Jordan
Wādī Umm aḑ Ḑibā‘

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5 travelers at this place

  • Day11

    Heat and red tape

    September 3, 2017 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We crept out of Gil and Mira's at 7.15 and caught a cab to the Jerusalem Gateway Hotel, the pickup point for our next big adventure - the trip to Jordan. The bus arrived bang on time, and after we'd collected passengers from several other hotels the bus headed off towards the Jordan River Border Crossing. What happened next was nothing if not amusing. Our first stop was an Israeli checkpoint which, we later discovered, was a good 5km before the border. We can't remember the exact sequence, but know that we had to go through at least four other checkpoints, most of which involved us in getting off the bus we were on, claiming our baggage and transferring to a different bus. All told, we reckon we were on and off four different buses, though one of our fellow passengers was certain it was at least five.

    On one of these occasions the driver demanded payment of five Jordanian dinars from each of us, gave us official-looking receipts and drove us, literally, no more than 200 metres. We lost count of the numbeer of times we had to show our passports, but it must have been at least ten. The best bit was when we had to line up at a cashier's booth (sadly, I think it was on the Israeli side of the border), where there was a real free-for-all of a queue with much shouting, mainly on the part of our driver of the moment, who very clearly was looking after our interests.

    Before leaving home, we'd been told that we needed to pay around $US50 per head in folding money as we exited
    Israel. With the driver yelling at the cashier, it seemed that each passenger ahead of us in the line was being charged a different amount. When our turn came, we handed over the two $US50 notes, whereupon the driver started arguing with the girl in Hebrew, while turning in our direction from time to time and winking. She reluctantly handed us back $US15, after which he continued to argue until she gave us a further bundle of dinar notes. With all the carry-on one would think that Israel and Jordan were sworn enemies rather than supposedly close allies. While the place looked to be formal and official there's no doubt that the negotiations were more like what one finds in a Middle-Eastern market.

    Eventually, we got through all the official stuff, and finished up on a 15 seat mini-bus with eight of us on board, the other six all being very friendly Americans. Our Jordanian guide, Sam, who has been doing the job for 26 years, proved to be very knowledgeable and friendly. Once he'd introduced himself we were off, along some steep, windy and scenic roads in the direction of the ancient city of Jerash. It's a massive site, with a continuous history dating from the bronze age through to today. It is best known for its spectacular Roman ruins and is widely acknowledged as one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. To quote from the guide map, "...it comprises paved and colonnaded streets,, soaring hill-top temples, handsome theatres, spacious public squares nd plazas, baths, fountains and city walls pierced by towers and gates.

    Very impressive, but boy, was it hot! There wasn't a lot of shade, though Sam did his best to allow us to rest in the shade whenever we stopped for him to explain something to us. To a varying extent all of us in the tour group overdid it. Heroically, Brian walked almost to the far extremity of the site, and definitely pushed himself hard. We were the oldest members of the group, and both of us were proud of our efforts alongside the others.

    We then headed back for the 90 minute drive to Amman where our mini-bus driver took us on a comprehensive tour of the capital. We were shown some of the major vistas and other tourist attractions, after which we were dropped off at the Liwan Hotel, a clean and spacious 3-star establishment.

    When Brian asked our guide whether Petra is likely to be any less challenging he was non-committal, beyond emphasising that we need to wear strong walking shoes. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
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  • Day19

    Day 16 Biblelands trip

    September 29, 2019 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Day 16. First stop the supposed site where the chariot of fire appeared and Elijah was taken, Elisha became his successor 2 Kings 2:11. We can see Jericho from here.
    Bethany beyond Jordan.. The site where it's believed John the Baptist baptised Jesus. The Jordan used to be the fastest running River in the world but little water remains. We had a breaking of bread here which was very special, and the words of a hymn we sang were so meaningful..'For Abraham's God is our God, and Isaac's God is ours. Ours is the God of Jacob, with His almighty powers'🎶
    Next we headed to Madaba in Moab, where Ruth was from, and visited a church built on top of the old Byzantine church with a mosaic floor containing 2.8 million tiles, of a map of the Holy land, designed to guide the pilgrims.
    Next stop Mt Nebo where Moses died after he had been shown the land (Deuteronomy 34) Unfortunately it was a dusty hazy day so we didn't get a great view but still awesome to feel we were on this mountain with Moses ❤️
    A very steep ascent with hairpin bends.. uneasily aware that what goes up must come down😲 but we safely made it to Maccherus where John the Baptist was beheaded after the daughter of Herodias danced A steep hot climb to the remains of the palace of Herod Antipas (Matt 14)
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  • Day18

    Day 15 Biblelands trip

    September 28, 2019 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Day 15 Petra.. In 600BC Nabateans settled here.. After several major earthquakes in the 4th Century the site was abandoned. But in 1812 a Swiss explorer rediscovered the ancient city which was in 1985 declared a world heritage site. A definite bucket list item 😲

    Drove through Edom, to Moab through areas mentioned in the Bible although names have since changed (Josh13:16-20 territory of Reuben,Jeremiah 48:20-22)
    Ruins of Umm ar-Rasas where we saw some gorgeous mosaic dating back to AD 785 from Saint Stephen's church built in this biblically significant site on the King's Way (named in Bible times- Mephaath)
    Next stop was Arnon River Gorge with stunning views (part of the Exodus road on the way to Nebo).. Ammonites would've been on the right, Moabites on the left, Edomites behind us.
    We then drove to the capital, Amman..through cities and farming areas that shocked us with the amount of rubbish EVERYWHERE! So different from Israel, and the driving here in the Middle East is an adventure in itself😲😲 From highways wide enough for 3 lanes each way but no lanes marked so some interesting jostling for position.. babies in laps in the front seat unrestrained..to narrow streets really only wide enough for one car after there were cars parked and double parked at all sorts of angles.. our bus ran the gauntlet through these with stall holders either side 😲
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Wādī Umm aḑ Ḑibā‘, Wadi Umm ad Diba`

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