DAY 7 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25: PETRA, WADI RUM
Today was a fabulous day of seeing the best of the beauty Jordan can offer. The weather today was blue sky with pleasant temps around 80. After a full breakfast, we walked from our hotel to the entrance of Petra, the red-rose city and one of the seven wonders of the world! Today we would spend about 6 hours here in the heart of the Seir Mountains, Land of Edomites, mentioned in the Bible in Genesis. These mountains house the Aaron Peak, the highest in Petra and the burial place (Mt. Hor) of Moses’ brother Aaron.
Walking through the Siq ˆ(canyon), we first came to the most famous tomb/memorial of all … the Treasury or “Al-Khazneh” (can anyone say “Indiana Jones?”). This Nabataean city where at least 3,000 facades of tombs have been discovered, this Treasury tomb was probably the final resting place of King Aretas III (or IV). Paul actually mentions one certain Aretas (2 Cor. 11:29). From here we walked further into this huge city. We saw the Roman theater cut into the sandstone mountains as well as the royal tombs and numerous burial chambers all over.
Following Sam’s explanation of this amazing place, a number in the group hiked 2.5 miles out to the western edge of the city to the Monastery Tomb. This tomb rivals the Treasury and probably is the second most famous tomb in Petra. This hike included 800 steps up.
Walking down from this Monastery, we all enjoyed a leisurely stroll back along the Roman street, and past the theater and Treasury. The final leg of the walk included going through the Siq again.
After we all arrived back to the hotel to refresh up, we drove south on the King’s Highway and then on to the Desert Highway to Wadi Rum. We were greeted by our jeep drivers who took us on about a 1.5 hour ride through the unique landscape. Sir Lawrence of Arabia made this place famous back in the 1910s. We climbed a sand dune, drank tea in a Bedouin tent, and saw some stunning views along the way.
We arrived by jeep to our “tent hotel” for the evening (“Captains”). We each got our own private tent and bathroom. We then enjoyed a barbeque dinner to the sound of live Bedouin music. Before retiring, we enjoyed a time of fellowship, worship, and reflection out under the desert stars.
DAY 8 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26: SOUTHERN BORDER CROSSING INTO ISRAEL, RED SEA, TIMNAH, EIN BOKEK/DEAD SEA