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Published: April 18th 2018
Left Petra at 8am for our return trip to Amman but with a few stops along the way. First was Little Petra which is set in a small valley not far from Petra, but also built by the Nabateans. It is believed that it was like a suburb of Petra and housed traveling traders on the Silk Road. This was a very interesting site in itself and if situated anywhere else in the world would be a much bigger deal in itself
Next stop was the Crusader Castle at Shobak, where Lana told us about it but just made it an option if anyone wanted to explore the castle itself, which entailed a 15 minute walk up a steep hill. Barry, Pierre, Mary, Paul, Brian and I elected to go and we had about 20 minutes free time to explore the castle which was actually quite large. I found a staircase that seemed to go down fairly far but it was pitch black and decided not to go down any further. Later I learnt there was a long dark secret passage so maybe that was it. I was glad I had the opportunity to explore it.
Next stop was
Madaba to visit the Byzantine era Greek Orthodox Basilica of St.George, which has the remains of a mosaic floor depicting a map of the Holy Land from the 6th century, now known as the Madaba Map. Lana also took us around to some shops including a mosaic shop where we watched a girl making the mosaics. The shop was attached to an excavation site of another Byzantine church which also had some interesting mosaic floors. We also did some shopping around and drank coffee and Madaba seemed like a good place to spend more time if you were not on a tour. It also has a lot more examples of ancient mosaic floors in other parts of the city.
After that we continued onto our last stop Amman, where we started. Most of us met for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant where Phil and I were happy because we were able to order beef fillet steak at a pretty good price. Then to bed with happy stomachs.
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