November 29, 1961 – Jordan

Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem, Jordan – Clear, cold

     It was so cold this morning in our room that I didn’t want to get out of bed but I finally did because I was anxious to see more of the holy land today.  After I crawled out of bed I started to warm up and I changed into my clothes.  I opted to take a coat with me to make sure I was warm enough all day.  I was glad I did because I wound up having to put it on while I ate my breakfast because I was so cold.

     Today we only had a half day trip to Jericho in the Jordan River valley.  On the way there we found out a little information about the area.  Our guide said the Jordan River Valley was 985 feet below sea level and that the Jordan River was 180 feet below sea level.  We found that even though Jericho was only 40 miles from Jerusalem our drive seemed to be very long.  Jericho was a beautiful spot with many citrus, fig and banana trees.  The city had a population of 40,000 including a camp with refugees from Israel. 

Road to Jericho

Jericho

      I enjoyed seeing Mary and Martha’s home as well as the Good Samaritan Inn and the Dead Sea while we were in Jericho.  The area was so arid but inspiring when I thought of all the history that had been made there.  My favorite part today had been washing my hands in the Jordan River and wading in the Dead Sea.  It felt good and gave me a special feeling while I was doing it.  The water seemed to be very clean and when I tasted it found it to be very salty. 

Tour of Samaritans Inn

Dead Sea

Jordan River

Washing my Hands in Jordan River

      We got back to our hotel in time for lunch which made me happy because we had the remainder of the day free.  I was glad because after I ate I was sleepy and so was Edith.  We decided to take a nap before doing anything else.  When we finally woke up I cashed in some traveler’s checks so I could give Edith $20 and keep $30.  Edith had used up all her money and I wanted to help her out so she would have enough to spend till we got to Italy. 

      Edith and I both had packages we wanted to send home but since it was going to cost $6.00 to mail out I decided to carry them with me till I got to Italy when I would have more money to pay for postage.  I was discouraged I couldn’t mail out my package and so was Edith.  We decided to go back to our room and use our time to wash out some clothes and catch up on correspondence instead of going out anywhere. 

      Edith did a lot of writing and mumbling under her breath.  I didn’t have long to wait before Edith hinted that she would appreciate knowing more about what I’d seen the day before.  I showed her my notes on what I remembered and she seemed to really appreciate my help.  Later she showed me her letter to the newspaper and asked for feedback on it.  

      Dinner came and went.  The food was good and for the first time in a quite awhile we had beef for our meal.  Our steaks and baked potatoes were wonderful.  After dinner we talked Gertrude and Flo into playing cards with us and it made for a nice evening.  Half way through our evening Curt joined us and we took turns sitting out a hand of cards so he could play too.  We didn’t play too late though because the following morning we had to leave very early for Petra. 

     Once I was back in the room I didn’t have any trouble going to sleep despite having taken an afternoon nap.

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