Madaba and Mount Nebo were next on our itinerary; well, actually they weren’t. We thought we would not be able to make it to see the Dead Sea due to the expense of private transport and the limitation of no public transport and the fact that we would have to go to a private beach since ginnie does not have culturally-appropriate bathing attire for a public beach in an Arab country. The morning we went to Mt. Nebo, ginnie learned from a fellow traveler that we could see the Dead Sea from various sites outside the town of Madaba (a place we’d decided we would not have time to visit). So, when we reached the bus station where we could catch either a bus to al-Salt (our planned destination) or to Madaba, we just went ahead to Madaba.
Madaba is a quaint town whose main attraction involves mosaics that date back several thousands of years; in fact it is called The City of Mosaics as nearly every building has one tucked somewhere under the floors. We saw the archaeological museum and the mosaic school where people still learn to make these artistic tile pieces. We got directions to take a service taxi to the village just below the site on Mount Nebo and took a lovely stroll through the main area of town. Our driver misunderstood something about our request to stop wherever the service taxis stop so we could walk up to the view area and ended up driving all the way up! A tourist police officer came over and translated and we all had a chuckle and the cost was just a little more than if we’d exited at the actual stop (and far less than if we’d hired a taxi to the top). We were impressed by the views all around us of the desert valley and ginnie believes we saw Amman from there because she spotted what appear to be the Jordanian towers (tall sky-scrapers on the outskirts of the city). We know we were looking at several Biblical sites as a marker pointed out such places as Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We were both excited when we had our first glimpse of the water’s edge and before us appeared the Dead Sea; now we have seen both the highest body of water (Lake Titicaca) and the lowest body of water on Earth in just over a month.
Mosaic floor of the Byzantine Church
Views of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and more!
Mount Nebo is believed to be the site where Moses is buried, so it is considered one of the most revered holy sites in Jordan. The site is also at a point where it is said that the Promised Land lay in great view across the plains. It was yet another really interesting historic place to explore and we had a great walk back down to Fasillayah to meet the service taxi. A couple of tourist police called Anthony over to speak to him in Arabic because they thought he was Arabic and all had a good laugh when finally he just smiled and shrugged! We also had a goat-herder bring his herd across the street right near us – so now we have been in a sheep-herd, a cow-herd and a goat-herd on different trips.
Al Hub as-Salam!