After a day at Petra, it was now time to make the drive back to Amman via the Dead Sea. There are two ways to make this drive, the highway straight to the Dead Sea, or the windy but lengthy King’s Highway. Due to recent flash floods, portions of the highway by the Dead Sea were closed, so the King’s Highway it was.
The first stop was a cisterne, cared for by local Bedouins.
There was no charge for the entrance, but the man outside did have some wares to sell, mostly different colored rocks. I bought a couple, and then he showed me coins allegedly from the time of Alexander the Great. It was a good story, and even he seemed to laugh a bit when I declined.
From here, the next stop was Dana Village.
The view from here was magnificent, and there is a hike that begins to Petra from here that some choose to do.
There are even a couple of hotels in the village for those that choose to simply hike for the day and return. It’s a bit boring for me, but wonderful for hikers. I met a French family who were going hiking for the day.
On the way, sometimes we stopped just to take pictures of the landscape of the Jordanian desert.
The next stop was Shobak castle.
It’s not the largest castle, more of a fort in actuality, but again the views were the best part. There were a couple of guys dressed like soldiers for pictures, but I declined. Though we modern tourists enjoy the views, it must be realized that the reason fortresses were placed at high locations was to be able to spot invaders.
The driver got a flat tire, so we had to stop at a tire shop in the town of Al-Karak.
We were very fortunate to have this happen in a relatively large town instead of on the highway in the middle of nowhere. I took a couple of snaps, the city seemed serene in the desert landscape.
From here, to get to the Dead Sea, we had to cross the Wadi Mujib valley, probably the most amazing view I’ve seen in my life.
The valley has a dam and a bridge at the bottom, but these look small in comparison to the gargantuan, majestic valley. The path to cross the valley was lengthy, across windy roads from each side.
This is one of Earth’s spectacles that simply leave the eyes and mind in utter awe of nature’s beauty. If we didn’t have somewhere to be I could have simply just stared forever.
The final stop before the Dead Sea was Mount Nebo, which has some religious significance in regards to Moses. I am not very religious so I probably did not appreciate the view, to me it was similar to the landscape I had been seeing all day, and frankly not as nice looking. In addition, there were buses of tourists crowding viewpoints. I left within five minutes.
Finally, the last stop was the Dead Sea. Before coming to Jordan, I was iffy about visiting, but decided I am here, so why not. The attraction is that one can float on the water, and the mud supposedly has benefits for the skin. The feeling of floating on water is pretty cool, but by the time I arrived it was getting dark so I had to leave the water after about 15 minutes. Despite that, it was an experience to remember and one that cannot be replicated anywhere else on Earth.
From here, it was back to Amman, where the next morning I would see the ruins of Jerash and Ajloun castle.