Page 2 of MargaritaH Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 30th 2017

Now Petra. October 18th. This is the big day when at last we will visit Petra the rose red city "half as old as time". Here nature and man together carved awesome works of impressive grandeur 2000 years ago.That thriving city, capital of the Kingdom of the Nabataeans, was then ravaged by earthquake and time, being lost for a thousand years until its “rediscovery” (I. E. to the west) through duplicity and intrigue in 1812. Planning to visit? Then understand this. This city sprawls for many miles. It spans over 60 square km. You will walk and walk and walk and walk and then walk back and back and back and back. If you don’t walk you can take a beast of burden a camel, donkey, horse. We chose not to. So we walked and walked ... read more
The sheer height of the cliff face is intimidating to put it mildly
Rocks of all colours
Petra has many shapes and faces in the rocks

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 28th 2017

PETRA . Long awaited much anticipated. Tuesday October 17th. Today we travel toward one of the main highlights of my entire journey, the ancient Rose red city carved out of rocks by the the Nabataean people. Petra. My mother had enthused me with her rapture over its beauty. Now, post mortem, I carried her portrait so that she could visit the city which she never saw but loved so much. While en route I'd arranged with a driver for us to visit three important tourist spots in Jordan: MADABA with its renowned Byzantine mosaics, Mt NEBO of Moses' Promised Land fame and the DEAD SEA a global phenomenon with water so salt your body floats effortlessly. The driver was part of a transport package I'd negotiated with Solayman of the Wadi Rum Sky Bedouin camp. One ... read more
Madaba Mosaic Map
Byzantine mosaics abound in Madaba
Another floor mosaic in excellent condition after 1500 years

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman October 26th 2017

To be sure, travel with companions is a different way to travel than my accustomed solitary own - way experience. In several ways it was a better way to go. One good thing about having experienced global travelers for company is that they have great ideas about what P should be doing. Among them was a day tour to JERASH, highly recommended by Jordan tourist expert, family and fellow Trini, Janine. Ally and Margaret had arranged that visit to fill our Day one. It was an excellent choice. Jerash is the site of an ancient Roman city and the well preserved Hadrian's Arch. The drive from Amman to Jerash took us past rolling hillsides covered with neat rows of olive trees, which is a major crop of Jordan. As in Egypt it is common for people ... read more
castle ruins at Ajloun
trini tourist at Ajloun castle
roadside tea stall at Ajloun castle

Africa » Egypt October 19th 2017

A salaam! Well Egypt, this is it. Its time to say goodbye. Already! I always knew our romance would be short and sweet, and I was not disappointed. I loved you, I loved your people, I was blown away by your monuments, Antiquity and incredible achievements evident everywhere. I was saddened by your pervasive poverty but heartened by your vibrant spirit evident even among the poorest. Your open faced welcome, friendliness from police to porters, guides to gardeners, hoteliers to housekeepers. Your willingness to be helpful (with or without bakshish). Even your roguish attempts to get away with charging murderously high prices were covered over with such persuasive sweet talk. What's not to love!? I traveled with you on the public ferry crossing the banks of the Nile, your life blood, from East Bank to West ... read more
Hookah shops in Khalili Bazaar

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman October 19th 2017

Skipping ahead in the journey sequence. I'm now hopelessly behind schedule because of so many days without internet. The current hotel is one more nail in that coffin. I cannot catch up.... but I also can't wait to talk about the most amazing fabulous surprise I had at my hotel in Amman, Jordan. So I'll jump ahead to that story. Four days ago. Most of that day was spent on the onward journey, at airports, flying from Luxor to Cairo then Cairo to Amman. I was sorry to leave Egypt. I wrote my love letter while waiting at the airport in Cairo. Then I set my eyes on Jordan and the adventures waiting there. Largely unplanned, without the rigorous schedule of sightseeing I'd set myself for Egypt, Jordan would just unfold So I'm at the hotel ... read more
night out in Amman
just a chance street scene near our hotel

