DAY 6 – SATURDAY, MARCH 18:
Today we made our northern crossing into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Following breakfast we loaded our luggage on the bus and drove to the Sheik Border crossing. The procedures always require a “patient spirit.” However upon completing all the border formalities (and after some “challenge” to get brother Steve’s entrance approved for some unknown reason), we met our Jordanian guides (Sam and Omar ) and drivers. Leaving from here we drove about 1.5 hours to the largest of the Decopolis cities – Jerash. On the way we passed Jabesh Gilead (Judges 21, 1 Samuel 31) and Pella.
Jerash is a huge Roman city. Probably 20,000 lived here in ancient times. Upon entering the site, we saw Hadrian’s Arch and the hippodrome. After eating lunch inside the site, we saw the Temple of Zeus, the agora (market area), the Cardo (main street), and the theater. Some in the group also walked to the northern side of the site to see the Temple of Artemis.
Boarding back on the bus, we drove past the Jabbok River (Genesis 32, where Jacob wrestled with God) to Mt. Nebo. Here we viewed into the Promised Land as Moses did before he died here. We read from Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1. We could picture Joshua leading his people across the Jordan River (on dry ground) to Jericho on the other side of the Jordan. We also visited the newly-reconstructed church here beautifully decorated with mosaics. Nearby we made a brief stop at a mosaic shop where handicapped people are trained.
From here we drove about three hours to Petra (Wadi Musa). We checked into our hotel and enjoyed a late dinner before retiring for the night.
It was a great first day here in Jordan!
DAY 7 – SUNDAY, MARCH 19: PETRA, WADI RUM