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Category: Jordan

Religious sites in Egypt/Jordan/Israel

Religious sites in Egypt/Jordan/Israel

I intend to keep this up to date; giving clear GPS fixes of the most important religious sites in Egypt.

Mount Sinai
Where Moses received the ten Commandments.

mount sinai @ dawn

Located: 28.539 33.975

Monastery of St. Anthony
The oldest surviving monastery.


Located: 28.936 32.352

Towns of Sodom & Gomorrah
God’s destruction upon early buggers.

View Larger Map

Dead Sea Scrolls
Testament by the Essenes to the Second Coming of Christ. 

Located: 31.77369 35.2039

Church of the Nativity
Site of the Birth of Christ


Located: 31.70431 35.20736

Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Site of the death of Christ


Located: 31.77802 35.22980

Be kind to Strangers – The Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah

Be kind to Strangers – The Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah

Perhaps this is a story for Israeli Intelligence who striped me and swabbed my stuff for 6 hours on my first entry to Israel.


The Tale of Sodom and Gomorrah is based on two towns of around the dead sea basin. Now no longer in existence.

It goes a little something like this..

Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Jude 1:7

The inhabitants were especially cruel and unkind when strangers visited, if they were too short for their beds they would be stretched to fit. And if they were too long, their legs were shawn off.

As well as this, they had a particular jealous streak and sought to violate and destroy the looks of young boys subjecting them to sodomy, cruelty and violence onto the flesh to lessen their natural beauty.

A pretty cruel and jealous bunch, God, through the Jews, said he was going to destroy the villages unless they, Lot and his sons, could find ten good men.
Through days of searching, they found not 50, 40 or 30 but just one good man in the whole of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Don’t do backwards

God instructed Lot to leave as he had done his bidding, he would be spared.

With his wife, they were instructed to leave the city, and never turn back.

Unfortunately, on the road away from the city, Lot’s wife turned to view the fire and brimstone which was reigning down on the two cities bringing about their destruction.

God, in his wrath turned her to a pillar of salt.

Lot’s Wife –

Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come to it… It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that divine fire; and the shadows of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits, which fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten: but if you pluck them with your hands, they will dissolve into smoke and ashes

The Wars of the Jews, book 4, chapter 8.

The sites of Sodom and Gomorrah

Are slightly more difficult to locate than the background text.

You’re going to need and Israeli visa and enter from the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge checkpoint

View Larger Map

I’ve marked the two sites on a map. I’ve not been able to visit today, but the story’s a nice one.

Petra – Crazy Camels

Petra – Crazy Camels

Had good chance to have a look at these strange and amusing creatures.

I suppose the Arabs love their camels like the south Americans love their Alpaca, long neck, big ears, dopey yet amusing faces.

These two camels have stopped for a rest, one of them stands whilst the other sits.

Crazy Camels 1&2

One on the left spreads it’s rear legs, [pictured]. 
As it struggles around in this stance, I wonder whether it has a version of mad camels disease. It’s austere looking friend remains seated.

camel 1

Sitting camel has a regal look as it checks out passers by.

camel 2

No doubt these camels are friendly, but I don’t get any closer as they are a bit smelly.

You will come across these camels on your travels, you can easily ride them, but take it easy with the crazy one is it might dump you off the back.

Map of Petra Site

Map of Petra Site

Here’s a map of Petra.

If you are visiting the site, I suggest you print this map out. They didn’t have any in English when I visited.

Map of PetraMap of Petra
1 Djin Blocks 10 Corinthian Tomb 19 Qasr Al-Bint 28 High Palace of Sacrifice
2 Obelisk Tomb 11 Palace Tomb 20 Unfinished Tomb 29 Lion Monument
3 Al-Siq 12 Sextus Florentinus Tomb 21 Al-Habees Museum 30 Garden Temple Complex
4 The Treasury 13 House of Dorotheos 22 Petra Archeological Museum 31 Triclinium
5 Street of Facades 14 The Nymphaeum 23 Lion Triclinium 32 Renaissance Tomb
6 The Theater 15 Colonnaded Street 24 Al-Deir – The Monastery 33 Broken Pediment Tomb
7 Aneisho Tomb 16 Byzantine Church 25 Turkmanian Tomb 34 Roman Soldier Tomb
8 Urn Tomb 17 Winged Lion Temple 26 Conway Tower 35 Snake Monument
9 Silk Tomb 18 The Arched Gate 27 Moghar Annassara 36 Crusader Fort

Main Sites

Here’s the best of the main sites from Petra, Jordan.

You’ve got refreshments along the way, so don’t worry too much about water.

Obelisk Tomb

Once 7 metres tall. Standing at the entrance caves to Al-siq.

Obelisk Tomb


KML 30.32357 35.45672

Name for the channel running through the mountain. Used to carry irrigation pipes and there is evidence of the Nabateans building and harnessing water through a number of dams as you pass through.

Entrance to Al-siq


Al-Khazneh or ‘the treasury’

Named the treasury as Bedouins believed there was ancient treasure buried in the urn’s which decorate adornments.

Bedouin settlers have routinely taken pot-shots at trying to release the treasure they believed was within. Although that was not possible,  the site is actually a tomb.

The ‘treasury’ Petra

Palace Tombs

A large number of tombs on the south-west face of the Siq mountain.

Probably the largest and most spectacular site in Petra when viewed from the opposite hill, the Palace Tombs are a tribute to the opulence of the nobles who built them.

Standing around 40-metres high they can be easily reached, and there are Bedouin stalls along the way to get refreshments, mint tea, sit down for five minutes.

Palace tombs

Outside palace tombs

petra-IMG_1074.JPG copy
Inside palace tombs

Colonnaded Street

KML 30.329 35.4491

Passing the Amphitheatre, you’ll  reach this the colonnaded street. On the left you have the remains of a Greco-roman style walkway leads from the Amphitheatre up to the site of the Temple, currently being excavated by Browns university.

On the right is the old river with a number of channels leading into it.

At the base of the Colonnaded Street you have the museums and restaurants.

Route to Crown Plaza buffet

If you want a cheap buffet, I recommend the Crown Plaza. KML

The Bedouins will try and sell you stuff. It’s up to you what you buy.

Petra Jordan

Petra Jordan

KML 30.321 35.463

Recently ascribed Wonder of the World status, Petra is a city carved entirely out of limestone rock.

The Nabateans who used to run camel trains from Egypt to India had their empire based here, once numbering over 30,000 inhabitants.

The city lay undiscovered up until the 1812 when Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt,  conned local Arabs into letting him into the sacred complex to visit the tomb of Aaron. Dressed as an Arab, he returned with news to the western world and the rest is history, as they say.

Now I’ve been to a lot of these wonders, I can say the best thing about this one is the weather, because it’s built entirely below ground level, you can explore the complex fairly comfortably depending on how much time you’ve got.

I’ve got one day, so here’s the main sites.

Petra Jordan

No Rocks for Mikey

No Rocks for Mikey

KML 30.304 35.46339

No rocks for me.

After some credit card overheating problems, I’ve decided to cut my loses and move on to the site of Petra, which is one of the main sites and named one of the 7 wonders of the world.

Currently stationed at the Marriott, Petra after a 3-4 hour dolmus trip costing 5JD Jordanian Dinars.

1JD = 0.75GBP So that works out pretty cheap, about £4.

Tomorrow I’ll be exploring one of the most exciting sites in the middle east.

petra-jordan sunrise
Marriott Petra Jordan