After leaving the Jordan River we went to Jericho. It was still early in the day and there was plenty of time before dinner to do a bit of exploring.
The bus passed by several places that looked fun to explore but we went quite a ways past them to our hotel on the edge of town.
The Hotel Oasis, by far the nicest hotel we stayed in, has quite an interesting story...
The $92 million Oasis Casino, a joint project between the PA, Israel and Jordan, opened in September 1998. Israelis are reported to be the world's most prolific gamblers and gambling was, and still is, illegal in Israel. Investors and the PA were putting their hopes in the fact that Israelis, along with foreign tourists, would come to Jericho to gamble, despite the fact that Islam also forbids gambling. They did come. And after only a year, about 2800 tourists a day would come and spend about $1 million US. Soon there was financing to make improvements to the city's infrastructure and the economy was beginning to improve.
It all came to a crashing halt in the fall of 2000 during the Second Intifada; violence and security concerns for Israelis traveling to Palestine put an end to the casino. But the big fancy hotel still remains...
the views from our room windows
Since it appeared that the tire burning was done for the day, we changed into long pants and six of us went out to see what we could see...
the remains of an earlier tire burning
the empty lot next to the hotel
you could see the amusement park in the distance
there was a wedding going on at this mosque we walked by
It looked like there were horses behind the barbed wire fence but we weren't sure
Yup. There were
Horses weren't the only farm animals in town
there were also sheep and goats
and the random odd camel just lying in the dirt in
an empty lot taking a dust bath
so many empty lots and abandoned buildings
We came to a grocery store and of course I had to stop. It was still quite hot and the sodas we bought tasted so good! Thanks, Matt!
On the way back we also decided to stop and have Turkish coffee at the little hookah bar we had walked by on the way. A very nice man, who spoke rather good English, had invited us in for coffee but we had politely declined saying that perhaps we would on the way back. So we did.
Chris, Matt & Therese enjoying their coffee
Turns out the man was just another customer but he was so excited to see us back. Two young boys were actually working there and brought us our coffee, which was sweet and flavored with cardamom.
Well maybe all the tire burning wasn't done for the day...
After dinner Chris and I went to Matt's suite to play UNO with Melissa and Ashley. Then we did a bit of exploring around the hotel before going to bed...