Madaba and Mt. Nebo

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January 11th 2012
Published: January 20th 2012
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Bad start to today with their being no hot water for a shower. The hotel said there were was hot water between 7-9 a.m. every day, but at 8.30 there was nothing. This was despite there being hardly anyone staying in the hotel. I mentioned it to the receptionist, but he didn't seem too interested. I was happy enough to be checking out of the Farah Hotel.

We decided to go check out the Citadel in Amman before going to Madaba. It was much better than expected and it was good to be at one of the highest points of the city just before leaving to see all of the spots we had been in. The ruins were also pretty impressive.

We then went and got our bus to Madaba, which took a lot longer than expected due to the traffic in Amman. On arrival at Madaba bus station, we negotiated a taxi straight to Mt. Nebo. Apparently on a good day you can see the Dead Sea and even Jerusalem from the top. However, the weather was getting progressively worse throughout the day and by the time we got to the top, it was very foggy. The views were, therefore, non existant. It is also the mountain that Moses is supposed to have climbed before dying and there are a couple of monuments to recognise that.

We went on to Madaba and found a hostel easy enough. We then went to see St. George's Church, which houses a famous mosaic. It is supposed to be a map of the Middle East. There are also a lot of other impressive pieces of art work. The church is very small and it can be seen in quite a short space of time.

There is not a whole lot else to see in Madaba. We went for a walk around the town and came across this gathering of people who were chanting outside a government building. My initial reaction was that this was some sort of protest in the spirit of the 'Arab Spring'. But then some guys, who looked like they were in the army started unfurling a 5-6 metre banner of King Abdullah from the top of the building. A fairly big crowd gathered and this went on for sometime. We didn't find out until a few days later that there was a minority calling on people to protest against the King and what we saw was a show of support for the King. He is extremely popular, especially amongst the younger people who were mostly involved in the demonstration we saw. It was something of an 'anti-Arab Spring'.

With not much else to do in Madaba we went for some coffee and shisha and later got some dinner.

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