Blogs from Petra, South, Jordan, Middle East - page 3


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 » South » Petra May 5th 2017

Middle East and Mediterranean Marvels - Spring 2017 Time to head back to my favorite region of the world - to cavort in the sands of the Persian Gulf before beginning my next adventure – this time on the high Seas of the Arabian, the Red and the Mediterranean for the next few weeks. Today I leave for the airport at 8am, definitely a pleasant change from my usual zero-dark-thirty departure time; I even get to sleep in until daylight. The big blue chariot awaits outside and with my bag in the back, we are off to McCarran. Fast and efficient as always with the priority lane and I speed thru TSA security like a whirlwind – Delta sure pampers their elite flyers. First leg halfway around the globe is cross country to New York, and ... read more
desert sands
Grand Mosque at night
Grand Mosque Courtyard

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 22nd 2016

What a trip! Definitely a memorable hike! It started for me when Shai (Shai Bytner, a great tour guide) messaged me: “Hi Ben, would you like to join a group as rappelling guide to Wadi Fayed?” Well, duh! Of course I would! Despite the short notice, and despite the fact that I just got back from a hike to the Golan the evening before (see my blog: So I got home from the Golan, unpacked, repacked and Amichai (Amichai Spector brought all the group’s rappelling and cooking equipment directly to my car. Early the next morning Avi joined me and we started on our way towards Eilat. On the way we picked up Shai and then drove down to the Rabin border cross... read more
Sandstone crevasse
Fan-toed gecko

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 19th 2016

It was an early breakfast this morning as the plan was to head out with Kevin and Patrick to hike into Petra via a much longer and less traveled route. However, at breakfast I just wasn't ready to head out at such an early hour so I took my time eating breakfast and let Kevin and Patrick head out with Brent, Jocelyn, and Ronan. It was quite the sight to see Brent and Jocelyn dressed up as the characters from Indiana Jones as they set out for today's hike. I would find out later that there was a reason to this. I wasn't dissapointed in not joining them as it would be nice to just go at my own pace and have a little alone time to enjoy Petra all by myself. I eventually headed out ... read more
Early Morning Walk Through The Siq in Petra
Approaching The Treasury
The Treasury at Petra

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 18th 2016

After another sub-par night of sleeping, as we awoke to leave our desert camp in Wadi Rum. Our camp hosts provided us with a light breakfast and as we prepared to set off, we all gathered to collectively say our thanks to the Sheikh. We had appointed Kevin to give our thanks on behalf of all of us as we all set off in 2 vehicles. The Sheikh drove one of the vehicles and as we blasted some Jordanian music as we drove through the desert with the windows down. They dropped us off at a spot where a bunch of camels were awaiting and those of us who wanted to ride would ride the camels back to Wadi Rum town. 3 local teenage boys lead us and the camels back to town for the 45 ... read more
Driving in Wadi Rum
Driving in Wadi Rum
Camel Riding in Wadi Rum

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 14th 2016

We were up early for breakfast around 6:30, and we left our hotel at 7:30, ready for our big day at Petra. Our hotel is only a few minutes walk from the gate to Petra. We got our tickets and walked through the gates, eager to explore Petra. We walked about 15 minutes until we entered the Siq, the famous narrow canyon which you walk through before emerging at the Treasury. It was downhill through this area, and through the Siq, a fact I didn't notice until I was walking up many hours later! Settlement in Petra goes back to Neolithic times, circa 7000 BCE, but it was the Nabateans who built the monuments you see today. The Nabateans arrived in the area in the 6th C BCE, established trade routes and for the next 500 ... read more
Susan at the Petra Visitor's Centre
Welcome to Petra!

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 2nd 2016

Amman From the minute we stepped off the plane and entered the airport in Amman, the vibe was good. We had a feeling that we were going to like Jordan. Amman is a big, clean, modern, progressive city, renowned in this part of the world for its universities and medical care. After the less than clean environs of Egypt, this was a most welcome change. Thanks to great planning by Brendan, we moved very quickly through immigration and sailed through customs. The two year-old airport had a Starbucks…..detour!! About thirty minutes later, we arrived at our hotel, which is named the “Toledo Hotel.” Ironic in that is the name of Dave’s hometown and not the most common city name around. We spent our first and last nights here, ensconced near the downtown area of the capital. ... read more
The Chef and MJ
The Monastery
Jordanian Lentil soup

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra February 27th 2016

Our flight from Luxor to Cairo was delayed 2 hours, giving us time to work on blogs and people watch. The connection time in Cairo was a long one, so I was relaxed knowing that gazelle-like running was probably not going to be required. Everything went according to plan and we had nice flights into Amman. We were met at the airport by a representative from our tour company, Jordan Select Tours, who took care of our visas, bypassed the long lines, and somehow got us out of baggage claim without having to go through the screening. Not ones to complain, we happily followed him to Starbucks to meet and greet, pay for our tour and get the low down on what we were going to do. I was very impressed with the Queen Alia Airport. ... read more
Light and Shadow
The Petra Kitchen
Carved out of the rock

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra January 5th 2016

Geo: 30.1451, 35.3979Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985 and, in 2007, was named one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. It is not known exactly when Petra was built, but the city began to prosper as the capital of the Nabatean Empire from the 1st Century BC. It was later annexed to the Roman Empire and continued to thrive until earthquakes and changes in trade routes eventually led to the downfall of the city which was ultimately abandoned. By the middle of the 7th century Petra was largely deserted and it was lost to all but local Bedouins from the area. The Nabateans carved these tombs and what is called the Treasury in the beautiful sandstone rock. Entering via the Siq, which is a narrow rock valley, is reminiscent of ... read more
First view of the Treasury
The Treasury

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra January 2nd 2016

Here I am in Dubai planing my next holiday. It was time to escape the desert heat and to put myself in a adventurous shoes once again. This time, Jordan. I was so excited for the trip because this destination was on my bucket list for quite long. When I first visited Jordan, I assumed that Petra was the only thing to see and the rest of the country will be mostly desert and not much to see around. It didn't take long to realize just how wrong I was. Jordan is an incredible country, boasting a seaside resort in the South, ancient history in Petra, alien landscapes in Wadi Rum and many more. After a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast my friend Aziz walked me to the bus station to catch the first ... read more

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