RandyLeGrant's Travel Journals


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Being dropped off in a remote area of Beijing in the dark and in the pouring rain and having no idea how to get back to my hotel.

  • 69 years old
  • From Oklahoma, United States
  • Currently in Connecticut, United States

Middle East in December

I am the Executive Director at GeoVisions. I'm in Amman, Jordan tonight and will be here through Wednesday. I'm then headed to Damascus and then Beirut to check up on our volunteers and tutors and and visit our projects.

Day 4-Wednesday at The Dead Sea and The Citadel

Jordan The Dead Sea, Jordan  |  Dec 15, 2010
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  • Walking at The Citadel above Amman listening to the Call To Prayer and hearing the sounds echo from 3000 years to the Amman of today.


 The sun is setting now on my last day in Jordan. I'm sitting here having just enjoyed a glass of Jordanian wine and now having a cup of coffee. The sun sits on a good day that took me round trip, 3000 years and back again. 

I traveled South and West of Amman today to The Dead Sea and then back 3000 years at the Citadel where I was able to stand on 3000 years of history from Roman ruins and listen to the call to prayer echo throughout the city.  It literally made me stop in my tracks.  For 5 minutes I was at total peace and I felt goose bumps on my skin and recognized that we are all connected throughout history and I was living it.

I have uploaded several photos I took today.  The Dead Sea is without doubt, one of the world’s most amazing places.  The Dead Sea is over 400 metres (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast, stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.

The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar.

If you are on one of GeoVisions' volunteer projects in Amman, you are less than one hour from this stunning place.

When I returned to Amman later in the day, I went to The Citadel.  I've uploaded quite a few photos from there as well as two videos taken during the traditional call to prayer I hope you will view.  Towering above downtown Amman, the site of the earliest fortifications is now subject to numerous excavations which have revealed remains from the Middle Bronze Age (2nd mill. BC) and the Iron Age (8th century BC), as well as from Hellenistic (2nd century BC) and late Roman to Arab Islamic Ages.  You can spend hours on this mountain and not see everything there is to see.  I also hit the Jordan Archaeological Museum to get a first hand glimpse of The Dead Sea Scrolls...just to keep with the theme of the day!  :-)

I uploaded more photos of the Temple of Hercules, since I am more comfortable with Roman history. Today it is also known as the Great Temple of Amman. The temple was built in the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD).

Enjoy the photos and the 2 videos.  The videos each run only 25 seconds, but worth a view.

I'll make an entry tomorrow from Damascus.  I'm departing Amman at 5:45 a.m. and driving across the border to Syria and hope to be at my hotel in Damascus before noon.

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