• Day2

    Madaba, King's Highway and Petra

    November 20, 2019 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    As we've already got our rental car the night before we just grabbed a quick coffee and then went straight on the road around 7 AM. There was a lot on our plan for the day... But the first hurdle was to get used to the traffic and driving style. It's chaotic and dangerous but all of it at a pretty slow pace. Luckily there wasn't as much traffic as usual so I had time to adjust.
    After an hour drive south we arrived safely in Madaba, a town mainly known for its mosaics. And they're literally everywhere! With our Jordan Pass we got in the archaeological sites for free, just the main attraction did cost one dinar (about 1.5€). It's a floor mosaic of a map of Jordan. By the time it was discovered it gave quite specific locations for places about 300 AC.
    A quick snack later we were back on the road. This time the so-called King's Highway, a thousands year old connecting route going all the way South to Egypt. Naturally the route wasn't initially designed for cars so it was often winding which made our progress quite slow. The upside were the magnificent views over Wadi Mujib, one of the few Jordanian National parks. It's an oasis leading to the Dead Sea and offers hikes through the dry water bed. But around this time of the year it's closed to the public because of the dangerous spring floods. Last year a group of 22 school students with their teacher died due to a spring flood surprising them.
    Along the way we stopped at view points. At one of them a man came up to us and offered typical local tea and coffee. After the first hesitation we decided to accept and had another opportunity to enjoy the views. Then we really needed to get moving to Kerak, an old fortress with an interesting and moved past. It was a significant stronghold during the crusades.

    Initially we had planned to visit little Petra but by the time we would have got there it would have been already closed. So we skipped it and drove directly to Wadi Musa with the world famous Petra. We came there just in time to grab something to eat and then head out to Petra to watch "Petra by night". A spectacular arrangement of candles to lead the 2 km hike to the treasury - the most famous sight. This was illuminated by thousands of candles and traditional music was played by a bedouin. The feeling was surreal after having seen the building so many times on pictures.
    A fitting end for an eventful day full of new impressions.
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