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Travel: Ovdat and Back to TLV Dec 29th/2019

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Place: Ovdat and Back to TLV

Date: Dec 29th/ 2019

The 5 nights at the Saraya al Manara new hotel were fantastic.

The diversified hotel’s staff was amazing, providing most friendly fast service by also emulating the admirable welcoming policies of Pedro the General Manager.

Following the staff's constant pilgrimage to greet us and inquire about our wishes, to be instantly commended, or consult on which improvements are needed, they made us, at times feel like a human “Western Wall”...

The breakfast food and the one at the Arab elegant restaurant were very good, we remarked. However the desserts' quality at the restaurant, begged an improvement, we suggested. Thanking for all the gastronomical "advise" given, the staff gifted us with bottles of Jordanian Red Wine and deep yellowish-green Olive Oil, to take back home.

We felt safe, welcomed and were treated well, almost at all times.

We had only the best experiences with the Horizon Tour company staff and with other Jordanians we encountered, excluding one, with restaurant owner in Musa City by Petra , who lived up to the infamous nasty reputation, the place has earned, in treating tourists.

By By Aqaba

About 1800 Jordanian cross the border, daily for their much better paying jobs in the Israeli city of Eilath. Thus it is better crossing the border back to Israel at midday, when the morning's traffic usually dwindles, and the one of the late afternoon has not yet begun.

Eilat across the Bay

It took us only 20 minutes at the border, to pass through the Jordanian and Israeli passport control, and reach the Israeli side. Alas, additional

6 driving hours, via the same route, I wrote about, but in the opposite direction, plagued with much more traffic, and with one stop only, at the archaeological site of "Ovdat" National Park,

For some unexplained reason, I have not visited this impressive site until

today, and was glad I finally did.

Ovdat National Park- UNESCO Heritage since 2005

Ovdat - an ancient well preserved, central hill top Nabataean city, above the Tsin Stream watercourse of the Negev dessert, dominated its surrounding from a 650m height above sea level, situated on the commercial route, below, which is known as the "Perfume Road".

The ancient route used by Nabataeans for the perfume trade from the Arabian Peninsula. It stretched between the Jordanian Petra crossed the Arabah and Negeb, until the sea port of Gaza. From there merchandise was shipped and exported to the lands of the Roman empire.

The production and trade of perfumes was a tremendous source of wealth and power, which made the city strive.

The site was founded in the 3rd BC. as the 62 station on the commercial trade route, which later grew into an agricultural settlement .

For other stations on the Perfume route

The site was named after an admired king Ovdat who was buried in the city, and was the only one recognized as "God" after his death.

Prosperous throughout the Byzantine period, the city was deserted following an earthquake in 630 AD and the Muslim takeover of the Negev 6 years later.

Visit highlights included a Roman bathhouse, catacombs, several 4th-century churches, a pottery workshop and a Byzantine wine press.

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Byzantine Wine Press

The reconstructed churches from the Byzantine era have attracted pilgrimage of Christian tourists to the site. A French tourist group was conducting praying services during our exploration of the site.


Wishing you a very Happy Civil New Year and am ending this Log

on the last night of Hanukkah with a "Latkes Delight" my friend Pnina sent . Enjoy the Holiday Season



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