Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Jordan Trip!

This April we headed to visit Jordan for the first week of the girls school break. It was such an amazing trip and while we didn’t get to do everything we would have liked, we found a good balance of activity and relaxing that worked for our family. 

We flew into Amman and after some trouble getting our rental car (despite having a reservation there were multiples places without any vehicles), we headed on the road towards Petra. We made a stop along the way at Shobak Castle and enjoyed stretching our legs and walking around the grounds. 

After arriving in our hotel and checking in we wandered the city a bit and had a delicious dinner outside. The following day we started early arriving at Petra right when it opened at 7:00 am. We walked the narrow and curving rock path leading out to the beautiful ruins. Along the way we caught snippets of the history from other guides and enjoyed the lack of crowds. 

We knew our family wouldn’t be able to trek the entire length of Petra since it’s massive. After a break for bathrooms and a snack and pictures we found someone with donkeys and began our journey to the Monastery. It was a memorable experience and the girls were delighted with their mode of transportation. Towards the top it gets too steep for the donkeys and we walked the remainder and enjoyed the views at the top and the music someone was randomly playing inside the ruins before making our way back down. 

We got on our donkeys once again and explored a different area of the ruins before saying thank you and goodbye and slowly walking along the ruins back to the treasury. Unfortunately the winds had picked up quite a bit blowing sand and the girls were exhausted from the days adventure so we opted to take the horse carriage back to the entrance. We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing while proud the girls had done so well walking and exploring most of the day. 

The next morning we got in the car to head toward Wadi Rum, but made a quick stop on the way out at Wadi Musa. The location is believed to be one of two possible sites where Moses could have struck the rock to bring out water for the Israelites. (The other possible site is Mount Nebo which we visited at the end of our trip.)

We continued on journey and after arriving in a small city outside the camping grounds we parked our vehicle for the night and hopped in the back of an open truck to drive out to our campsite in the desert.

After arriving and putting our stuff in our cabin/tent, we quickly got back into the truck and headed towards some famous arches and sand dunes. We spent the afternoon climbing, exploring, and having an amazing time together. 

Our dinner was cooked Bedouin style (meaning in the ground) and was delicious. We were a bit cold from the winds and rain so ate quickly and cuddled together in our cabin beds for a good night’s sleep. 

The following morning we headed back to get our car and continue driving south to Aqaba. We met up with friends we knew in Houston and visited in Israel last year.

The next two and a half days we spent playing at the beach of Aqaba Bay, (a waterway off of the Red Sea), swimming pool, and playground. The girls had a blast collecting some unique and fun shells and seeing their friends and we enjoyed catching up. 

We left early our last day and started the long drive north towards the Dead Sea. We stopped at Lot’s Cave and hiked up to explore the area. We decided to skip the Dead Sea since we had see and floated in the previous year and continued the drive to Jesus’ Baptism site. It was truly amazing to walk the grounds that hold so much historic value and touch the water in the Jordan River. 

Once we left we headed to Mount Nebo where Madi was excited to see Scriptures she’s memorized from Awana written on the statues. The overviews were spectacular and the mosaics gorgeous. 

The final stop before we continued back to Amman was in Madaba to secure our own mosaic masterpiece. The girls got to see how they chip off the rocks and glue them onto the mosaics and we chose a beautiful Petra portrayal using rock actually from Petra and a Tree of Life mosaic table. 

After an exhausting day we finally arrived to our hotel in Amman and had  late dinner before calling it a night. Our final full day we had trouble choosing how to spend it – drive up to Jerash, head to a national forest for a picnic, etc. In the end our family was finished with the car and so we walked the citadel and coliseum before wandering our way back to the hotel and stopping for a delicious lunch of traditional Jordanian cuisine. 

We loved Jordan and everything that we got to see while we were there and are thankful for the opportunity to visit. Hopefully we can go back one day and check off the other beautiful places this country has to offer!

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