We slowly worked our way up back towards Damascus. Deciding to avoid Amman, as it is just an uninspiring modern city, we went to Madaba, just south of Amman and known for its 6th to 8th century mosaics.
The ride there was excellent, with the King's Highway winding through the desert. At one point, we transferred from one plateau to the next, via the dam you see below. We kept finding new worthy vistas as we covered more and more of this road, a much preferred option versus the real highways with heavy truck traffic.
Upon arrival in Madaba, we started with the most noteworthy exhibit, the mosaic map in the St. George Church.
A surprisingly small part of it remains, as you can see below. It supposedly covers all of the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, Jericho, Nablus, Hebron and the Nile Delta in Egypt.
Next on the agenda was the Church of the Apostles, which had, according to the picture and the info, a very large mosaic (approx. 10 X 15 meters) depicting the personification of the sea. When we arrived however, all we found was a dusty gutted church with parts of the mosaic removed and the rest covered in a thick layer of dust. It looked more like an abandoned construction zone. We stuck our head in and were required to pay an entrance fee. Seeing there was nothing there of interest, we refused and walked out. A small tour group behind us did likewise.
Not giving up on see-jordan.com, the mouthpiece of the Jordan Tourism Board, we headed into the desert the next day to do the castle tour. Apparently, there were a handful of castles along a stretch of road leading towards Iraq and Saudi. Tour agencies charged 20 JD per person for a day tour, so off we went with the bikes following the same route. We only bothered to stop at 2 of the "castles", with the picture of the structure below being the most prominent one.
I think it's safe to say we've covered the highlights of Jordan, of which there are fewer than we anticipated. Tomorrow we're off to Syria again.