Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 16 Jordan - Jordan River and Amman

We left Israel this morning by bus and went into Jordan.

The highlight of the day was seeing the place along the Jordan River that is the spot, or close to the spot, where Jesus was baptized.

While in the bus driving out of Israel our driver made a detour so we could see the clifts where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  We didn't get to stop though.  But you can see a lot of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hid.  They were found by a small Bedouin boy who was throwing rocks into the caves and heard pottery breaking, and then went to investigate.

 We passed out of Israel and into Jordan and had a lengthy process getting through the border.  You had to have your Israel passport stamp on a separate piece of paper because if they saw it in your passport they wouldn't let you in.  Along the drive we saw lots of Bedouin tents and camels and donkeys.  They still live a nomadic life.

 We got to the spot on the Jordan side of the Jordan River where they think is the closest to where Christ was baptized.  Dr. Madsen also pointed out the places where Joshua and the Twelve Tribes of Isreael crossed the Jordan River and also where the prophets Elijah and Elisha crosse

 It was brown with mud and the water was warm.  We had a nice visit there and it was very peaceful.

 Then we went to the Dead Sea where we got to stop at a town and go swimming.  What fun.  The water is so salty you could hold your hands and head and legs straight up in the air, and still float.  I know because I did it.  The waves were a little choppy that day with a storm brewing.

 This is the Earth's lowest land elevation place on the whole globe, 997 feet below sea level.  It has 34.2% salinity; whereas the Great Salt Lake is only about 25% and the ocean only 3.5%.

 We had a lot of fun swimming.   But the salt was so abrasive you couldn't put your head under and my mouth burned once because I got a little water in my mouth once, and my cheeks burned from where I'd shaved that morning.  Jacquelyn got some in her eyes and had to get out, but she got back in.

Then we drove to Ammon, the capital of Jordan.  It was so different from Cairo, very modern and well to do compared to Egypt.  We ate dinner at an authentic Jordanian restaurant.  Jacquelyn didn't like the lamb, but I did.

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