Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Map mosaic Jerusalem area
Monday 1 December: Madaba is famous for mosaics and one of the more interesting is laid out on the floor of the Church of the Map, St George's. With Jerusalem at it's centre, east topmost and the Mediterranean Sea at the bottom, the mosaic covers the Holy Land stretching from the upper Jordan river on the left to the Nile Delta on the right. Difficult to photograph in-situ information boards display a complete photomosaic of the map mosaic (if that makes sense?).
At the top end of town The Shrine of the Beheading of St John the Baptist is also worth a look particularly because you can climb to the top of the bell-tower and look over the town. Every church should allow this - what better use of a church tower? Mostly Muslim, but partly Christian, Madaba is noted for its religious tolerance and alcohol is available from liquor stores in town. Beer is expensive (3JD, about £3 a can) but ridiculously strong. I have a fridge in the Phoneix Palace Hotel (10JD B&B) so I buy three cans of Petra beer: black top (8%), red top (10%) and yellow top (13%). Surprisingly, black top tastes watery, red top tastes like a normal lager and, perhaps less surprisingly, I don't remember drinking the yellow top.
Tuesday 2: Taking a taxi to to Mt Nebo I survey the Holy Land from where it's thought that Moses viewed the Promised Land before being buried somewhere nearby. Unfortunately it's a hazy day.
Slideshow of Madaba.

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