It was still dark when the Muezin announced the start of EID, the festival of breaking the second fasting after Ramadan.
We started our hike with the visit of the ruins of a Byzantine Church. Most of the mosaic floor was covered by sand. The site, a cultural treasure, was unprotected.
Our hike took us through two Wadis- Wadi Sirr and Wadi Malawi – with only a few very old oak trees providing shade along the way. We walked down from 600 meters to around sea level.
Despite the unhospitable seeming land we came across some wildlife – a giant lizard and two communicating Levantine turtles. Das With their hard shells they bumped into each other which made a loud noise.
Walking down into the Jordan Valley in a temperature of over 40 degree celsius was a challenge. Good thing that we carried plenty of water!
From under the shade of a few pine trees we enjoyed the view down into the Jordan Valley and the West Bank.
We stayed overnight in Pella, a city founded by the Romans. Pella was one of the 10 fabled cities that made up the Decapolis.
Our first sight of Pella. The city has a history of 7000 years of continous settlement. The reason for this is the existence of a well that, according to a Pella resident, produces 700 liters of water in a second.
In the evening we visited the site with our local host. He showed us the pre-Roman Canaanite temple of Baal costructed in 1270 BC (in the foreground). In the distance down below is the well-preserved Roman Civic complex which was transformed into a church during the Byzantine times.
In the past the site was not protected and stealing artifacts was done without punishment. Nowadays a small area of the site is sourrounded by a wired fence with holes in it for easy access. This site is a treasure for humanity. It needs to be researched, guarded and protected.