Holy Moly

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We took a two day road trip this weekend. Friday/Saturday is the weekend in Islamic countries (Friday is the Muslim holy day) and the work week is Sunday thru Thursday. 

First we stopped at the ancient church St. George in the city of Madaba that holds one of the oldest maps of the Holy Land laid out in mosaic tile on the floor.

  

In addition to the mosaic floor the walls where filled with framed mosaics of christian iconography.

   

After that we went to a mosaic store where they make their own pieces right on site.

   

Next we drove to Mount Nebo.

    

Moses was allowed to gaze at the Promised Land from this spot.

Then we drove down into the Jordan Valley. Here we stopped at Bethany Beyond the Jordan. Because we were sooo close to the West Bank we had to park several miles away, take a shuttle, then walk about a 1/2 mile back to the river and archeological sites.  Based on archeological data, including the map at Madaba, this is believed to be the actual spot where Jesus was baptized by John.

Over the last 2000 years the Jordan River has diminished in width and changed course, so it no longer flows past this spot.  

At the closet point we were no more than 20 ft. from Israel and the West Bank.


Next, it was off to the Marriott Resort & Spa at the Dead Sea for some mud, salt and relaxation at the lowest place on earth.

  

The salinity of the Dead Sea is so high that you can easily float. In fact, it is very hard to submerge yourself under water. All-in-all it was a fun, educational and relaxing weekend -- and I even got to partake in a little Shisha(hookah) at the bar.

   

© Scudder Photography 2017