On 26 April 2010, Jordan Air took off with 22 participants mainly from the Swiss congregations of Aesch, Uitikon and Birmensdorf for the Ecumenical Jordan Trip to Amman. After landing, we were met at the airport by our Jordanian tour guide and taken by "our" bus to the Hotel Geneva. The night was short because the muezzin with all his loudspeakers called us to prayer at 4 o'clock. We were not late for the breakfast buffet for that. From the hotel we went on several interesting excursions to explore Jordan and its biblical sites. Our theological guides Petra, Theo and Martin always had the appropriate Bible passages ready and all at once the Old Testament became more understandable in an impressive and vivid way.
View from Mount Nebo to the Promised Land and the Dead Sea
Just like Moses, we saw the Promised Land for the first time from Mount Nebo and experienced the dance of Salome at the original scene in Herod's castle.
The desert castle "Quseir Amra"
We admired Byzantine mosaics, visited desert castles and Roman buildings, listening intently to the words of our guide. We spent a whole day in the huge ancient Roman city of Gerasa: it impressed us very much.
On the way to our next base at the Dead Sea, we visited the baptismal site of Jesus at the Jordan River. Like Mount Nebo, the baptismal site only came alive for us through the appropriate Bible text.
Soon we were lying in the water of the Dead Sea, or rather on the water. Of course we also wanted to smear ourselves with the healing mud and so the lively travelling party looked very funny - all black, from top to bottom in the mud pack.
The shared evening on the hotel terrace with a view of the setting sun over the Dead Sea was fantastic. We sat on the terrace until late into the warm night, listened to the sounds of the music group and were able to shake a leg.
Evening atmosphere at the Dead Sea
Unfortunately, we had to move on the next morning. But another highlight of the Jordan trip beckoned: Petra. Two days were planned and we enjoyed every minute in the canyons and on the mountains of Petra. The walk through the increasingly narrow rocky gorge to the so-called treasure house will remain unforgettable. Especially the overwhelming moment when the outlines of the treasure house, shining in the sun, appeared in front of us in the dark canyon. Of course, I have seen pictures of it before and also the film Indiana Jones, but in reality it is incomparably more impressive. In Petra, it was also possible to indulge in the passion of riding horses and camels, which added a special cha
View of Petra from our hotel
A hike on a partly steep mountain path with over 800 steps through the Wadi Kharareeb led us to the Nabataean rock temple ad-Deir, where we gathered for a group picture. The name ad-Deir, meaning "monastery" in German, goes back to the fact that monks settled there in the Middle Ages.
A shady spot in the red rock
A chain one euro - but I don't want a chain
On the way to Akkaba to the Red Sea, we visited the Wadi Rum desert, where we explored the colourful desert valley. First, Theo read to us from the Old Testament about how the Israelites travelled through the desert.
Then we set off ourselves - but with off-road cars.
Very contrasting to the desert was our stay at the sea. Some of us took a chartered boat to the coral reefs where, equipped with diving goggles, snorkels and fins, we were able to observe the bizarre underwater world with its many colourful fish at close quarters.
The Jordan trip came to an end in an insanely short time. We drove back to Amman with our bus, where we stayed again in the Hotel Geneva. Once again we enjoyed the Jordanian evening buffet with oriental delicacies. And once again the muezzin woke us up at 4 am. Just in time this time, because we had to be at the airport quite early. A little tired from the long flight, but filled with impressions of Jordan, we arrived in Kloten, where we bid each other a warm farewell.