Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Jordan Airs

What a great country Jordan is. It is drop-dead beautiful, its people are so friendly and it is just one of the nicest places we've visited in a long time. LK says it is "wonderful, compelling and interesting" which is pretty high praise from her.

Yesterday we landed in Aqaba and drove to Wadi Rum, a part of the desert that has some gorgeous mountains and is most famous for being the place where they filmed lots of key scenes for "Lawrence of Arabia".

We rode in jeeps with  bedouin drivers and had a ball, even if our tailbones were pretty tender by the end. My words escape me to describe the place, so I recommend you check out the pictures at our Shutterfly site. I took a fair amount of video, and soon I will edit into watchable shape. But for now, the stills.

Then today we did one of the most fantastic things we've done in all our travels. We are in Petra, and we walked through mountainous crevices and along twisting paths to reach some of the most spectacular ruins we've ever seen.

Again, the pictures will do more than words can, but at least we accomplished the purpose of this trip. Ten years ago, when LK had another significant birthday, we went to Xian China and had a jaw-dropping moment when we first saw the Terracotta Warriors. Today, on a trip to celebrate her recent significant birthday, the first view of the Treasury in Petra had the same effect.

You walk downhill through these narrow, towering cracks between the stones, and then you turn a corner and see this towering, pink-hued funeral monument. It is simply spectacular, and when you add in that it is over 2,000 years old it is amazing.

After standing in awe of this, we then walked down further and saw more tombs, caves where the "commoners" lived and some other monuments to the powerful. These monuments are not erected in front of the rocks but are carved from them. And the colors and shades are astonishing.

So enough of the superlatives. Check out the places yourself.

And yes, I walked all the way down and back - about 2 kilometres on a slope. I napped when I got back to the hotel and rewarded myself with a couple of Finlandias tonight. Swimming in the Dead Sea tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) then our final day in Jordan visiting Amman and Jerash on Friday.

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