July 26, 2010

Today I entered the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan! Our first day was pretty low-key at first: we went to Mount Nebo, the place where Elijah and Moses were translated. It had a nice view and had a monument to Moses’ brazen serpent. Next was Madaba, which has one of the most famous mosaics of all time: it was a map of Jerusaelm and the surrounding area. It was pretty accurate, too. The coolest thing, though, by far, was Shobak Castle, a stronghold built by Soladin in 1115 to cut the route off between Egypt and Syria. I hiked up with one group of friends and explored around a bit. I went into what seemed like a small room by myself just to check it out, but there was a stairway—so naturally I went down it. I had no idea how far it went! It just kept going and going and going…after about 10 minutes of going straight down to who knows where, I decided I shouldn’t go any further alone and started back up. I didn’t go more than a few dozen yards before I saw someone coming down. I was going to tell them that there was no end in sight and that we should probably turn back… but it turned out to be my teacher, Bro. Emmett, and he said that he wanted to see it through to the end if I would accompany him. I was aaaaaaall for it, so down we went. I still thought it was probably a dead end—probably to some crusader storage area or something, but Bro. Emmett said that a student last year found a tunnel that went straight through then entire castle and went out on the other side of the mountain… so we hoped this was that tunnel and kept going. It got to the point that Bro. Emmett was saying we should turn back when off in the distance I saw what I thought was light, so I said we should keep going. We did so and it turned out to lead to that exit on the other side! It was so cool! On our way home driving to our hotel, we visited the traditional site where Moses hit the rock and made water come out. At night, most people went to Turkish baths to get massages and cleaned off… at first, I wasn’t interested, but then I decided that it might be a good cultural experience (and that we have our swimsuits on the entire time), so I conceded. We couldn’t end up finding a place with open slots available, however, so instead we just walked the town and bought some local baked goods—mmmmm!

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Me at Mount Nebo!
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One of the most famous mosaics. In the entire world.!
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One of the most famous mosaics in the world. With me.
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Shobak castle!
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Imagine walking down these for over ten minutes. In complete darkness. All alone. In a foreign country.
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But there is a light at the end of every tunnel
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The Moses Rock!
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Something we found along our adventures to find a Turkish bath.

One Response

  1. Did I ever tell you that I’m jealous? In case I haven’t, I’M SO JEALOUS…in the most humble manner possible…Anyway, great to see that you’re having a BLAST!

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