Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday in Jordan

We left Amman this morning and headed south to Madaba to look at the mosaic map of the Holy Land that dates back to the Byzantine Era in the Church of St. George.  We then continued on to Mount Nebo, where Moses is buried overlooking the Jordan Valley where we able to see this mosaic that is being restored.

We then stopped at a Mosaic workshop to see how they are made.
We also made a couple of purchases.  They will be shipped directly to the house.  We bought a tile mosaic table on an iron base.
And a wooden table with inlay.  The base is also carved and has inlay.
We then returned to Madaba for lunch, where I was surprised by a wonderful chocolate birthday cake with a Roman Candle on it instead of the familiar wax kind.  Unfortunately I did not get a picture before the candle went out.  But Barbara, one of the women on the tour group took one of Bruce and I.
You can just see a little bit of the cake in the bottom right hand corner, along with one of the very yummy strawberries they gave me.  Bruce knew about the surprise, because our guide Ra'ed had told him, but I had no clue.  It did explain why one of the waiters was paying such particular attention to me.

We then had a long drive to the 12th Century Crusader Castle at Shobak.  It was built by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem to protect the road between Egypt and Damascus.
It is still mostly unexcavated, and there was someone living in one of the rooms of the castle.  I presume it was a workman.  The secret passage out of the castle is still intact.  We saw the entrance but were not allowed to go down it.  It does have a commanding view of the surrounding countryside.
After some delicious herbal tea at the Visitor Center we continued on to Petra.

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