Outta Amman

Many people have heard of Petra, or have at least watch movies filmed in Petra or the Wadi Rum desert. If you have ever seen The Martian or Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade this would include you. There are a number of other films as well, but these are probably the most well known. It is true, these locations are absolutely phenomenal- watching the sun set in Wadi Rum while drinking tea heated over a fire, or hiking up to the monastery in Petra are incomparable experiences- yet there are so many more things to see in Jordan. If you have any interest in biblical history, you will find that Jordan is rich with instances from the lives of many different prophets as well as home to the area where Christ was baptized. There are ancient churches with remnants of floor mosaics that map out all of the different important biblical sites, including the Dead Sea, a place connected with the story of Lot; Mount Nebo, where there is history surrounding Moses; and, of course, the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized. Across the river, which marks the border of Jordan and Israel, you can see people getting baptized and hear people from all different backgrounds singing. On the Jordan side there is a wooden platform with steps leading down into the river, making it easy to wade in. The river is very narrow due to the massive amounts of use that it undergoes from both Israel and Jordan; so narrow in fact that it seems it would be easy to swim across except for the armed border guards lounging a few feet away. The Dead Sea, as touristy as it has become, is still an amazing place. The sensation of floating  while standing still in water or walking and doggy paddling are different than any other feeling. Also, the mud has a fabulous cleansing and softening effect on skin. Besides that, the sea has a pretty cool history and provides a nice and beautiful place to relax and reflect.

Other than the main touristy sites, there are also other historical places that are slightly less well known; Jerash, Umm Kais, and Aljoun Castle just to name a few that I have had the opportunity to visit myself. All of these places are rich in history with amazing structures built by the ancient Greeks and Romans and other people of a time before our own. Besides these and the more prominent tourist locations that I mentioned above, there are still many wonderful places to go in the cities surrounding Amman as well as within Amman. If you come to Jordan, keep in mind that there are lifetimes of places and a woven fabric of history that surround them within this seemingly small nation.

*The image above is the Monastery at Petra*

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