Tuesday, March 18 – Day 10
The Jordan extension began this morning as we left the hotel at around 7:30 a.m. We crossed into Jordan at the Allenby Bridge. Once we made the crossing, we were greeted by “Mo” our Jordanian guide. Leaving the passport center, the first site we visited was Mt. Nebo located on the high mountain in the area of Moab. This is where Moses died. Here we read from Deuteronomy 31, 34, and Joshua 1. Moses’ and Joshua’s words of encouragement (“Be strong and courageous…”) were word that empowered the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan and conquered Jericho and 30 other cities.
Nearby was Medeba. We visited a mosaic school, one of about 30 in the country, where beautiful mosaics are made by disabled Jordanians. We then entered the city of Medeba to visit St. George Church (Greek Orthodox) where we saw the famous “Medeba Map” dating to the 6th century AD. On this map, Jerusalem is featured with great detail.
The next site we visited was Macherus. Located on a high hill on the east side of the Dead Sea, this was one of Herod’s palaces It was also where John the Baptist was beheaded. We read from Mark 6 about this dramatic yet tragic story of the prophet of God losing his life. While it was hazy, we could see the Dead Sea glimmering.
Leaving this area, we headed east on the King’s Highway. On the way, we saw a few black irises. These bloom only once a year for a few weeks and in only in a 4-5 places in Jordan (and no where else in the world!). It was very unique to see. Driving on the Desert Highway, we drove south to Petra. We arrived at our hotel (we were surprisingly upgraded to the fancy Movinpick Hotel right at the entrance of the ancient site of Petra!) for a late dinner.
Thursday, March 20 – Day 12
We plan to visit Petra for 6 hours, followed by Wadi Rum for jeep rides and overnight.