Historic Madaba

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The final destination of my Intrepid Trek Jordan trip was to the ancient town of Madaba. South of Amman, 5,000 year old Madaba is famous for its mosaics and is located about 30 minutes by car to the airport.

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Madaba from the Mariam Hotel roof

We stayed at the Mariam, a modest but comfortable hotel located in the city centre and within a short walking distrance of the major attractions.

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St George’s church
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A section of the 6th century mosaic Palestine map

After checking into the hotel, Mohammad took us to St George’s church to see the 6th Century mosaic map. This is a historic treasure being the oldest map of the Palestine and Jerusalem. Following centuries of neglect it was uncovered in 1884 unveiling previously unknown insights into this holy region.

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Mohammad serving upside down dinner

For the last evening of the trip, Mohammad served ‘Upside down’ dinner. This is an Arabic dish which dates back to the 13th century. It consisted of rice, chicken, cauliflower and other vegetables which are cooked in a large pot which is literally flipped upside down to be served!

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The trip ended at breakfast and as I had an afternoon flight to Paphos, I spent some time in the morning exploring more of Madaba. Above is the mosque located in the heart of Madaba.

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For a small entrance fee I brought a ticket to the Archaeological Park with its collection of carefully restored mosaics.

Between 332 and 635 AD while under Byzantine reign, Madaba was a rich city with its many churches and intricate mosaic decorations. In the 19th century people had built their homes on top of the foundations of the ancient structures meaning some people have these historic mosaics in their homes!

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My ticket gave me entrance to 4 different parts of the park including the 6th century Martyrs Church and the Church of the Virgin Mary.

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After all of that culture it was time for a drink. I had bumped into Bernice (a new Intrepid friend) and we popped into Haret Joudna just before it opened for lunch. This is a delightful open air restaurant serving local food. There is also a gift shop selling local handicrafts. With its shady picturesque court yard setting it offers a lovely retreat and break from the sun.

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Well… that’s the end of my brilliant trip to Jordan. I loved every minute and would highly recommend either a visit to Jordan or an Intrepid trip or ideally both 🙂

 

 

 

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