Wadi Mujib Siq is a fantastic valley near the Dead Sea and only 45 minutes car drive south of Amman. The contrast to the Dead Sea is stunning!
Throughout the last 60 years the water level of the Dead Sea has dropped 27 meters. With its heavy, almost oily looking surface, the Dead Sea is 400 meters below sea level. The fresh water that once fed it is now diverted for other use.
In contrast to the Dead Sea, the Wadi is a narrow canyon where red, vertical cliffs provided shade most of the day. Warm fresh water streamed down with high speed, crashing against boulders and cascading to lower levels.
The visitor center at the entrance of the Wadi with an artistic pattern of light and shade.
The Canyon only opened up and let light in as it got closer to the Dead Sea.
Lorenz wading into the Canyon. Most of the time the water level was shallow.
Fantastic patterns covered the rocks.
In some parts ropes were required to climb up boulders and little waterfalls.
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Sometimes, the force of the water was incredibly strong. Without Lorenz’ helping hand I could not have crossed some parts of the river.
Another beautiful rock pattern.
A strong waterfall was preventing us to walk up further into the canyon.
The waterfall was the end of our hike into the Wadi. It was fun feeling the crushing water on my shoulders and head.
My son Lorenz and I
Before breakfast, I visited the excavation sites again. Broken columns, corinthian capitals decorated with leaves and cut out rocks were covering the dusty ground. There were broken pieces of Roman pottery scattered all over the place. Tiny holes in the floor were evidence of metal detectors whose job is to search for Roman coins.
View from one of three Byzantine churches (former Roman temples) to Pella and the Jordan Valley.
Already at 8am the heat was unbearable. We decided to take a taxi to our next destination and had to stop at many checkpoints due to how close we were to Israel. Our Palestinian driver (now a Jordanian citizen) told us about his yearning to return to his homeland. He still has the key to his grandmother’s house were he grew up!
View from Umm Qais, the former Roman Decapolis city of Gardara, to lake of Tiberias (was called sea of Galilee) and the Golan Heights (Syria) to the right.
The ruins of Gardara still show the life of the city’s past.
West theater built from black basalt and seating 3000 people.
Decumanus Maximus, the main road in Gardara. The paved road once led to the Mediterranean coast.
We also visited some underground sites in Gardara, like the crypt underneath a Byzantine church (see photo) and the aqueduct, which was part of a sophisticated water system of a 170 km long tunnel connecting many Roman cities. A powerful earthquake in the 8th century destroyed many cities and part of this tunnel.
In the Romero restaurant, a former Ottoman school on the site, we had a great lunch with a fantastic view.
From the restaurant the view was spectacular!