Waking in Amman wasn’t as noisy as expected, despite the fact that we were in the middle of the town. We had breakfast (simple like the hotel) and we departed - on foot - to visit the Roman Amphitheatre (ticket price: 1,5Dinars).
It makes one of the best sights of the town. It was well reserved and impressive! The folkloric museums were impressive too. We had the chance to see here traditional costumes, jewellery, domestic appliances, guns, furniture, photos and revival of professionals such as silver and goldsmith, shoemaker, baker, etc. but also revival of scenes from the Bedouins everyday life.
Before leaving Amman we met our very sympathetic Jordan friend Nimri Sabri. Our appointment was given at the Hotel Grand Palace Amman where he worked. With joy and good temper he gave us tourist information and invited us in Amman - for a nice tour through town - on our return from Egypt. We thank him for his help.
We departed to Dead Sea at 3p.m. We drove through the peripheral motorway and we left the capital behind us, although it wasn’t a very easy thing to do. The scenery was wonderful: huge mountains overhung the wide area. Following the signs to Dead Sea and Baptism site, we arrived at the nodal point (40km) where the place that Jesus Christ was baptized - according to the Bible. We decided to visit it.
Following the signs to Baptized site we found ourselves at dead end. At that place were the ticket offices (ticket price: 7 Dinars/person) for the particular sight. We were lucky because we made through the last tour (4.30p.m) of the day.
We left the motorcycles at the parking place and we departed with a track and some other tourists to Jordan River, the natural frontier between Jordan and Israel. We covered about 5km through a droughty area, we went through a military guard house - we were obviously in a frontier area - to arrive at the place the track left us. We walked some meters - through a pine forest - until the shores of the most famous “religious” river, Jordan. A little further the interpreter informed us about the spot where Jesus Christ (!) was baptized, according to archaeologists and religious book reports. We continued to arrive at a small church – donation of the ship-owner S. Niarchos – which is, as referred, decorated with mosaics from the Madaba Academy, situated only some meters from the point that the river separates the two countries. The presence of the soldiers and the flags were confirming that fact.
We had a small break and we returned to the point that the track took us. Then we went back to the parking place.
Through the heat, we departed for the Dead Sea. 10km later we saw the spectacular view of it that resembled more like a huge peaceful lake rather than a sea. It made me have a huge desire for swimming… something really rare for me! Accompanied by this really great view, we continued passing through luxurious hotel units (see Marriot Hotel). We arrived at the small Amman Beach, a very organized place. We thought it as the best solution for accommodation, as the cheapest stay at the local hotels was over 120€/double room!!! As we had a tent with us (thank God Ploumisti thought of it!) we decided to stay at the beach. We paid, the not at all inconsiderable amount, of 14 Dinars/person.
We out on our swimming suits and dived into the unique – of its kind – sea! The phenomenon of “super” buoyancy creates a very different sensation of swimming! You can float with the biggest part of your body being out of the water!!! If you have a scratch or a wound on your body you will immediately notice it from the tingling that will cause you. You should in no way to put your head into the water and much more to open your eyes… you would probably get “burning” conjunctivitis! I didn’t want to get out of the water. Ploumisti didn’t lose the chance and covered her body with the black mud full in clay.
The sunset created unique scenery. When the sun sunk the guards started whistling to make people get out of the sea. Swimming was permitted from the sunrise until the sunset. At some point we were hungry, but for our bad luck the restaurant was closed. So we had to make “delivery”, making 20km, to find something to eat. We enjoyed our short dinner viewing the waters of Dead Sea. Far away behind the mountains of the opposite shore the lights of Jerusalem were glowing.
It was one of the most beautiful and romantic nights of our trip…