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You need water if you take baptism seriously, John certainly did. He had the River Jordan at his disposal, and Bethabara’s shore is believed to have witnessed John’s baptism of Jesus of Nazareth. This river epitomises freedom; The Promised Land of 1230 BC lay east of its banks, and here according to legend, the Israelites clambered as they escaped from Egyptian enslavement.

A land of majestic geology and fabulous flora and fauna, the West Bank was annexed in 1949, and the Kingdom of Jordan was forged. Today in the Great Rift Valley, the River Jordan pours downward, a watery divider of Israel and Jordan. Exiting Lake Hula, it plummets its 25km course to the Sea of Galilee, then it slopes into the dense salt-buoyancy of the Dead Sea. Languishing 422m below sea level, this ‘sea’ is actually a deep hyper-saline lake with its water-level and shore at the lowest point on Earth. With 8.6-times more salt than the ocean, it would deaden fish if any dropped in; only certain algae, bacteria and microbial fungi will put up with it.

The Dead Sea can cleverly conjure up images of dust-caked Scrolls — they’re a main attraction at Amman’s Archaeological Museum. Downtown in Balak stands the largest amphitheatre in Jordan, a testament of flashy Roman rule. And from Citadel Hill’s distressed Temple of Hercules, absorb panoramas of Amman.

Built in the 6th century BC as a capitol for the Nabataeans, Petra is your reward for a horse or camel-ride through the Siq, a narrow corridor of cliffs. Circumvent more rose red rocks and you’ll arrive at the amphitheatre, the museum and — 800 steps up a mountain — the unmissable monastery. In recent decades Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has publicised images of Petra’s Al Khazneh Treasury. It is almost entirely facade; a wondrous 40m-high tomb hewn out of mountain in the 1st century BC, probably by Near-Eastern Hellenistic architects. It was appropriately listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the
World in 2007.

Yet in south Jordan, all Seven Pillars of Wisdom watch wisely over Wadi Rum (Wadi Ramm). This sandstone and granite chasm known as The Valley of the Moon also acted as a double for Mars in the movie, Red Planet. And much of David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here. Wadi Rum is inexorably linked to the British officer who bolstered Arab rebels against the Ottoman Turks (1916-18) — Captain T.E. Lawrence ‘of Arabia.’ Lawrence named a distinctive rock formation here, ‘The Seven Pillars of Wisdom,’ it was too good not to use as the title of his eventual memoirs.

Bereft of oil wells and with minimal natural resources, Jordan has challenged its economy with its laudable repatriation of refugees. A clear run of peace gilded by Elite Tour Club and you and other passionate visitors; all of us will be the crux of the Kingdom’s livelihood.

Ask our travel consultants or browse our suggested itineraries for Elite Tour Club's Jordan tours.


Rose-red Petra

Jordan Tour Highlights

Petra, your reward for a camel-ride through Siq; The Dead Sea — only certain algae will put up with it, Wisdom and Wadi Rum…..  

 
 

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