Friday, April 13, 2012

On the Banks of the Jordan...


What a trip.

Are there even words to describe Jordan with?

We spent our first three days in Amman. The capital city of Jordan was mightily unexplored by our group. We spent most of our time in the residence we stayed in. We did manage to at least walk around every night, and got out via taxis on two nights. However, I feel as though I know nothing of Amman.

Although, on our way out, we did get to visit the beautiful King Abdullah Mosque. It's obvious contrast to the mosques of Turkey piqued my curiosity and made me enjoy it's architecture perhaps more than is warranted.
That's a lot of little blue tiles...
As we packed up from Amman, there was something of a weight lifted off my shoulders. Dana and I had panned the entire 10 days of our groups' time in Jordan - which of course made me want to deliver the best product that I could. The lectures in Amman were definitely the part that was most on our backs. They went so well - the students all appreciated them and the speakers enjoyed talking.

But after Amman, it was basically all on the tour company's back.

And man did they deliver.

The Dead Sea
OK... This place is crazy.

I have never felt like I did wading in the waters of this sea. It's completely inexplicable. I spent most of my time on my back, and laughing. It's just such an absurd feeling, you can't help but laugh!

Naturally, it took about 1.5 minutes for the guys to lost their trunks.

Yup, I'm proud to say that I carried on Chris's legacy and swam nekkid in the Dead Sea.

Petra by Night

We drove from the Dead Sea to Petra and got in just at dusk. The valley - Wadi Musa (meaning Valley of Moses) - was lit in deep reds and browns as the sun set.

At 8:30 we made our way into the Petra complex, following only the light of candles laid along the pathway.

It made the whole experience so mysterious - climbing through a canyon complex that you have never been to, only by what's visible from small candles and the full moon's light.

Epic is the word.


I have wanted to see Petra since I first discovered that it was a real place after watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I had imagined riding down the canyon on horseback into a vast opening with the Treasury exploding into view in all of its glory.

I wasn't disappointed.

Well, minus the horse. There were none of those.
Choose Wisely.
What I didn't know was that this is only one small small part of Petra. We got here by noon and hiked the rest of the afternoon throughout the massive Petra complex. This is by far the most massive and impressive archaeological site I've ever been to.

When you think "meh... that's the least impressive four-story-high-ancient-tomb-carved-into-the-canyon-wall-two-thousand-years-ago I've seen today" you are spoiled.

Wadi Rum

The next day we drove to Wadi Rum to spend two nights camping with the Bedouin.

Come. On.

This is the section of the desert that T.E. Lawrence settle down in and explored/fought for in the early 1900s.

I'm not sure it's changed much since then.

We began our Bedouin adventure witha two hour camel ride. Yup. I've become a master camel rider in the past week.
The Caravan...

Our Fearless Leader

What I Saw.

No Problem for Dana.

Happy Joe Young.
 We arrived at our camp after those two back-numbing hours and then spent the next day and a half wandering, jeeping, and climbing around Wadi Rum.

I felt so at home in the desert.

Who would have thought?

I already miss the feeling of sand, the Bedouin tea and music, the awe-inspiring sunsets, the way-too-dangerous rock climbing, and the pace of desert life.

See you soon Wadi Rum...

Biblical Sites

After leaving the desert, we made it to Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan.

Where John baptized Jesus.


Not sure I can capture what it felt like to dip my feet into the Jordan where Jesus' (probably) dipped his, other than to say that it was mysteriously amazing.

Then, to Mt. Nebo, where Moses caught his glimpse of the long-awaited Promised Land and finally rested his weary feet forever.

It was so chilling to look into Israel from where Moses did and know that I was going to complete the journey he never could.

Which is exactly what I did the next day.

No comments:

Post a Comment