Blogs from Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 10th 2015

Petra is cool. It was an accent city that was deserted and left to the Bediouns for many many years. Until an explorer tricked the locals into showing him the way into the secret city. As I walked trough this place I thought of him often seeing it for the first time! We got up early and had the whole place to ourselves, it was great! The city was a thriving living city and you can feel it as you walk through and see all the decorations and homes built into the side of the cliffs. It is also crazy how tall the walls are! The pictures can tell the story for Petra!... read more
The Monastery
The Siq to get to the Treasury
It's huge!

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 14th 2014

AMMAN 12,13,14,15 December, 2014. Cool, overcast weather. We travelled to Amman by taxi in the mid morning. The road was busy. The driver spent more time holding his phone than the steering wheel, making for an 'exciting' journey of 30 kms. Amman is a large sprawling city, built on many hills/ mountains ( Jabals ). Very much a city ruled by the motor vehicle. Footpaths are rubble strewn or occupied by parked cars. It seems that most people don't walk. Understandable in many ways, but as we like to walk, we trudged up and down hills. The scenery is disappointing (at best!). Most buildings are white concrete in various states of repair. Very little general colour, perhaps not helped by overcast sky. Jordan is very expensive 1 Dinar= aud 1.71. This makes any activity over the ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

VALENCIA. 4,5,6 December,2014. Good weather We have been blessed with great weather, Blue skies, sunshine, moderate breezes and cool to cold temps. Today we took the slow train to Valencia, Spain's third city with a pop. of about 1 million. The train station was in the centre so we could avoid the taxis and walk to our hotel. Very Grand 1900 style building. Spain has many splendid parks and squares, as does Valencia. All are decorated with lights for Christmas, however they aren't switched on as yet. The shops are poorly decorated for Christmas, its as though they are embarrassed to celebrate it, very underwhelming for a Catholic country. Valencia hosted the America's Cup when Switzerland won the right to host, and it seems that many billions of euros were spent on public amenities. Also believe ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

CARTAGENA. 2,3,4 December, 2014. Good weather. This is a very attractive town of 250k. We are staying in the centre just behind a magnificent port and view. The harbour is an ideal port for cruise liners, which apparently frequent regularly during the cruise season. It also seems to service and provision super yachts. We spied Packer's boat Arctic P anchored nearby. It was more its powerful wifi that bought it to our attention. M found online a website which confirmed its anchorage. A massive vessels, 87 m long, looked like a large tug, with five levels of superstructure! The town centre was fully tiled. Must have been thousands of square metres. Hopefully the GCCC won't take up the idea. It looked good, maybe a little austere. The surrounding buildings mostly looked grand. This is also a ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

GRANADA. 29,30 November, 1 December, 2014. Over the past 3 days we have travelled extensive distances between Seville-Cordoba; Seville- Granada, viewing some amazing historic structures and gardens. Southern Spain has an exceptional collection of Islamic architecture and religious art. We travelled by fast train to Cordoba for the day. The city is famed for its Cathedral. It was on the site of a church built by St Vincent in the third century. Subsequently the Moorish invaders in 800 AD took the site and built a very large mosque. In the 1400s the site was captured by the Catholic monarchs, who adapted the Mosque, constructing a Catholic Sacristy Vault inside. The result is an exceptionally beautiful building constructed of red and white marble, granite, soaring columns, topped by curved rock hewn arches, intricate design stone masonry around ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

MADRID. 7,8,9,10 December, 2014 Good Weather We arrived late afternoon, much colder here, and took the taxi to our hotel in the centre of town. The streets are teeming with people, a public holiday here on Monday, and every Spaniard must be on the streets of the capital ! The crowd is so thick that you get pushed along, with no opportunity of window shopping. We went for an early morning, 11am, walk, sun rises at 8.30 am, Spaniards at 12.30pm (bed at 12.30am). The parks had frost, although it was a crisp clear blue sky. Walked through the Plaza del Sol, along the Grand Via, saw the King's Palace right opposite the Madrid Cathedral ( the royals and church were on good terms in the century of construction). Buildings are grand, although we both feel ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

PETRA, JORDAN, 11 December, 2014. Clear Blue sky We arrived from Madrid last night after a good 4.75 hour flight across the width of the Mediterranean, flying just to the south of Cyprus, village lights visible, then across Israel to Amman. This morning we departed at 8am for the 3 hour car trip to Petra. The driver repeatedly told us how trustworthy he and Jordanians were, proven wrong when Mem's credit card was compromised when booking a hotel room on the internet last night. The driver also insisted on stopping at purpose built huge tourist shops selling overpriced and average quality tourist goods, mostly Christian icons and Calvary scenes. Petra was set in a river valley which had been carved out by raging river water. The area is so barren, that even light rain creates river ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra December 8th 2014

Near tragedy struck just after midnight, when I rose to write the previous day’s blog. I positioned the laptop at the desk, even placing a throw rug under the chair so my feet wouldn’t get cold on the stone floor. In the room lit just by the bathroom light I found the mouse, just where it was supposed to be, and also the adapter plug for Jordan (different than the European style Israeli plug). Actually, the two round prongs of the European plug without ground will work in Jordan, but the third prong for ground is different. When I went to find the power cord for the computer, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. After searching everywhere, and waking Sharon so she wouldn’t miss out on the joy of searching everywhere, we gave up, ... read more
Hallway of our hotel in Petra
Petra
Petra

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 7th 2014

We awoke in Amman in our side by side twin beds reminiscent of an “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy (or in my case Sharon) sits up abruptly at the start of an episode shouting “What was that?” as the call for morning prayers reverberates through our room from the nearby loudspeaker at about 5:15 AM this morning. Can you imagine waking up to this cacophony every single morning? It would give me a surly disposition for sure; but, at least they don’t need donkeys. I sampled some hummus, red and green pepper salsa, pita, corn flakes and cocoa puffs and was going to try some juice but Sharon warned me about Dennis fearing about sanitary conditions for juicing the fresh fruit. Sharon is suffering, there were more soft boiled eggs but she did wrangle a ... read more
View of Aman from the Citadel
Temple of Hercules at the Citadel
palace at the Citadel

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 6th 2014

After finishing the previous day’s blog at about five in the morning, with that stupid donkey chiming in every twenty minutes, I did manage to fall back into a deep restful sleep with my phone charging in the other room by the two only available outlets in the entire suite (okay, at eh Pilgerhaus retreat they refer to these two room units as apartments). Apartments with twin beds at that. There are plenty of great reasons to stay at the Pilgerhaus when you are on Pilgrimage in the Holy Land and are staying on the Sea of Galilee; but, if you don’t like being raised from a sound sleep in the middle of the night by donkeys, then this may not be the retreat for you! If you don’t like door keys that fail when you ... read more
Donkey at Pilgerhaus
Jerash
Jerash




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