Page 10 of ozray Travel Blog Posts

Middle East April 20th 2018

Leisurely wake up today as my old University friend John Bostock and his wife Michal were due to pick us up at 10am. They were right on time and it was so nice to see Michal again after a 10 year gap. John we saw regularly over the years because he went back to Australia to visit his parents but his mother passed away a couple of years ago hence we hadn’t seen John for about 2 years as well. First stop was to the Mechane Yehuda markets which is where the locals shop, although there plenty of tourists around (including us) as well. We had coffee and looked around but only bought some dried fruit for snacking on our tour. It was very expensive though and in hindsight we shouldn’t have bought it. We also ... read more
Mechane Yehuda Markets
Mechane Yehuda Markets
Mechane Yehuda Markets

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District April 19th 2018

Went down for breakfast at 7am and met up again with Mary, Paul and Susan. We had an 8am taxi pick-up and were a a little late but all good. Unfortunately we didn’t get the nice young driver from the night before but an older man who we found difficult to understand. He ended up stopping twice for water and then petrol and then he asked if we wanted him to take us to a bazaar but we politely told him that we just wanted to go straight to the border. The border crossing wasn’t as bad as we imagined, seems like they have streamlined it. I read that at one stage they take your luggage at the start and you don’t see it until the end of the procedure but in our case the bags ... read more
Allenby/King Hussein bridge
Jerusalem Old City
Tower of David Citadel

Middle East » Jordan » North » Jerash April 18th 2018

Our last day of the tour, we left the hotel around 8am and got to Jerash around 9am. Jerash is a very large ancient Roman site on par with Ephesus in Turkey. I didn’t even know about it until we had booked this tour. They even have a chariot race and gladiators show in the Hippodrome, but we didn’t have time for that. Lana took us all the way through the complex which took over 2 hours. Lana showed us a spot in the amphitheatre in the centre where you stand and your voice comes back amplified. This explained why we saw the group of youths singing in that spot in the Amman amphitheatre. We left Jerash around 11:30 and drove through Amman again to get to the Dead Sea around 1pm. All the resorts here ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Showbak April 17th 2018

Left Petra at 8am for our return trip to Amman but with a few stops along the way. First was Little Petra which is set in a small valley not far from Petra, but also built by the Nabateans. It is believed that it was like a suburb of Petra and housed traveling traders on the Silk Road. This was a very interesting site in itself and if situated anywhere else in the world would be a much bigger deal in itself Next stop was the Crusader Castle at Shobak, where Lana told us about it but just made it an option if anyone wanted to explore the castle itself, which entailed a 15 minute walk up a steep hill. Barry, Pierre, Mary, Paul, Brian and I elected to go and we had about 20 minutes ... read more
Little Petra
Little Petra
Little Petra

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra April 16th 2018

Today was our (very) full day at Petra. Lana took our group minus Pierre, Brian and Margaret who had decided to do their own thing at around 7:45am and she told us some interesting things along the way into the Treasury. We then continued on and she took us to a shop which was run by a young man who is the son of a New Zealand lady, who married a Bedouin. He was selling jewelry and of course, his mother's autographed book which of course, Daisy duly bought. It was interesting, because Jenny in our group was telling us about this story and now here we were talking to the son. He lived in a Bedouin cave in Petra with his parents when he was a baby until they were moved by the government into ... read more
Petra - Water pipes
Petra - marriage spot
Petra - First glimpse

Middle East » Jordan » South April 15th 2018

I managed to wake up at about 6:10, early enough to catch the sun coming up over the horizon and it was very peaceful and serene walking around the desert surrounding our camp site. Lovely brekky in the tent before heading off at 8:30 for our camel ride back to the Wadi Rum Visitor's Centre. Brian and I were not too keen on doing this. The last time I rode a camel was in Egypt in 1984 and I swore I would never do that again, but at least I managed to avoid it for 34 years. As it turned out, it was a very pleasant ride across the desert and I was surprised to learn later that we riding for 50 minutes. After a short comfort (and shopping) stop at the Visitor's Centre we were ... read more
Near Wadi Rum camp site
Animal (and tyre) tracks near Wadi Rum camp site
Wadi Rum camp site

Middle East » Jordan » South April 14th 2018

Relaxed start to the day, brekky at 8am and after packing we went for a little exploration around Aqaba for a couple hours. We then checked out at noon and Lana took us to a local pizza place for lunch before boarding our bus for the 2 hour journey to our camp in the desert, Wadi Rum. First stop in Wadi Rum is the visitors centre where there is a great view of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, shops and pretty yucky toilets. It was then a short drive to a spot where we were transferred to utility jeeps. Four people were sat in the back of each jeep. This spot also had some very old forms of writing on rocks. We then were taken on a fantastic tour of features in the Wadi Rum area. ... read more
Daisy with Lawrence of Arabia
Wadi Rum - 7 Pillars of Wisdom
Wadi Rum

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba April 13th 2018

Breakfast at 6:30am for an early 7:30am exit for the long drive to the south of Jordan. During the early part getting out of Jordan, our guide Lana pointed out a few things but once out of the city, most of the drive was through very flat arid land with the occasional quarry or cement company. We had two comfort stops amounting to about 40 minutes and got to Aqaba at 12:30pm. As we got closer to Aqaba, the landscape changed as big rocky outcrops started appearing and the land was not as flat. Aqaba is a very popular holiday destination on The Red Sea and it is quite different to downtown, where we stayed in Amman. Generally cleaner and the buildings are in much better condition and generally newer looking and not as confronting as ... read more
On the way to Aqaba
Aqaba Cruise
Aqaba Cruise

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman April 12th 2018

Woken by the first call to prayer which is suppose to be just before sunrise so I'm guessing 6am but didn't know for sure as I just went back to sleep. Ended up waking around 7am and there was a knock on our door at 7:50 for our breakfast. The man informed me we could have our breakfast on the roof top which we duly did and it was quite lovely. Amman is a very hilly city and we had quite an expansive view. After a good tasty breakfast we arranged for the hotel to look after our luggage and said we'd be back around 4:30pm to pick it up. We found our walk to the Roman Theatre interesting in itself and passed a section with jewellery shops which apparently has been the site of jewelry ... read more
Street Art Alley
Jewelery Area

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman April 11th 2018

Early morning arrival in Doha, Qatar airport after a 15 hour flight where we managed to get some sleep thanks to new travel pillows just purchased from Kathmandu. I'm not sure why I never tried them before as it's the first time I woke up without a stiff neck after a long flight. Food was good on Qatar and the hostesses were very nice and accommodating. 3 hour wait in Doha went quick while we had coffee in an Illy cafe and had free wi-fi. Plane took off on time for the 3 hour flight to Amman, our final destination. There was a money changer just before you get to Passport Control where you buy your visa but there is also an ATM where I managed to successfully withdraw cash using our Citibank Debit card. Also ... read more
Daisy at Gallery Guest House
Amman Street Art
Amman Street Art

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