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A splendid place

sunny 76 °F


The north end of the Red Sea looks like bunny ears. The one on the left is the Gulf of Suez; the one on the right is the Gulf of Aqaba. Jordan is landlocked save for a little bit of coastline at the very end of that gulf where the seaport of Aqaba (pop. 150,000) sits. Aqaba is a beautiful little town nestled in beside a wall of mountains. It is growing and filled with attractive new construction (luxury hotels and King Hussein's southern palace), but Jordan approaches new construction quite differently from Saudi Arabia. Jordan seems meticulous about preserving ancient sites while combining/interweaving/ melding them with fitting new structures. The combination and the sparkling clean parks and streets is winning. And they do have a big flagpole too (seems to be the thing in the Middle East).

The FIRST, the very first purpose built Christian church is here, dating to 293, before Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Bishop of Ayla (as Aqaba was called) was present at the Council of Nicea! The church was excavated in the late 1990's, when coins and glass lamps were unearthed. This is indeed a holy place.

Here is another reason Hope LOVES Jordan and Aqaba. She toured in a taxi with another couple (Bill is in Petra) and saw the city and shopped for local crafts and took many photos and got back to the ship tired, had lunch, worked on a slide show on Holy Sepulchre, and three hours later couldn't find her phone. Panic. She probably left it in the taxi. She raced off the ship to the pier and found the taxi drivers (Suleyman and his brother) waiting patiently with her phone. Alleluia! And praise Allah too!

Posted by HopeEakins 13:42 Archived in Jordan

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I have always wanted to visit Aqaba!! This report and these photos remind me of that. Have visited Petra and am glad you got to go there, Bill. Did you ride a donkey up to the Monastery?!
Hal B.

by BuckinghamHal

Who are the two guys in your photo?

by Seabury

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