Yesterday we visited Bethany beyond Jordan, the site identified for centuries as the place where John the Baptist baptised Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. It was an interesting experience travelling from Petra, through Amman to Bethany beyond Jordan. The area is about 350 metres below sea level so the travel through the hills and valleys reveals an extraordinary landscape – dry and barren for the most part, but with plenty of settlement along the way. Irrigation provides the opportunity for growing bananas, vegetables and oranges in particular.
The place of the baptism has remnants of archaeological digs that are preserved and many new churches dotted through the area.
We walked down to the river and took off our shoes and put our feet into the very cold water.
For me there was a sadness in the experience – the whole day really – as I kept having the thought that Mum would love to see these photos and hear about my journey; so I kept her in mind all day. Today (31st) is Dad’s birthday, so he will be in my mind. This thought about Mum in one sense makes the trip just a bit more meaningful in that it adds another dimension to what is a trip to be experienced on so many levels.
After returning to Amman we visited ‘The Citadel of Amman’ which has archaeological remains of very early settlement from Neolithic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times. It was very interesting. One could view from the citadel a Greek amphitheatre, and on the citadel was the remains of a Roman temple.
The view of Amman from the Citadel was also spectacular. One runs out of superlatives to describe this place and the experience.