The escorted tour departs every Thursday from Amman to Petra via the Kings' Road. En route, visit the mosaic city of Madaba, where the oldest map of the Holy Land exists on the floor of Saint George's Church. Madaba, or Medeba in antiquity, features many famous mosaics that exist in public and private buildings. After Madaba, a short drive will bring us to Mt. Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.
Here Franciscans have built a structure that protects a 4th and 6th Century Byzantine church. After visiting this site, we continue on via the scenic canyons of Wadi Mujib (Arnon's Valley in the Bible) to the Crusader castle at Kerak. This 12th Century hill top fortress features galleries, towers, and chapels and ramparts that recall the gallantry of the Crusaders themselves. Then proceed to Petra for Overnight. On Friday the full day is spent visiting Petra. Once the ancient Nabatean capital, this city has a lot to tell. The visit starts at the visitors center, where we are assigned a Bedouin guided horse for the journey to the entrance of the lost city. After passing some tombs that are located outside the city, we will pass through the Siq an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone. It is a winding, one-kilometer-long fissure between overhanging cliffs that seem to meet more than 300 feet overhead. Near the end of the passage, the Siq, we will make one last turn and out of the gloom into a towering brightness, where Petra's most impressive monument, el Khazneh - “The Treasury”, stands.
This most elegant remains of antiquity is carved out of solid rock from the side of the mountain. It is nearly 140 feet high and 90 feet wide. Beyond el Khazneh we are surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures, soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a carved Roman theater, large and small houses, burial chambers and much more. The Victorian traveler and poet, Dean Burgon, gave Petra a description which holds to this day - "Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time. On Saturday we drive the Wadi Rum Desert (a short ride in 4x4 vehicle) and its awesome moonlike landscape, where the film “Lawrence of Arabia” was shot. The tour proceeds for a short visit to Aqaba before returning to Amman by the Desert Highway.
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