Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dead Sea

We ended the day with a trip to the Dead Sea to watch the sun set. All the pictures you've seen about people floating almost on top of the water are accurate. I didn't really believe it until I jumped in, but this was absolutely amazing.

Jesus' Baptism Site

After Mount Nebo, we moved on to the baptism site of Jesus. If you don't know this story you're probably going to Hell. Due to earthquakes in the region and time the Jordan River has shifted. The actual baptism is no long in the path of the Jordan River. The pictures show the actual baptism site and the river near the site.

Mount Nebo

Okay, I'm done apologizing for not posting in a while. It's been a while... so sue me - not really Twist, I don't have any money anyway.

Anyway, my next stop was Mount Nebo. This is were Moses looked out over Israel. It's also believed that this is where Moses is buried.

Friday, September 29, 2006


I apologize for not posting the next leg of my journey until now. We were diving at the Rea Sea again for the past couple days. For those of you who are worried about what I had for breakfast this morning... I had fresh lobster on the beach (we caught 18 this weekend). With that said, let's move on to the 2nd leg of the journey.

Our next stop was Madaba, Jordan. At 60,000 residents, it's the 5th most populated town in Jordan. It's mentioned in the Bible in Numbers 21:30 and Joshua 13:9. The town is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics which are found primarily in the north areas of the town. The sites we visited were the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. George's Cathedral.

At St. George's Cathedral is the home of the Map of Madaba. Dated to the 6th century AD, it was rediscovered in 1896. It is the oldest map of the Holy Land still in existence today. It is a detailed map of Jerusalem as it appeared at the height of the Byzantine period.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Petra - Royal Tombs

Petra - The Theater

Petra - Khaznat (The Treasury)


Petra is located in the Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses). The word Petra literally means "Rock". This is a very fitting name being that the city is primarily carved out of sandstone.

It's known that around 1200BC the Edomites were in the area of Petra. However, it's not know if they actually inhabitied Petra itself. In the 6th century BC Petra was settled by the Nabataeans. The Nabataeans retain control of Petra until around 106AD. Not only did they establish themselves as traders in the region; they were expert hydralic engineers and designed dams, channels, and water conservations systems to supply the city with water. The Romans into the region in 63AD, but couldn't conquer the Nabataeans until 106AD. In 363AD Petra suffered a severe earthquake which destroyed about half the city. In 551AD another earthquake struck which drove the remaining inhabitants from the region.

In the pictures you can see:

** NOTE: These are just a few of the amazing sites at Petra. Pictures truely do not do these sites justice.

Khaznat (The Treasury) - Almost 40m (131 ft) tall. Seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, it is actually no more then a Nabataean tomb.

The Theater - It was carved out of the cliff side destroying many tombs in the process.

The Royal Tombs - Carved into a rock face known as the Kings Wall. It's not known if there are actually any kings buried in the tombs or if it's just a popular name given to the area.


Sunday, September 24, 2006


We had a 3-day this weekend and decided to take the opportunity to check out the sites in Jordan. The only way that I can describe it is "AWESOME"! I'm not talking about the teenager "this is kinda cool" sense of the word; I'm talking about "stood in awesome silence before the ancient ruins" AWESOME. I'm going to break down each leg of the journey into its own post, but here's an overview of the weekend:

(Please make reference to the map above)

When we crossed the border into Jordan we drove about 30 km north to Aqaba where we stayed the night. Early the next morning we where on the road, en-route to Petra. After a full day in Petra (we only got about half way through Petra in a day) we got a room for the night. Again, early the next morning we were on the road - still moving north. Our next stop was Madaba where we saw the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. George's Cathedral. After a couple hours in Madaba we moved to the top of Mt. Nebo (where Moses looked into Israel). And then it was down the other side to Jesus' baptism site on the Jordan River. Too end the day we headed south to swim in the Dead Sea. After the sun set we drove back down to Aqaba for the night. The third and final day we drove east to Wadi Rum (made famous by Lawerence of Arabia). Again, we couldn't see everything there in just a couple hours, but the day was getting short and we had to start heading back to Saudi.

This was the most amazing weekend of my life... words and pictures cannot begin to explain the things I saw. I'll do my best in the following posts to tell you about each site.