DAY 12– WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
Today was our last full day, and we made the most of it. We left Petra at 8:15 a.m. It was another beautifully sunny day, with temps reaching the 70s. We drove on the Kings’ Highway (heading NE out of Petra) before taking the Desert Highway straight north. Our last panoramic view of Petra below was spectacular! After a quick stop in Karak after 1.5 hours (at “Ali’s), our first stop was Medeba. Today this is actually primarily a Christian city and is located another 1.5 hours north of Karak. Here we entered St. George’s Church (Greek Orthodox) to see the famous Medeba Map dating to the 6th century AD. It was a map that highlighted much of the middle east region, including Jordan and Israel.
Following a “snack lunch” in Medeba, we drove west to Macheraus, a site we added to today’s program. It was here where John the Baptist was beheaded (Matthew 14, Mark 6). We made the link between Herod Antipas and Phasaliel, the daughter of Aretas, the Nabataean king from Petra. Herod divorced her and married his brother Phillip’s wife.
Driving back through Medeba, our last stop of the day was Mt. Nebo. We read from Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1 about the death of Moses and the words of encouragement offered by his successor, Joshua. From here we could see Jericho in the haze below. We also could look down to the probable route Joshua and the Israelites would have taken in crossing the Jordan River below. Nearby we visited a mosaic school designed to help disabled Jordanians learn a skill. It was quite amazing to learn about how mosaics are made.
We arrived at the Allenby Bridge border crossing about 5 p.m. Crossing back into Israel went smoothly, only taking about 45 minutes. We met our Israeli bus and driver on the other side. After loading the bus, we drove straight to Tel Aviv. We checked in to the Gilgal Hotel for dinner and a few hours sleep before we have to get up early (1:30 a.m.) in order to drive to the airport for our 5:30 a.m. flight home.
It was a good last full day!
DAY 13– THURSDAY, MARCH 26
We plan to wake up at 1:30 a.m., board the bus at 2, and then drive to the Ben Gurion Airport for our 5:30 a.m. flight home.
(This will be the last post of the tour)