordan and Israel. We were then taken to a site where three churches have stood over time, and we were also able to see a Greek Orthodox church that stands near the actual baptism site.
The tour ended with a view of the place where the prophet Elijah ascended into heaven. We headed back to the entrance of the site, knowing who was waiting for us...our smiling taxi driver. We tried our best to tell him that we wanted to go swimming in the Dead Sea, but we ended up just pointing back south. He at least got the hint and started driving in the right direction.