Happy Fourth of July everyone!!!!
So today, along with some of the people in my group, we decided to go take a day trip to the Baptism site. This place on the same road to the Dead Sea, but instead of descending to the lowest point on Earth, the baptism site is in the direction of Israel.
Funny story because my friends and I wanted to beat the morning rush of tourism at the site, so we got taxis to arrive at 8:00am when the Baptism site “opens,” however the ticket booth didn’t open until a half hour later and the bus promised to arrive at 9:00am made an appearance at 9:20 and finally started driving to the site at 9:40am. Well, when in Jordan.
The reason that we had to wait for a specific tourist bus is because the site where Jesus was baptized by John is less than half a kilometer away from the current Jordan river, and the border with Israel.
It was a very cool spot to see, even though it would have been more fun to get to walk around the assortment of churches built in the area around the site, ranging from Catholic to Greek Orthodox to Russian Orthodox.
The best part was definitely the actual Jordan River. It was so ridiculous to see Israel 15 feet away, across this very very narrow body of water. The river has fallen away over the years because of the dry climate and use for irrigation etc. There is a special pool in the shape of a cross built at the location that numerous scholars and religious leaders have confirmed that Jesus was baptized, but the water has fallen extremely low because this year was incredibly bad in terms of rain in Jordan. This place where the Jordan River once ran is a 5 minute walk away from the narrow piece of water that the Jordan River is today.
So now I have officially dipped my feet in and spread water from the Holy Land onto my arms.
It was quite a cool experience, and we were back by noon when I proceeded to take a four hour nap. Now it’s time to go to a cafe in Wast-Al-Beled (downtown) for dinner.
Independence Day Pilgrimage!!!!