Today we went to Mt. Nebo, where Moses saw the promised land. Unfortunately, it was hazy so we could not see it and the church with the famous mosaics was closed for renovations. I skipped breakfast so that I could do laundry and somehow got the sink stuck. The theme for today was mosaics. They discover abandoned churches and start to dig and find the most beautiful floors that contain maps and stories. Unfortunately, there was a movement to get rid of icons centuries ago and many of the faces are ruined, but the rest of the floors are unbelievable. We visited a second mosaic church near Mt. Nebo and proceeded to a government sponsored store that showed how both weaving and mosaics were made. They sold reproductions of the mosaics. I found one of the church floor we had just seen and was quoted a price of 4000 dinar (about $6000). Before I left, the price was reduced to $1000. It would be the showpiece of my house….and they even through in free shipping…..but I didn’t have $1000. The next place we visited was a sandwich shop to finally get a Jordanian falafel…..I am not sure if it was the shop or what…but I was not impressed. Barada’s in Toledo and South Side 6 in Bowling Green both make better falafels. I am not going to give up trying and intend to go downtown myself tonight and look for falafels. After the falafels, we went to St. George’s Church where the mosaic floor they uncovered while building it contained a map to all of the biblical sites including Bethleham. Many of the sites, such as Lot’s Cave, have been found using this map. The map was breathtaking. We traveled to the Madaba museum, which was built on another church with more mosaics and stopped at another church with mosaics as we left town. We visited our second World Heritage Site, Umm Ar-asas. The first part of Umm Ar-asas was a unique tower occupied by Simon Stylites for 38 years. Living in a tower was a movement he started in order to live closer to God. Than we proceded to view the mosaics of the church of St. Stephen which contained a map of all the ancient Jordanian cities, Palastinian cities, and the Egyptian cities. All of the faces were destroyed by the iconoclasts, but the mosaics are still breathtaking. The second mosaic was covered with sand to protect it from people trying to steal pieces since it was not yet preserved. I am going to head downtown now and try and find a piece of mosaic (probably Bethleham from St. George’s map) to bring home. Tomorrow we travel to Karak, a stronghold during the Crusades. As we travel to the desert, Internet may go in and out….I will post when I can…..

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