We leave Petra today via the King's Highway. For centuries this road has been used by the caravans trading to / from the holy lands to the far eastern lands. It was the major passage for all travelers.
Our first stop this morning is at the ruins of the Kerak Crusaders Castle. Originally called Kir Heres 29 C. ago as it is referred to in the bible. It took the crusaders 20 years to erect their massive castle and was finished in 1161. It was the the residence of the most important lord in the Crusader Kingdom. But a strange arrangement allowed the Crusaders and Muslims to trade and impose taxes on each others merchants while the armies battled each other. After many sieges is was was again in Muslim control. In 1342 it became the first target in the middle east to be hit with modern artillery such as cannons, using gunpowder. Eventually, occupied by the Ottoman Turks who used it as a prison until the Arab Revolt in l918. The Castle is 220 m long and 125 m wide and sits on a triangular plateau. It has a ditch 30m deep all around it that
had a wooden bridge for access that could be burnt when being attacked.
Then a short ride takes us to the Dead Sea. It is a spectacular site. The deep blue waters beckons us from a distance.
This is the area that Sodom and Gomorha are believed to be and on the hill side we can see the statue of Lot's wife Rachel who disobeyed God and turn back to look upon the destruction and was turned into a pillar of salt. Across the way we stop for a fantastic view of the lake with tremendous salt formations just below the cliffs. Awesome!!
We are very excited to get to the sea. We are planning to take a dip or I should say a float in to the saltiest sea on earth at about 15%. Nothing can live in this water because of the salinity level. The sea is also at the lowest point of the earth at 400 meters below sea level. This makes this area about five degrees hotter than sea level.
Lunch at the resort was our first thing to do, a Jordanian Buffet with all types of meze and fresh
vegetable salads. Scrumptious fish, chicken, & beef and mushroom dish, with custards, bread pudding and jello for desert.
Now to the long awaited float in the Dead Sea. The water is definitely thicker than normal water and has a slightly oily feel to it. The cool thing is that buoyancy is unavoidable. No matter what you do, you can not sink. We have fun striking all type of crazy poses that would never be possible in normal water. Hey Mom, look no hand and no feet! This is water you do not want to put your head under, the feel of water on your tongue actually had a burning sensation along with the extreme salty taste. Definitely not something you want in your eyes.
Before leaving we jump into the swimming pool before showering. We only had about 45 minutes in this fantastic resort area. They had two levels of swimming pools, one seemed like a very large family pool and the other a very large deep water pool. We could have spent an entire day here, it is so relaxing and so hot!
Next stop is to Mt. Nebo. This is a holy place for Christians
DEAD SEA AND ME
CHANT ANGIE AND FRANCINE
and Jews who recognize Moses as a holy man and a prophet who delivered his people from the persecution in Egypt. At the top of Mt. Nebo, Moses stood majestically above the Dead Sea, the Jordan River Valley and the distant hills of Jerusalem and was shown the Land of Canaan that he would never enter. A small church was built in the 4th C. to commemorate the end of Moses' life and it is still an active place of worship and run by the Franciscan Order. Pope John Paul visited the site in 2000.
The long day ends in Madaba, Jordan.
Madaba was known as Moabite township of Medeba in the bible. It was one of the towns allotted to the 12 tribes of the Israelites. During the rule by the Romans 106AD to 614 AD was the time when the majority of the famous mosaics were made. The town was abandoned after an earthquake in 747AD.
Dinner is on the cheap tonight and we go to this little sandwich shop and have pita bread with fried haloumi cheese and salad sandwiches and they are delicious.
Whilst walking up the hill from the
Dead Sea, Francine's right foot slipped in her flip flop / thong and she stubs her big toe. It is agony. Later that night she is in bed and almost in a deep sleep, her body jerked and she again stubbed her toe, this time into the mattress. It woke her up big time, Angie said she heard a loud crack. Francine's toe feels a bit better with a bit of movement. We did our own medical diagnoses and decided that she had dislocated the top joint. Still hurts though. Ouch. Won't stop her getting around though, as she hobbled to dinner and back again.
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