Day 3 in Jordan was spent visiting the Dead Sea, Madaba, Mt. Nebo, and a short drive to see the Roman theatre in the old part of Amman.
First we went to Madaba which is reknowned for its Byzantine-era mosaics. Here is the most famous one in St. George’s Church – it was unearthed in 1884 and is believed to be constructed in AD 560.
Originally 25 meters long by 6 meters wide and containing more than 2 million pieces, it is now only 1/3 of its original size:
After exploring a few other archeological sites, we headed towards Mt. Nebo and stopped along the way at a mosaic shop. It was pretty cool watching how modern day mosaics were made:
Mt. Nebo is where Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land and also where he was later buried. It was very windy and cold enough to need a sweater. Unfortunately the Moses Memorial Church was closed due to renovations so we just walked around a bit.
This is the view from one side of Mt. Nebo – could it be the view of the Promised Land? No idea as couldn’t find the sign that said “Promised Land” and wasn’t even sure which compass direction I was facing and it was too bloody cold to stand around to figure it out.
Next we drove to the Dead Sea which – thank goodness! – was a complete change in temperature from Mt. Nebo and I was able to strip down to my bikini and not feel cold.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth at 408 meters below sea level (and dropping each year!) and is 6 times saltier than ocean water due to its high evaporation rates. It is so salty that no plant nor animal life can survive on it.
We spent some time in the Movenpick spa where I splurged on a mud wrap and Scotch had a sea salt scrub. Scotch did some floating in the Dead Sea (water temp was 25C / 75F) where he accidentally got some of the sea water in his eyes and can personally attest that it was a most painful experience.
Here are some random people by the Dead Sea slathering themselves with the surrounding mud:
After visiting the Dead Sea, we headed back to Amman and because I wanted to see the Roman theatre, our driver took us to a lookout point where we were able to see the whole of the theatre. You can see it in the middle of the photo below smack in the middle of old Amman:
It was built ~ 2nd century AD and once had a seating capacity of 6000. Full restoration of the theatre began in 1957 and currently, the theatre is used in the summer for entertainment.
Previous: Wadi Rum (Jordan part III)
Next: Jerash (Jordan part IV)
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