Our hotel last night in Amman was the Harrar Palace. There is a security machine you must go thru on entry. The room was small but the bed was big. Nothing worked too well – the safe, the shower – but we were comfortable sleeping nonetheless. In the morning, Marie’s shower is cold. Dave asks where is the swimming pool? Straight faced the desk attendant says it is closed. I ask him when will it open? “In the spring” he says!! (I had assumed they had an indoor pool…)
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (HKJ) gained it’s independence from British rule in 1946. Prince Abdullah became King Addulla and the country’s name changed from Trans-Jordan. 4 million people live in “The white city” – all of the buildings are made of white stone. The streets are lined with coniferous and palm trees and some cactus. It’s a big traffic crowded city. It’s another sunny day and we are headed north to Jarash, the ancient Greco/Roman city.
Hadrian built up this city in 135 CE. We walk down streets lined with columns and arches. We see the theatre, amazingly well maintained. The Temple of Artemis (Diana). Italians and French are working here to expose more of the ancient ruins. Their are squill plants growing among the rocky fields. We finish our walking tour and Dave buys 2 keffiyeh, the distinctive Jordainian red checkered headress with black ring as gifts.
We head for the Israel border north crossing. We are nearsing the end of this pilgrimage. At the border, everything on the bus with us has to be scanned. Then a departure tax has to be paid HKJ and we go thru an iris scan and database check before our passports are stamped for departure. After we cross the Jordan River, we get off the bus again with all our baggage. Once again everything including us is scanned. They ask Dave if anyone in Jordan gave him something to deliver in Israel. Then passports are scanned again and we are issued a tourist visa card. By the time we leave for Jericho with Sammy again, almost 2 hours have elapsed.
We spent our last night in a truly 5 star hotel after Mass at the local Catholic Church ministered by Franciscans. There are 324 Catholics here out of a population of 30,000. We are done, thanks be to God for this great pilgrimage trip.
See you at home soon.