Jordan lies right to the east of Israel, it is just
across the dead sea, but it is a significantly poorer country. We stayed in Amman,
the capital which had many Roman ruins and things to see. We visited for five days
in summer 1990, and from what I gather it's not really changed much since then.
This is almost certainly the most famous place
in Jordan, definitely the most popular tourist attraction. It is the Treasury,
part of the ancient city of Petra in the south of the country. Don't go to Jordan
and miss this out! It featured in the film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
but when I went inside I didn't find much evidence of the Holy Grail (apparently
it is in Valencia, at least the only one recognised by the Vatican). Fortunately
the decapitating saws that spring from the walls were switched off that day.
The Dead Sea is famous the world over for its
health-related mud and other such beauty products. This was the first time I visited
(I also swam from the Israeli side at Ein Gedi in 1997) and it's no lie that you
float really well. My Dad took advantage and had a floating read of his book. The
Dead Sea is so called as there are no fish living in it, the water containing poisonous
levels of salt, magnesium and many other nasty chemicals. This is because there is
negligible water flowing in, and it is slowly drying up and becoming more concentrated.
The surface is now over 400 metres below sea level, the lowest point on earth.
Moses is said to have stood on this very spot
two thousand years ago to look over the land gifted to him by God.
The city of Amman is hot, dusty, and very poor.
Not much happens here these days in the world's eye, but you can see the theatre
in the background, from Roman times of festivals, wars and games.
This ancient amphitheatre is part of the city of
Petra, carved into the very fabric of the mountains which surround it.
Jerash is one of the many ruined cities in this
part of the world, such as Palmira, Petra and Masada. This is my Mum, dressing as
a Muslim woman would, as they are very strict about that in Jordan.