August 3, 2001 – Amman – Madaba – Amman




Today, Laurent and I decide to go to Madaba and Mount Nebo. So we go to the same minibus station near the city hall for an immediate boarding to Madaba (250 fils).


In Madaba, we try to find our way on the Guide du Routard map and on the other guidebook but the bus station is not mentioned. We enter the first shop for assistance but as a Jordan come to help us he is stopped by another one who says: "no English". Choukrane ! Hopefully, druggists are vey nice and one of them explains us how to reach St-Georges church, he draws us a map on a sheet of paper. Choukrane ! Massalaama (Good bye).


On our way to the church we find the archeological museum where mosaics are displayed. These mosaics were found on site or in the area. There are magnificent pieces like the one below describing a hunting scene with acanthus and the myth of Aphrodite and Adonis. There are also in the precinct the remains of the Roman way.


Madaba : mosaic


After the museum we are heading for St-Georges church where we will admire the Palestine map (entrance fee JD 1). This mosaic is from the 6th century, she was discovered in the 19th century during the construction of the church. Whereas its dimensions were 16m by 6m, she was damaged very badly. But there is still a lot to see on it. You can clearly see the Jordan river with fishes and 2 boats in the Dead Sea (picture 1). Below the river mouth, there is the oasis of Jericho with its palm trees (picture 2). And below the oasis, there is an oval form representing Jerusalem with the 45 columns of the cardo and in the middle, we can see the Holy Sepulcher and its yellow dome (picture 3). At the end of the cardo stands Bethlehem.

All the mosaic is captioned in Greek with all the details, Laurent translated me everything that I want to know. Great !!


Madaba : The Palestine map (1)


Madaba : The Palestine map (2)


Madaba : The Palestine map (3)


Outside the church we bargain for a taxi and for JD 3 (roundtrip), we go to the Mount Nebo at 10 kilometers from Madaba. Mount Nebo is the place where Moses would have died after God show him the Holy Land. From the mount, you have a wonderful view on a landscape that goes from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem and Jericho on the right. Normally you can see everything, we only are at 40 kilometers but there was a misty weather.


A church and then a basilic were built on the site. The Moses Memorial is the remains of the basilic. You can admire inside a great 9m long mosaic representing 2 rows of hunting. The third row represents a shepherd with his herd under fruit trees. On the last row, there are two guys (a black one and a white one) who are keeping on a leash animals (zebra, ostrich…). The mosaic is very well preserved. On another mosaic, there are two gazelles under a palm tree.


Mont Nebo : Mosaic inside the Moses Memorial


Mont Nebo : Mosaic inside the Moses Memorial


Back in Amman after a cool day, the minibus left us at Raghadan station near the theater. We decide to have a lunch in the afternoon at McDonald’s to eat something else than chicken and sheep! A big mac, French fries and a big coke! Besides all there are toilets with paper, great ! There we meet Antoon, a Swedish guy, who joined us for the Taxi on the return of the Mount Nebo. Then we go to the top of the theater’s rows to admire the lower city.


In the evening, we follow Antoon in a restaurant called the Cairo where he explains to us that its second long trip in 2 years. Last year he traveled for 6 months around the world and this year he left Sweden in April for Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Then he will go in Israel and Egypt will be his last country for 2001. On his passport there only two half pages available for visas. He is a crazy but funny guy with his huge WHAT !! when he don’t understand what we tell him.


At the hotel, we spoke for a while with Laurent for our last day together. Tomorrow I leave for the South with Antoon and he comes back to Syria to spend 3 weeks before coming back again in Jordan to take his plane. We say goodbye and I will meet him in France or in Luxemburg in the next months.


On the roof, I meet a French guy who comes from Egypt and we exchange some tips on Jordan and Syria. The weather is cooler than the other nights.





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D1 : Lyons – Damascus

D2 : Damascus (1)  (2)

D3 : Damascus

D4 : Damascus – Palmyra

D5 : Palmyra – Hama

D6 : Hama – Apamea – Aleppo

D7 : Aleppo

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D9 : Aleppo

D10 : Aleppo – San Simeon – Aleppo

D11 : Aleppo – Qalaat Al Saadin – Tartous (1)  (2)

D12 : Tartous – Krak des chevaliers – Beirut (1)  (2)

D13 : Beirut – Tripoli

D14 : Tripoli – Damascus

D15 : Damascus – Maaloula – Damascus

D16 : Damascus

D17 : Damascus – Bosra – Damascus

D18 : Damascus – Amman – Dead Sea – Amman

D19 : Amman – Jerash - Amman

D20 : Amman – Madaba – Amman

D21 : Amman – Kerak – Dana

D22 : Dana

D23 : Dana – Petra (1)  (2)

D24 : Petra

D25 : Petra

D26 : Petra – Wadi Rum

D27 : Wadi Rum – Aqaba

D28 : Aqaba

D29 : Aqaba

D30 : Aqaba

D31 : Aqaba

D32 : Aqaba - Amman

D33 : Amman

D34 : Amman – Lyons




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