Dead Sea by Salem
Up relatively early and we went down to beat potential crowds to the mudding area. Lots of fun flinging mud and “helping” each other to be thoroughly covered. We then went into the Dead Sea to laze and maximize the experience. Showered off and returned to our room via a dip in every pool we could find (quite a few!). Then we had breakfast, leaving enough time for Anna and me to re-dip in pools and check-out the spa’s shop.
Dead Sea by eviljohnius (This is not Gerry or her family!)
Just along the road north is the site of John the Baptist’s baptismal of JC in theJordan. We thought a quick look might be interesting, but it’s all or nothing: an hour-long tour with English audio guide of the local guide. Apart from being horribly hot, I thought it was quite interesting, but some in our party were overcome by the religiosity of the occasion! We dunked toes in the (green and slimy!) Jordan and took a small sample. This tour runs every half-hour or so with 20 people; at one point you are over-looking the Israeli equivalent point and there was absolutely no one there. At that point we also were accompanied by a Jordanian border guard. The site is dedicated to all sects and as well as existing churches and remains of ancient ones, several more are being constructed.
After this heat it was a great relief to head back up into the Rift Valley heights and we made for Madaba – world-famous site for early Christian mosaics. We found the guidebook-recommended hotel by looking lost and a kindly local had us follow him there! Once checked in we went to explore. Since it was getting late we weren’t certain that the churches would all be open, and they weren’t, but we saw the main sights: St George’s Greek Orthodox church with the amazing mosaic map of the Holy Land, and then on to the Archeology Museum (“My brother lives in Canada”, but this time, amazingly in Edmonton and not in Montreal!).
Medaba by isawnyu
We found a really nice restaurant in a restored old house, serving Jordanian specialties (yum!). We all had lamb, but very different: Anna had ground lamb in pita, Colin had grilled lamb chunks and I had lamb and onions cooked in a “wok” and served over a burner at the table. The hummus was garnished with wonderful roasted pine nuts, which set me off the next day to find some!