DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26: ALLENBY BRIDGE, JORDAN – MT. NEBO, MACHAERUS, SHUBAK CASTLE, PETRA
Today we crossed into the country of Jordan. By now, we got used to the full sun and warm temps this time of year (highs in the upper 80s).
Allenby Bridge Crossing
Leaving at 7:30 following loading the bus, 29 of us drove east through the Judean Desert and around Jericho to the Jordan Valley and the Allenby Bridge. This is one of three border crossings into Jordan. The crossing all went well, but required some patience. On the Jordanian side, he met our guide (Sam) and our driver (Chalid). Following the visa procedures, we started our two-day journey through this Hashemite Kingdom.
From the border we drove and ascended to the top of Mt. Nebo. This was where Moses died, but not before handing the leadership baton to Joshua. We read from Dt. 31-34 and Joshua 1 (we also referenced Numbers 20 and John 3 about the Bronze Snake). While the view looking westward wasn’t perfect from here, we still clearly could see the area of Jericho and the Dead Sea. The eventual crossing by Joshua (Josh. 3-4) and the Israelites took place a little north of where we could see. Jericho would be the first Canaanite city taken!
“We crossed into Jordan today. I really enjoyed standing on Mt. Nebo and thinking that Moses himself stood here! I also thought of Joshua leading the Israelites to the other side. I loved the words shared from Joshua 1 – ‘Be strong and courageous…‘” -Tour Member-
Following a brief stop at a mosaic factory, we drove southeast to Machaerus. This was where Herod Antipas cut off the head of John the Baptist (Mt. 14). Many in the group hiked to the top of this palace-fortress, one of several built my Herod the Great. On top we saw the palace area, a few ritual baths (miqveh), and a few pillars. The view of the Dead Sea and the area of Engedi on the others side was very good!
Drive to Petra/Shubak Castle
The drive to Petra took a total of over 3:30 hours. Traveling on the Desert Highway as well as the King’s Highway (Numbers 21), we stopped once for restrooms and snacks and once to see the Shubak Castle built in the 12th century AD by the Crusaders. About 7 p.m. we arrived at our hotel in Wadi Musa (Petra). After a great dinner, we retired for the evening. We are all looking forward to seeing the ancient site of Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world!