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Jordan 2012

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S: The Farkouh Bed and Breakfast (July 2012)

FC: The Farkouh Bed & Breakfast July 2012

1: From the US, to London, then on to JORDAN.

2: Our first full day in Jordan! We started the day with a trip to the Citadel in Amman. | Sunscreen and hats are for W H I M P S !

3: The Roman Temple of Hercules that dates back to the 2nd century.

4: There | Everywhere we looked there were statues that seemed to follow us!

5: The Amman Citadel’s history represents significant civilizations that stretched across continents and prospered for centuries. It also symbolizes the birth of the three great monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

6: Despite the warm weather, the kids had a blast going through the ruins.

8: The Jordan Archaeological Museum has artifacts from archaeological sites in Jordan, dating from prehistoric times to the 15th century. The collections includes items of everyday life such as flint, glass, metal and pottery objects, as well as more artistic items such as jewelery and statues.

9: The museum houses the Ain Ghazal statues, which are the oldest statues ever made by a human civilization, and considered one of the most important artifacts in human history. (Sorry for the camera glare, and Jood's "Dave-inspired" sense of humor)

10: Evidence of pottery found here is from the Neolithic Period. That makes this area one of the world's OLDEST continually inhabited places! The view of Amman from the Citadel was AMAZING!

12: | July 3, 2012 | We visited a large mosque in Amman. The groundsman under the tree (above) quickly approached us. Samir, Dave, Adam, Nicki and Jood were able to enter the lobby area. Leena, Tara and I were asked to wait outside. We made the obvious error of forgetting something to cover our heads. Nicki did take pictures for me, and the small area they were allowed to visit was impressive.

13: THE MOUNTAIN TEMPLE, WAT ARAT | November 8 | The photo above is a manuscript written to the prophet Mohammed asking him to convert is Islam. The tree to the left is said to be an off shoot of a tree the prophet Mohammed rested underneath.

14: We took a quick detour to see where Tara and Jood (and half the Royal Family) attend school.

15: On to Madaba. The streets were busy, the vendors were all friendly, and the artists were all amazing.

17: The single most important piece of Byzantine Christian mosaic art in the East is the Madaba Map, made between 542 and 570 as the floor of the church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is the oldest surviving cartographic depiction of the Holy Land. To the right you can see a fish swimming upstream away from the Dead Sea. The church had many beautiful mosaic art pieces.

18: We decided to spend our evening high above the Dead Sea. We wanted to climb and then watch the sun set. BEAUTIFUL.

21: We ended the amazing day and the beautiful night with dinner at Harat Jdoudna.

23: July 4, 2012. We drove down to the Baptismal Site of Jesus. The site is located on the Jordan River, just meters from the Palestine border.

24: We then headed down to the Dead Sea. We spent the day at a beautiful resort that over looked the sea. Everyone had a blast. We swam/floated in the sea and slathered ourselves with Dead Sea Mud. We should all look a month younger from the healing powers of the mud.

25: ABI, SOUTH END | November 9

26: Samir's brother-in-law (Sammy) helped with production for a movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden. We took a quick side trip and visited the re-created bin Laden compound. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the beauty of the Farkouh's Valley House . The fruit trees and the swing set were big hits.

28: The spice vendor at Jerash. The smell was heavenly.

29: Jerash is considered one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Near East. It was a city of the Decapolis. Recent excavations show that Jerash was already inhabited during the Bronze Age (3200 BC - 1200 BC)

32: We spent the morning at the Jara Market buying souvenirs and the girls got henna tattoos.

33: We spent the afternoon rock climbing at Climbat Amman. Tara and Jood were the experts, but even Samir got involved

34: According to the final chapter of Deuteronomy, Mount Nebo is where Moses was given a view of the promised land that God was giving to the Israelites. Moses was buried on this mountain by God Himself, and his final resting place is unknown.

36: Evidence suggests that settlements had begun in and around Petra in the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt (1550–1292 BC).Petra was established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. These innovators stored water for prolonged periods of drought, and enabled the city to prosper. Petra declined rapidly under Roman rule, in large part from the revision of sea-based trade routes. Then in 363 an earthquake destroyed many buildings, and crippled the vital water management system. Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die" and was voted as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. | July 8, 2012 Petra

41: The "Monastery" is an hour's climb northwest of the Petra city center on an ancient rock-cut path of about 950 steps. The nickname is probably based on its remote location and some inscribed crosses in the interior. The Monastery was most likely a temple. It may have been dedicated to the deified Nabatean king Obodas I, who reigned in the 1st century BC. The climb to the top was a challenge, but everyone made it. There were donkeys that you could ride to the top, but that "was for W H I M P S!" | The beginning of the stairs. Only 949 to go!

42: Did I mention the 950 steps?

43: The Monastery (finally!)

46: 6 hours later, we decided that the donkeys were actually a really good idea! I wish Leena had thought so earlier!

48: We left Petra and headed to Aqaba for the night. The cool Red Sea was refreshing after the hot day at Petra. Did I mention the 950 steps?

52: We drove from Aqaba on the Red Sea to Wadi Rum to see the beauty of the desert. This is Tara's favorite place on earth.

53: Everyone was excited to climb Jordan's largest sand dune. It took over half an hour of dedicated effort, but we all made it to the top. Adam and Samir made the climb in very loose sand look easy!

54: We drove to Um Qais . It is located on the site of the ruined Hellenistic-Roman city of Gadara . The town was also sometimes called Antiochia.It is situated in the extreme north-west of the country, where the borders of Jordan, Israel and Syria meet, perched on a hilltop , overlooking the sea of Tiberias (Galilee), the Golan Heights and the Yarmuk gorge. The area was noted in the Bible as the town where Jesus healed a man possessed by demons named Legion (Mark 5:9). Jesus then spoke to the demons and demanded them to depart, sending them into a nearby herd of swine. The possessed pigs “ran violently down the steep place into the sea”.

55: The Sea of Galilee | The Golan Heights

58: Ajloun Castle: This huge fortress was built in AD 1184-1185. The fortress is one of the very few built to protect the country against Crusader attacks from Karak in the south and Bisan in the west. From its situation, the fortress dominated a wide stretch of the northern Jordan Valley, controlled the three main passages that led to it , and protected the communication routes between south Jordan and Syria. Another major objective of the fortress was to protect the development and control of the iron mines of Ajloun.

64: Things you may only get to see in Jordan

65: One thing we failed to mention...the fruits!

66: Old Friends

67: This was an amazing trip with incredible friends. We are looking forward to our next adventure together!

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