Friday, April 8, 2011

Pieces of Jordan

We got to spend a few days in Jordan this week as our last excursion! We first went to Mount Nebo where Moses looked out over the promised land. Then we went to Medaba, Macheras, then to Petra where we stayed the night in a really nice hotel. Centurions greeted us at the door and did a little welcoming show for us. Centurions. Yep.
The next morning our tour guide Muhammad led us through Petra. We walked through the Siq, which is just like the Narrows at Zions National Park if you've been there, and at the end saw the Treasury peeking between the rocks.

We hiked to a monastery after that, ate lunch at a nice restaurant at the base of the mountains, and explored on our own for a couple more hours looking at the tombs carved into the mountains and excavations of temples and palaces of the Nabateans (it's ok, I hadn't heard of them before this trip, either).

Other highlights of Jordan were the Jabbok river where Jacob wrestled with a messenger of God (see Genesis 32), a huge, old Roman city called Jerash, the Shobak castle, Ajnun castle, and staying in a super duper nice hotel in Amman, the capital of Jordan. We also visited the baptismal site of Jesus on the Jordan river, and ate KFC in the middle of the desert (in Jordan it is actually Kentucky Fried Camel, did you know that?). Another highlight was going to the Mecca Mall one night and having a 10-minute argument with our taxi driver about how much we should really pay him.
This is me getting beheaded by my friend Sarah....or, at least I thought we were friends. What an  honor to be beheaded at Macheras, where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded.

 The Treasury at Petra! Featured in the one and only Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We got to ride horses out of Petra just like Indy....only I don't think he had a horse guide who asked him to be his boyfriend like I did.
 Who knew I would feel like a celebrity at Jerash? There were hundreds of school kids there that day and Americans were more of an attraction than the ancient Roman city. I am on the cell phones and cameras of tons of Jordanian kids.
 Susie and I overlooking part of Petra and the Monastery, which is just another tomb.

We got to go in the King Abdullah Mosque in the Amman! We had to cover our heads and take our shoes off. It was really interesting. They pray five times a day and make it such an ordeal. I'm listening to the call to prayer here in Jerusalem as I type this, and I realize I'm going to kind of miss the endearing call that I hear five times a day that reminds me to pray as it does the Muslims.

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