Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the Road from Petra to Madaba, Jordan (April 12, 2008)

We spent April 12 driving from Petra to Madaba, with stops along the way to see Kerak castle, the Dead Sea, and Mt. Nebo.

Kerak Castle is an ancient Crusader castle built in the 12th century. It is one of many Crusader castles that were built from southern Jordan north to Turkey.

Swimming (well, floating really) in the Dead Sea is definitely an experience to remember: the salinity is so high that one floats on the surface very easily, making it very relaxing. The sea sits approximately 400m below sea level, the lowest point on earth.

According to the Bible, Mt. Nebo is where God showed Moses the Promised Land at the end of Moses' life. It's also the site of several 6th century churches that held beautiful mosaics. On a clear day, the view from Mt. Nebo extends west to Jericho and Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the air was so dusty and hazy the day we visited, that we couldn't see very far.

One of the Kerak Castle walls
Looking down at the Dead Sea. Note the salt crystals formed at the edge of the water; if you look closely, you'll notice that they extend up the cliff marking the previous water level.
Here I am leisurely reading The Economist while floating in the Dead Sea!
The Mt. Nebo memorial
The hazy view from Mt. Nebo towards Jerusalem

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