Petra and the Jordan Highlights
Jordan’s Petra, what today is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was the capital of the ancient Nabatean Kingdom. This long lost city, carved intricately into rose-red sandstone rocks, is a mystic and magical place, an eternal tribute to a lost civilization. Our exploration of Jordan will also include a stay on the dramatic shores of the Dead Sea, touring the cinnamon color dessert landscapes of Wadi Rum and some of Jordan's most famous biblical sites: Madaba, Mount Nebo, Saint George Church and Baptismal sites, and Al Karak.
Al-Siq is a narrow gorge that opens to Petra's most elaborate building, The Treasury. The Siq is a natural fault, also known as a thaniya, or crack in the mountain. As you walk through the Siq, you'll encounter channels that routed water into Petra from a nearby spring, as well as an ancient clay pipeline that is surprisingly sophisticated. The Siq also features one of the mysterious game boards in the rock, and as you explore Petra, you'll see several more. A second, smaller crack in the mountain starts at the Nabataean Water Tunnel and opens into a valley. It is believed that this thaniya routed water out of the city.
As you enter Petra, the first building you'll see is Al Khazneh, or The Treasury. Carved out of a sandstone cliff, The Treasury's elaborate sculptures and artwork appear to represent mythological figures. Though its intricate design has eroded, the building is still a spectacular wonder of the world, and The Treasury was featured in several movies, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. A majestic, rose-colored building built between 100 BC and AD 200, The Treasury is a fascinating structure with plenty of legends surrounding it. The stone urn on its second floor was said to serve as a hiding place for pirates' bounty. The tale also says that the Bedouins shot at the urn to break it open. A second story tells how The Treasury held the riches of Khaznet Far'oun, the Pharaoh during Moses' time.
The elaborate tombs of important citizens are some of the most fascinating structures in Petra. The Royal Tombs house the remains of some of the most prominent citizens of Petra. With three stories and a large stage, the Palace Tomb likely held funerals for distinguished residents. The Corinthian Tomb's elaborate design has eroded over time, but is similar to the intricate design of the Treasury. High on a cliff, the Urn Tomb is the resting place of a Nabataean king, but experts disagree on his identity. The Urn Tomb boasts tall columns in front courtyard and burial chambers above the front door. Next to the Urn Tomb is a smaller crypt called the Silk Tomb because of its rich tapestry of color. The Royal Tombs overlook the city, called such due to their rose color and regal architecture.
The Dead Sea is one of the world’s most amazing places. A salt lake whose banks are more than 1,310 feet below sea level, it is the lowest point on dry land. The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. Its famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments at area resorts. The warm, soothing, super salty water, about ten times saltier than sea water, is rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others.
Just 30 minutes from Amman, along the 5,000-year-old Kings´ Highway, is one of the most memorable places in the Holy Land: Madaba, the “City of Mosaics." Best known for its spectacular Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, Madaba is home to the famous 6th century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With two million pieces of vividly colored local stone, it depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta. The Madaba Mosaic Map covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, which was built in 1896 AD, over the remains of a much earlier 6th century Byzantine church.
Wadi Run Desert, also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area. Wadi Rum is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its forces. Here, it is the sun and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like..."
|JORDAN 2020 / 2: DATES & COST |
December 12 - 17, 2020
6 Days / 5 Nights
This tour starts and ends in Cairo
$2,720 per person/ double occupancy
$880 single supplement
Includes all fees and taxes