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.
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.
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
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.
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.