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  • Day5

    Jordan and Israel - Day 3

    April 30 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    After starting today out with an Islamic site, we moved on to places associated with both Judaism and Christianity.

    We started with a visit to the King Abdullah Mosque, built in the 1980’s by King Hussein to honor his grandfather; it’s located in Amman, directly across the street from a church. Today is the last Friday of Ramadan; as the mosque was preparing for busy noon-time prayers, we were able to go inside (this mosque welcomes non-Muslim visitors). Our A&K guide gave us an awesome history lesson, taught us about the five daily prayers, and walked us through the prayer ritual as we were inside the mosque.

    We had time for a visit to another in-town mosque located on a busy street with lots of storefronts, some still not yet open. But I did see another local wearing a Yankee cap.

    Madaba was our next stop, located about 20 miles outside of Amman. Ruins there date back to the Byzantine (think “Christian”) era. It is most well-known for its mosaics, especially a 6th century map of the biblical lands that make up part of the floor of the Greek Orthodox Basilica of Saint George.

    Next was Mount Nebo where, according to both Exodus and Deuteronomy, Moses could see The Promised Land before his death. On a clear day you can see Jerusalem from there. Also located there is a Byzantine church with a beautifully preserved mosaic also from 6th century.

    Our last stop before our 3 1/2 hour drive to our hotel just outside of Petra was at a mosaic art shop where we could learn how mosaics are made, watch them being made, and - of course - purchase art if we were interested.

    More than anything, today, what I was struck by was the confluence of three ancient religions in these lands. From the mosque located across the street from a church, to a Greek Orthodox church, to Moses’ viewpoint from Mount Nebo and its church. This isn’t a surprise, of course, but once you are here, it just feels different.

    We will spend 5-6 hours at Petra tomorrow before heading toward Wadi Rum, where there will be no internet. But there will be, apparently, 5 million stars.

    #aktravel_usa #jordan #amman #Amman #jordan #Madaba #MountNebo
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