Me in front of the Monastery (Al-Deir) at Petra.
Prelude: the day and night before
The longest ride
On the first day of 2017, a taxi ferried me from Jordan’s capital city of Amman to Petra. You may wonder why I’d arranged for a taxi to cover the approximately 150 mile driving distance between Amman and Petra, when an inexpensive bus serves the same route. Well, the only bus between the two cities that runs in the Petra-bound direction departs from Amman daily at 6:30 a.m. I’m so not a morning person, and waking up sufficiently early to catch a bus at 6:30 in the morning was a non-starter for me — particularly given that the night prior to my departure for Petra was New Year’s Eve, and I’d been up fairly late ringing in the new 12-month period. So I’d said ixnay to the bus and decided instead to embark on the longest taxi ride of my life. It wasn’t bad, though; I was treated to some pretty scenery along the way, and my taxi had free wi-fi! What could have been an at-times monotonous ride flew by with the help of my constant Facebooking and Instagramming. 🙂 Moreover, I became excited as we began to pass a series of road signs that marked the diminishing distance to my destination.
This sign informed me that only 20 kilometres now separated me from Petra!
Before I knew it, I was checking in to my hotel in Wadi Musa, a town nearby to the Petra archaeological site. Most of the area hotels are in Wadi Musa. Continue reading
Categories: Asia, travel
Tags: Al-Deir, Al-Khazneh, al-Siq, amphitheatre, archaeology, Beidha, Cave Bar, Indiana Jones, Jordan, Little Petra, Middle East, Monastery, Nabataean, Petra, Roman amphitheatre, Siq al-Barid, sunset, travel, travel photography, Treasury, Wadi Musa
I’m not sure why it took me so long to finally make it to Israel. Although I’m an atheist, I was raised Jewish, and the “land of milk and honey” is therefore my ancestral homeland. Plus, the country is a bonanza for a history buff like me. Some of the earliest civilisations in the world arose in areas that are now encompassed within Israel’s borders.
Jerusalem, the capital city, is renowned as one of the most beautiful metropolises in the world (and when I visited, Jerusalem didn’t disappoint in that regard). It also played significant roles in the formation of three major world religions, and is still regarded as sacred by those religions’ adherents. Anyway, I visited Israel for the first time in my life in December 2016. When I did, and the expectations that I’d formed over several decades were matched to reality, I was impressed by my experience.
Singing in Jerusalem
The historical and cultural aspects of my initial sojourn in Israel will be covered in a future post, as they deserve a fuller discussion. But we all know what’s most important for this blog when I’m reminiscing about a destination. 🙂 When I landed at Ben Gurion International Airport, I looked forward to adding Israel to my World Karaoke Tour. Just about a month earlier, Hungary had become the 43rd country in which I’d karaoked; and now I was eager to increase that country count once again! Continue reading
Categories: Asia, travel, World Karaoke Tour
Tags: Capricorn Karaoke, Dead Sea, George Michael, Hava Nagila, Israel, Jerusalem, Jordan, karaoke, karaoke world tour, Middle East, photography, travel, travel photography, Western Wall, World Karaoke Tour