Thursday, June 23, 2011

Petra-fied

Josiah and Canton pointing to Macharus

Josiah losing his head :) 
Macharus (Dead Sea through the haze)

Petra
Don't you love coming home after a long journey? We got back from Jordan today :) I sooo loved it!!! It was a lot different that I thought it was going to be.  The food was good, the hotels nice, and our guide talked just enough to keep us interested.  We left on Monday hoping to end the day in Petra.  A good portion of the day was spent simply getting into Jordan.  I hate Israeli security. I don't understand why we need to go through security to leave Israel, but we do, and then we had to go through again to get into Jordan.  You would think they could work out a system where only one round of security was needed.
Erica and I at Petra
After making it through security, the bus headed to Mount Nebo, the traditional death place of Moses.  Looking from the top of the mountain, I was able to see the entire Jordan Rift Valley and into Israel. It's amazing how close we were to Jerusalem.  At night you can see the lights of the city! The Jordan River runs right through the middle of the high mountains of Jordan and the high hills of Israel. I love seeing a little green ribbon criss-crossing the valley.  It's comforting :) It proves that life does exist in the desert.
Me at the Monastery 
After Mt Nebo, we traveled to Macharus, the town where John the Baptist was imprisoned and later killed. This ancient village is also set in the high mountains of Jordan.  I love being able to have a panoramic view of these biblical lands! You can for miles and miles!! Standing on the walls of Macharus, I was able to see all the way to the Dead Sea.  It looked like a sapphire that had been dropped in the sand. We had an amazing devotional about John the Baptist while we sat on the walls.  I had never really appreciated all the trials that he experienced.  John was an amazing person! I'm grateful that he was faithful and willing to submit his will to the Lord's. I want to be more like him: more faithful, more obedient.
Monastery

We spent about an hour in the blazing sun at Macharus and then settled in for the long drive to Petra.  I woke up early the next morning, at the most measly breakfast in the entire, and set off for the land of Indiana Jones. I'll be honest: I wasn't sure that I was going to like Petra, but it was amazing! It looked a lot like Zion or Arches National Park.  The rocks were so red! I felt like I was in the middle of an adventure novel or something :) The tour of Petra starts with the descent down the Siq, a huge canyon that's just wide enough for a small carriage at some points.  The last bend opens up to the plaza where the Treasury is. It looks just like in the movie! It's so huge and imposing.  You have to look almost straight up to see the top.
Tashara and I at Petra
 From the Treasury, I hiked up 900 steps to the Monastery. I am amazed that these ancient people were able to create such masterpieces! These building were beautiful.  I was in awe the entire time we were in Petra. I loved being able to climb up to the top of the temple.  It was pretty amazing to see the whole city from the temple's wall. It was different the looking at it from the top of mountain.  I imagine that was how a lot of Petra's civilians looked at the city.  The day at Petra was blazing!! I'm pretty sure that Petra is the hottest place on the planet.  I loved every minute of it, but by the end of day I was ready to get back to the hotel.  I was tired of telling the little kids that I didn't want to buy postcards and the camel man was insistent that I go for a ride. (Camels really do spit.) Once again, we all climbed back on the bus and headed for Amman.  I would say that it was two days well spent :)

P.S. The layout is awkward :( I'm still figuring it out....

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