It has been so hard to put into words my experience so far. I have been putting off blogging due to lack of sleep, jet lag or time constraints. However, I have also put it off simply because I wanted to think through how I could paint a picture of this tour for all of you reading!
With over 24 hours of travel, a little bit of sleep and A LOT of coffee- I made it to Jordan! Our press tour group is so neat and compiled with a diversity in backgrounds, religion and work. I have enjoyed getting to meet and know the different members of this team.
When we arrived in Amman, we were greeted by two members of the Jordan Tourism Board who were so gracious to assist us through the customs and immigration procedure.
Once through and luggage retrieved, Ra’ed was introduced to us as our guide for the tour! He quickly charmed us all with his wit and grasp of American humor. We loaded up onto the bus and Ra’ed easily launched into an explanation of our surroundings and some of the cultural history of Jordan. I tried so hard to concentrate on everything he was saying but I was becoming distracted looking out my window, taking in the view!
(The only selfie I will post and only because my mom wants to see my face with scenery!)
We were taken to a restaurant called Whispers within walking distance of our hotel. The food was amazing! We were served a platter called “The Mix” and it truly was a mix of everything.
I tried so hard to sleep that first night but the jet lag and adrenaline won. So I got up and watched the city lights for awhile and spent some time asking God what He wanted from me and for me on this trip.
We started day two early with an elaborate breakfast and seriously no photo will truly do it justice!! The spread that the hotel sets out every single day is incredible and well prepared. The service at the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil has been excellent. We then headed out to view some historic sites Umm Quais and Pella but first, a stop off at the bank of the river where Jacob wrestled with God.
It was so surreal to stand there as the account of Jacob’s struggle with the Angel was being depicted by our guide and I now had a visual to go with the story. I’ll never read the story the same again, would you?!
When we arrived to Umm Qais, some of us were not as prepared for the chilly weather and rain!! I froze for the better half of the tour so I finally had to bow out with some of the others and settle for drinking coffee indoors. However, from where I sat drinking coffee, I could look out to the Sea of Galilee. Once again no picture, that was a private shot that I etched into my memory. It was beautiful and once again surreal.
Umm Qais contained so much history but I’ll give you the basics. Overlooking the Sea of Galilee, this old Decapolis city of Gadara is where Jesus performed the miracle of the Gadarene Swine. (Luke 8:26-39)
Umm Qais is also home to some Graeco-Roman ruins. Pictured above are some dental tools believed to be from the 2nd century. Many of the structures there were built with black basalt stone.
After this fascinating tour we went to Pella for lunch. The spread there was so good and maybe the best hummus and pita bread I have ever tasted! Our fabulous chef greeted us afterwards and we gave her a round of applause.
Even though it was cold and rainy, it was still a beautiful day.
The next morning, I had the opportunity to go with a few others from our group to attend a special Easter sunrise service. Today, Easter is being celebrated in Jordan! We woke up at 4am to catch our ride to Mt. Nebo, the place where God showed Moses the Promise Land. The service was held inside a tiny church on top of Mt Nebo due to rain this morning. However, after the service I had a chance to finally see the view.
Stay tuned, more to come! Plus, I get a full tour of Mt. Nebo later this week 🙂