Africa October 16th 2017

Aswan. The biggest man made Lake in the world. Flew from dusty chaotic Cairo to the calm green waters of Aswan. Here in the 1960s a massive Dam was constructed on the River Nile. It would provide irrigation to huge areas of the Sahara desert to enable farming and habitation, it would provide electricity to all of Egypt by hydro electric power. But in doing these good works it would also inundate the priceless ancient monuments at Abu Simbel and displace thousands of persons whose families had lived in the valleys for millenia. It would destroy Nubian homes and traditional life styles. A mammoth rescue mission therefore had to be mounted, and led by UNESCO (whose own existence is now threatened) the impossible was done. The entire Abu Simbel pharonic site was cut, block by block, ... read more
Aswan city park and the Nile
Aswan lunch
Aswan 2 kaftans

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Giza » Saqqarah October 14th 2017

Today I pigged out on pyramids. Over 300 Pyramids were built during the 3,000 year reign of the Pharaohs. Pyramids were always exclusively for burial of the Pharaoh, his wife and children. They were designed with the journey crossing through the underworld and the after life in mind. The Pharaoh was a god in human form and was therefore associated with that God, it's beliefs and practices. The art on the walls of his Pyramid of would portray him in both human and godly form, telling the story of who he was (all good) and the things he did during his life. The ART on the walls, ceilings and corridors of his Pyramid and temple would portray him in both human and godly form, the HIEROGLYPHS would write his name and tell the story of his ... read more
Gelael my Egyptologist guide and Sahael the driver of my personal tour bus.
The Bent Pyramid shape clearly visible in profile
At the base of theisPyramid clearly visible, the underlying material of cut blocks

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo October 14th 2017

Day 2. Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, a felucca ride then a cruise with dining on the Nile. Honestly I was dead tired. But gotta go so I did. But first to stare out my bedroom window for the millionth time, eyeballing Khufu and the Great Pyramid. I never tired of that privileged view. Other Pyramids are there but the two main ones command attention. Even the Sphinx is dwarfed, peering from behind a tree, its face disfigured. Who did that? Some said the Roman conquerors back 2000 years, others said the French recently, in disbelief that faces obviously African, could be revered and exalted, so they smashed the features out of the faces. Others said Christians in their zeal to convert hearts and cleanse temples into becoming churches. Kind of Daesh tactics. So we don't know ... read more
Hatshepsut Pharaoh of all Egypt for 22 years
Me and Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut destroyed

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo October 12th 2017

My eyes were burning from tiredness, I needed sleep. But that wasn't going to stop me. Tonight the very first outing in Cairo, a visit the Khan Al Khalili bazaar with my guide Galael and driver Salaeh. Driving through the streets, the teeming chaos of traffic and people still fascinate me. People LIVE here! This city, this place belongs to them - they do exactly as they please. Drive as they wish. The Cairo Symphony... honking horns. Cars squeeze 4 lanes into a 3 lane highway or 5 into 4 lanes, honking to announce every change of direction on the way while pedestrians suddenly appear, crossing the road anywhere. Even I did it too! It's what you do. Men, women, mothers with toddlers, children. Cars even honk at the traffic cops telling them to hurry up. ... read more
The ancient fortress gate to the bazaar
on the streets inside the bazaar
A family night out in the Bazaar

Africa » Egypt October 11th 2017

This is just like Christmas. Last night there was that excited feeling. That same expectation that something wonderful is just around the corner. It's going to happen. Gifts will be opened. The exhaustion. So much energy needed and spent in preparation, so many last minute things to do before the day! Ah tyad. The cost. How much more money am I spending just because I feel excited. Withdrawing more and more like it's never going to be enough. This will use all there is. So spend spend spend. Getting the Forex was a whole other story, and thank heavens for the VTM card which I could load driddip driddip every day. Until I had sufficient. ... FINALLY THE DAY IS HERE.. With great weather. Slept then woke really early because things still needed doing on the ... read more

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