Thursday, 14 February 2019

Hilton Dead Sea Hotel and Spa (Dead Sea, Jordan)

Was up early to have breakfast before Mamoot was scheduled to arrive at 8:00 to drive us to Petra. I also had to check out of the hotel since I’ll stay overnight tonight in Petra. We were on the road by 8:15.

The drive started out with us following the shoreline of the Dead Sea for quite a while. Along the way we saw many farms that were growing cabbage, green onions, tomatoes, etc. He pointed out a place where Israel, Jordan, and the U.S. as witness, at a very remote location. It was probably 100+ acres of nothing. The location was remote so it would provide the best security for those who attended.

We stopped for some freshly squeezed orange juice shortly after that. This drive is expected to take three hours so we needed (or at least I need) time to stretch my legs.

We continued to drive up a very curvy road into the mountains. Many beautiful views along the way. I’m posting some of the pictures on Instagram.

Some of the mountains were made of igneous rock while the others were sedimentary rock. Quite a contrast between the two types of rock. It looked like sedimentary rock was older and was worn by years of wind and rain. Perhaps I should research this.

We eventually arrived at Petra and stopped first at the visitor’s center to confirm visiting hours and for me to buy a ticket to this evening’s light show. I then checked into my hotel that was located just across the street. My room wasn’t ready but this delay gave me time to each lunch.

After a short nap I walked over into the Petra historical grounds. The main path takes visitors past key sites within the park. I stopped when I reached the most famous, The Treasury. It actually wasn’t a treasury, but was at one time thought to have held gold and other valuables within the structure, carved into the wall of sandstone.

The walk to The Treasury was mostly downhill, so my walk back up to the hotel was mostly uphill. Boy, was I tired once I got up to the top! Mamoot was already waiting for me when I got back to the hotel. He had offered to drive me to see this evening’s sunset from a viewpoint well above the town next to the Petra park.

Very impressive sunset! Perhaps not as colorful as what I experienced in Larnaca, but watching the sun set over the mountains was truly spectacular. Also posted these pictures to Instagram. We will meet up again at noon tomorrow for our drive back to the Hilton by the Dead Sea.

Tonight I went part way on the nighttime walk through the Petra park. I didn’t do the whole walk because it was lit by candles in paper sacks placed at intervals along the path. The ground was not flat and there were large rocks that I found difficult to see and navigate. No need to sprain my ankle or fall down. I did manged take some great nighttime pictures along the way before returning to the hotel.

Tomorrow I’ll walk all the way through the park and probably take a horse cart back to the entrance. Walking uphill, even though the rise is gradual, still is difficult for me. On our drive back to the Dead Sea we will take a different route and I’m sure I’ll see more of the incredible rock features along the way. Another morning of getting up early. Thankfully I’ve recently had some good rest and won’t mind it at all.

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