Amman and on we go
It was a long day getting here punctuated at the end by a meal in the Tawaheen Al-Hawa restaurant somewhere in the western side of Amman. This was a great establishment and we had what could be described as a Jordanian BBQ with salads, homus etc seated around a low circular table on comfy lounges. Around us were groups of locals taking it all in as well, a good number of the women were sucking on some pipes of sorts….need to find out what these actually are….off to the hotel and bed. A 5.30am wake up call awaits……..
The first stop was at the Amman Citadel, this is one of Amman’s oldest known places. It dates back 7000 years by some estimates. It has been occupied by all comers, including of course the Romans who built a temple to Hercules along with all the other typical Roman stuff…theatre, colonnades. We also have a mosque and other building reflecting the muslim occupation. The site was flattened by the big earthquake in the mid 8th century.
Back on board we headed for the Jordan river and the site thought to be where John baptised Jesus. The river here is a real contrast with its headwaters. Here it is a muddy channel in pretty sparse low-lying land probably about 5 metres across. We are on its east bank and across the way on the Israeli side is a site for full immersion baptismal gatherings of all sorts. Before coming to the river there is archaeological evidence of the presence of 3 ‘churches’ built atop each other which provides evidence of the importance of the site and the thinking that this was where Jesus may have been baptised.
We now head back into the mountain region for Mt Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land. By this time we had encountered a sand storm of sorts which substantially reduced visibility. There is a Franciscan Church complex being built atop Mt Nebo which overlays a much older church site. Moses is thought to be buried somewhere in the valleys below and not atop the mountain.
Much driving south sees us reach Petra in the early evening.