Bethany beyond the Jordan, Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Shawbak Castle to Petra

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October 10th 2012
Published: October 31st 2012
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Wednesday - Dead Sea - Bethany by the Jordan, Mt. Nebo, Madaba, Shawbak Castle to Petra

We leave the Dead Sea and head to Bethany beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized. It was already hot hot hot by 9sh and on our way we could see Jericho off in the distance. Imagine 2 penguins in the desert…that was basically equivalent to 2 Canadians in the desert this morning, melting…

We arrived at an area where we had to wait for a shuttle to take us to the sites and the Jordan River. We walked on a pathway and visited the Baptism site and then onto the Jordan River. Sian stepped into the Jordan River where they were baptizing people from the other side and to her surprise it wasn’t shallow. We visited the St. John the Baptist Church and then followed our guide back along the pathway to the shuttle.

Back with Khaled, our driver, we headed up to Mt. Nebo. On the way we came across a truck with a single camel riding in the back. We were watching the camel and the camel was watching us. Didn't seem to mind being back there but was unusual to see him there.

Mt. Nebo is high above the Jordan Valley with spectacular views over the valley. The Bascilica was under construction but we were able to visit the museum and walk out and get pictures. Much cooler up here and big beautiful blue sky.

From here we are now on our way to Madaba, city of Mosaics, where we visited the church of St. George which still has a large portion of mosaic floor dating back to the 6th century AD. We then visited a mosaic school where students learned the craft of making mosaics from different coloured stone from all over Jordan. Some of the items they make take months to complete.

As we left here we changed Crusader Castle choices from Karak to Shawbak so that we can arrive during daylight at Petra. Incredible views from the castle on the village below and surrounding landscape. We spent about half an hour walking through the ruins. Off in the distance we could hear bells and a see a shephard leading his flock up a hill. As we left here we head down the Kings Highway towards Petra. The view driving down into Petra is beautiful and exciting and our driver stopped so we could get some pics of the view. We have made it before dark and get settled at our hotel in enough time for Petra by Night.

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