2017-10-06 Amman to the Petra Guest House Hotel, Petra, Jordan

Sammie, our driver collected us this morning and before departing Amman heading south we passed through the more affluent areas of the city
Numerous large homes can be found in this upmarket area of Amman
This area which is south west of the center of Amman has numerous Embassies and mansions for the wealthy Jordanians
Ops…..this must be an important Embassy….no photos
Numerous mosques can also be found here too
As we continue south heading out of the city there a very few freestanding houses however plenty of apartment blocks
Once out of Amman numerous Bedouin communities have set up their tents in the open plowed fields

Looking towards the low lying land around Madaba to the south
Our next stop is to visit the famous biblical site of Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo is the site where Moses was allowed to see the Holy Land

It was amazing standing where Moses is believed to once have stood, looking out to the promised land
Looking north west towards Nazareth
From Mount Nebo we have our first glimpse of the Dead Sea and in the distance is Bethlehem and Jerusalem
Looking due west towards Jericho 
Our selfie at Mount Nebo
Ric rests in front of the rolling stone that was used as a fortified door of a Byzantine Monastery in an ancient village of the area
We visit the Church of Moses which is a new  building at Mount Nebo which has been constructed over the ancient church site
When we entered the church there was a service being held there at the time
Amazing mosaic floors in the church have survived since ancient times

The well known monument dedicated to Moses overlooking the promised land

We continue our trip and head towards Madaba only 15 minutes drive from Mount Nebo
On arrival in Madaba we visit a mosaic workshop. The town is known as the City of Mosaics as it stands perched on an archaeological site with about 4000 years of history buried beneath it
The usual demonstrations on how the mosaics are made and assembled were shown by a pleasant and friendly Jordanian young lady
There were very attractive Jordanian Mosaic tables on display and for sale here
Our next visit is to the St Georges Church in Madaba

Several people are visiting the famous church today
A lovely young man was happy to have his photo taken during our visit
The St Georges Church houses the world famous mosaic floor depicting a large map of Palestine
Centrally located on the mosaic floor is a detailed map of Jerusalem as it was during the 6th Century AD
We leave the small (population under 90,000) ancient town Madaba and follow the Kings Highway in a southerly direction

We begin a long drive of over 200 kms through low lying desert which will eventually lead us to Petra where we will spend a couple of nights

Passing small remote villages on our journey we continue south
Our next stop is a visit to the crusader castle at Shobak which is situated only approximately 30 kms before Petra

Spectacular scenery as we weave our way to the castle

Finally the castle with the great fortress known as Mont Realis (Montreal) comes into view perched on top of the highest point of the area
Interesting accommodation!!
Sammie, our driver drives us as close to the castle as possible and we walk the rest of the way up to the old ruins of the ancient site
The fortress was built in 1115 AD by Baldwin 1, as a link in the great chain of crusader strongholds across Jordan

The fortress guarded the crucial Damascus to Cairo trade route
Great views over the surrounding county side from the top of the castle remains
We continue along the Kings Highway passing quite amazing scenery on the way

After a long day of travelling from Amman we near our destination of Petra
Arriving in Wadi Musa which is the town closest to the famous archaeological site of Petra
Wadi Musa which means ‘Valley of Moses’ relies almost entirely on tourism nowadays. The town hosts many dozens of hotels and restaurants catering for the very busy tourist trade
Early evening we check into our hotel, Petra Guest House Hotel which is the closest hotel to the ancient site and the Petra Visitor Centre
Looking up to our room on the top level which has access from the hotel by lift or by stairs from beside the Cave Bar
We decide to have a drink before dinner in the Cave Bar which literally is a bar in a cave!!!

For dinner this evening we dine in a restaurant not far from the hotel…..unusual name and no alcohol served!!!
A full moon tonight!!

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