DAY 7 – SUNDAY, MARCH 19: PETRA, WADI RUM
This early morning we entered one of the 7 wonders of the world – Petra! The day would be mostly cloudy at first, but sunny by mid-morning, with temps in the 50s. We would spend around seven hours here in the heart of the Seir Mountains within the land of the Edomites.
We entered this ancient red-rose city by walking through the Siq. This is about a mile long. It led us to the first monument “The Treasury” (formally called “Al-Khazneh”). This well-preserved monumental tomb appears in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” It was most likely the burial chamber or memorial for the Nabatean King Aretas IV (see 2 Corinthians 11).
A walk further down through the outer siq with all of its royal tombs and burial chamber brought us to one of the largest theaters in Jordan. Dating to the 1st century AD, the theater could hold about 3000 people. Some in the group enjoyed exploring some of these royal tombs.
An option was given to hike about 2.5 miles further out to the most western part of the city. The Monastery Tomb is located there. This was quite impressive as well. From here we could look back into the Rift Valley and Negev of Israel.
On the way back, some in the group added an extra hike up to the High Place. The walk was equally spectacular, providing a great view of the city below.
Leaving Petra in the mid afternoon, we boarded the bus and drove south to Wadi Rum. This was an area made famous by Sir Lawrence of Arabia during WWI against the Ottoman Turks. We enjoyed a jeep ride through this unique desert and a great sunset before checking into our Bedouin Village accommodations called Captain’s. We enjoyed dinner together (with the meat especially prepared underground) followed by a worship, a devotional, and Communion gathering under the star-lit desert sky. It was fantastic!
Today was a wonderful and unique experience here in Jordan!
DAY 8 – MONDAY, MARCH 20: SOUTHERN BORDER CROSSING INTO ISRAEL, RED SEA, TIMNAH, EIN BOKEK/DEAD SEA