Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The guide book says Madaba is an easy-going town of of 120,000 people. I guess they have never driven in it. Forty hours after leaving my New York hotel I arrived in Amman Jordan at 5AM just in time to clear customs and get my rental car for a rush hour drive to Madaba with its narrow chaotic streets. As it most cities in the Middle East driving is like being in a crazy video game but in real cars.
Madaba is in what was called the land of Moab in ancient times. It is a short drive from the dead sea and Mount Nebo. If it weren't for border problems it would be a drive of only around 35 miles to Jericho and Jerusalem.
The church of St George is just across the street from the hotel in the above photo. The floor of the church has a large map done in mosaics that shows the holy land area and is said to be the oldest map in the world, over 1500 years old. The entire area is known for it's mosaics and there is a school teaching mosaic making in town.