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Wednesday, October 9: Day 170 – How Low Can You Go

Today we went to the Lowest Museum on Earth located at the Dead Sea since it is 1,410 feet below sea level making it the lowest point on earth.

The museum runs on solar power, and I thought that this was a neat advertising sign quantitating its impact.

Here they told about excavated items found in the area that gave information to the style of dress. They had been preserved by the salty environment.

There were also major sugar factories here. Sugar was first made in China. The Greeks called sugar cane “reeds of honey without bees”. The Arabs made large scale production in the Dead Sea area and the Christian Crusaders brought it to the Europe. The town called Zughar is where the name sugar originates. The wealth that the Arabs gained from sugar is comparable to the oil of today.

This museum has been placed near the traditional site of Lot’s Cave. Zoara was spared when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. They call this pillar Lot’s Wife.

Zoara has been confirmed as the Biblical Zoar. It has been continuously inhabited. The cave is outside the city. It is here that Lot came and stayed when he left Sodom.

Here is the view from the outside.

Here is looking out from the inside.

Once a Biblical site is located, people build churches, monasteries, etc. Perhaps it was a way to preserve it?

In removing and preserving mosiacs found here, they found footprints under the mosiacs. This enabled them to learn more about how mosaics are installed.

We see farms along the way. Tomatoes are grown year round. Crops are rotated often with potatoes. Water is diverted from the wadis for irrigation. This surely contributes to the declining water level of the Dead Sea.

Wadi Alhassa is the Biblical river Zered in Numbers 21:12-13. Marwan said that mostly Jewish people want to visit here. We parked our car near a school. An official said that he would protect Marwan’s car while we hiked in. Rough neighborhood. (When we returned, there were four school boys begging for money. I said no and walked away. The littlest one pinched me.)

It was fun walking through the water. I have decided to purchase a pair of water hiking boots. I did not know that these existed. Water shoes don’t provide enough support and hiking shoes aren’t too heavy to walk through the water.

Water Hiking Boots

There are so many flies.

We went to Borzah which is the Edomite city of Sela from the Bible. This site is basically part of the town. The ruins are all around. It must have been massive. The arch is quite prominent.

The views on our drive were incredible. We overlooked the Dana Reserve. Not only are there bears, but also lions, deer, and hyena.

We had to chose between a famous castle and Little Petra. We chose to go to Little Petra, but we drove by the castle. What a view! It was built so that it could not be seen from the road. They don’t know know what they are missing.

Here is the smallest hotel in the world…and people actually stay here.

Little Petra was on the way to Petra. Marwan told us that this was the first city of the Nabateans.

They abandoned it in preference to the ancient site that we now know as Petra. Can you find Rob in this picture?

It has been a long day as we got up early and haven’t stopped for a moment. We checked into our hotel, but we have an evening event at the ancient Petra site.

Marwan said to meet him out front after our quick dinner, and he would drive us to the entrance. We got in the car and he drove a half block away!! Ha. Even though he wasn’t so sure, I told him that we could walk home!!!

Petra by Night was a new experience. We walk between lumieres and arrive at the impressive Treasury where lights are displayed on the building while traditional music reverbeates through the Siq. There was singing and flutes.

My advice: bring a large blanket on which to sit or lay and a flashlight to mind the steps. It is hard for this oldster to sit on the ground. Be forewarned: everything that we brought was so dusty that they had to be washed.

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