More Than A Pilgrimage To The Holy Land
The following is an article “More Than A Pilgrimage To The Holy Land” by Marc Pulisci.
Depending on one’s faith, the Holy Land is considered such by the world’s population of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. As far as geography goes, it refers to the territories comprised of Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan.
Whether you go on this trip as part of a pilgrimage or merely out of curiosity, it surely is one for the books that is rich in both sights and history, regardless of your faith. A good jump-off point would be to fly to Amman, Jordan, where the adventure gets off to a flying start.
More than religion
One of the more Western-influenced countries in the Middle East, Jordan serves as the gateway to the Holy Land, as it shares a border with Israel that is easily reached by land from the capital. However, before embarking on this soul-enriching trip, you wouldn’t want to miss what is arguably Jordan’s biggest tourist attraction—Petra.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of urban Amman, but still only a short drive away, might just be the most breathtaking landscape you will ever lay eyes on. An archaeological city built by Nabataean tribes as far back as 300BC, petra is the Latin word for rock. The highlight and most famous temple in Petra, known as ‘The Treasury’, is revered for its elaborate, awe-inspiring aesthetic carved out of a sandstone cliff. That such a feat was achieved using primitive tools of that era will leave you in complete and utter wonder.
A road trip for the ages
The bus ride from Amman to the Israeli border is under two hours long, with plenty of sand dunes along the way that make for a scenic ride.
When you reach the border, brace yourself for what could very well be the most unruly queue you will ever join, with locals attempting to muscle their way in front of you if you give them the slightest opportunity to do so. Hold your own for long enough and you’ll be alright.
Once you get past passport control and answer a series of questions about your purpose of travel, you’ve pretty much made it into Israel without further ado. This is where your adventure truly begins.
Holy Land and beyond
While the majority of the historic and tourist sites, such as The Dome of the Rock and the Garden of Gethsemane and are located in Jerusalem, and the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, there is so much more to explore in Israel for those who are looking for something less biblical.
The beautiful coastal town Caesarea by the Mediterranean Sea is famous for its ocean view and well-preserved Roman aqueduct and theater, while those looking for the ultimate out of body experience can do no wrong by heading over to the Dead Sea and experience effortlessly floating on water, thanks to its salinity level that is nine times saltier than that of the ocean.
The Holy Land is one destination that has a unique feature of being both religious and historical at the same time, with a sprinkling of fun for good measure.
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