We awoke early on the shores of the Dead Sea. Some in our group were up before dawn to have a final float on the salty waters. It is a remarkable feeling to float on the Dead Sea. You can read the news on those waters and keep the paper dry.
We drove all morning, climbing over 5,000 feet to the amazing city of Petra. One of the wonders of the ancient world, Petra was built by the Nubians, forebears of the Bedoin tribesmen who roam these lands today. The wealth of the ancient kingdom, built on an excellent location along the King’s Highway, the traditional route from India to Europe, enabled some visionary Nubian kings to commission skilled craftsmen to carve stunning burial vaults from the sandstone landscape.
Petra was featured in the film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’. And while we did not find the Ark of the Covenant, the walk along the wall reminded me of some of our great national parks in southern Utah, but Petra is truly breathtaking.
We spent all afternoon walking ancient paths, climbing and observing a spectacular achievement. This is a fruit of being the imago dei – the ability to envision and see through such an immense project.
One of our group struggled with dehydration. But thanks to some skilled nurses among us and the assistance of the Jordanian medical community, she was given the care she needed.
We ended the day exhausted but exhilarated. My first stay in a Movenpick hotel.