The day after we visited Petra was quiet. We were invited to a delicious meal with a family my sister knew, and enjoyed Jordanian hospitality. The next day, our last day in Jordan, we visited Umm Ar-Rasas, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Umm Ar-Rasas primarily consists of Byzantine church ruins, but also includes relics of eras before and after that. We arrived just as a French tour group was leaving, meaning we had the ruins all to ourselves. While perhaps not as showy as Petra or as grand as Wadi Rum, Umm Ar-Rasas offered the most direct, tactile experience of history experienced on our trip. One church’s mosaic floor was protected by a canopy and catwalk, but the rest of the ruins were in a partially-excavated state. There was also a Stylite tower nearby, where a monk or holy man would have sequestered himself. Next to the tower there was a hostel for the pilgrims.
We concluded our trip with a sunset picnic near Mt. Nebo, before Jen and I boarded our flight back to the States. There is definitely much that I didn’t have time in Jordan to see, but I would love someday to go back to both Istanbul and Jordan.