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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 10
Israel, Paris


Carol and David and the ancient wall surrounding Old Jerusalem  

Day 11

Jordan (Petra)

Slept great. Woke at 6:30 to prepare for the day-trip across the border into Jordan to tour the ancient ruins of Petra.


We had spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon shopping for hats to protect us from the sun on today’s excursion. When the bus came to pick us up at 7:45am, the first thing they did was to present us with two complimentary hats. Carol and I just looked at each other and laughed.


The bus (first of today’s two buses) dropped us off at the Israeli/Jordanian border. It took about an hour to clear customs (make sure to remove your sunglasses) on the Israeli side. Lots of very no-nonsense-looking, young, casually-dressed men at the Israeli side with serious-looking automatic weapons.

Israeli border guard.  Don't mess with these guys.
Getting ready to cross into Jordan

When we left the Israeli side of the border we crossed through a 200-yard-wide no-man’s-land, then entered into Jordan. A Jordanian official asked for our passports, and that’s the last we saw of them or him for the next two somewhat nervous hours. We met our Jordanian guide, Ashraf Nawa Eleh, and shopped at one of the border souvenir shops where I bought a traditional kafiya and a 12-year-old Jordanian boy expertly wrapped it around my head.

My first kafiya
This kid was a pro
Sand art at the Jordanian border
Sign welcoming us to Jordan, displaying pictures of the Jordanian ruling monarchs

We boarded a small bus and for the next hour our Jordanian guide, Ashraf, explained the history, geography and geology of the areas we passed through the desert. We saw Beduoin tent villages, camels, wadis and beautiful panoramas. There are many biblical sites here. We are in the high Jordanian Negev desert. Today is bright and sunny but cool at this high altitude. We are surrounded by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the east, Syria to the north and Israel to the west. Our guide is a Jordanian Bedouin – the Bedouin are a very peaceful and happy people who live a modest, simple life in the desert.

Bedouin village

We stopped for hot Turkish coffee at the top of one of the highest mountain in Jordan. The cool air was delightful and the coffee was delicious and sweet.


A while later we arrived at Wadi Mousa (Moses’ spring.) Moses struck the ground here with his stick and brought forth water. Our guide poured water from the spring on each of us for vitality, luck and health.

At Wadi Mousa (Moses’ spring.)

Coming down into Petra from the heights, we could see the tomb of Aaron (brother of Moses) at the top of Mt. Aaron. Petra is the largest ancient city in the world and is one of the 7 new wonders of the world. North of us is Amman; behind us is Aqaba.


We spent several hours at Petra, the "Nabatean City," among the ancient ruins of a once large and major kingdom. We walked about six miles and enjoyed every step. On our tour we met Manos from Greece, Anna from Russia, Bob and Joan from Montreal and Peter and June from Australia and we all enjoyed comparing travel notes.

One of the many incredible sights at Petra
At Petra
Carol and David at the Treasury at Petra
At Petra
Carol at Petra
Carol and friends at Petra

Ancient Petra was too incredible for words. Hopefully our photos help give an idea of the scope of these beautiful ruins. We spent several hours walking among them and interestingly only 5% has been uncovered to-date. The ruins actually extend over several hundred kilometers, so there is much exploration and discovery ahead. The strikingly beautiful desert city was lost to the Western World from about the 14th century until the early 19th century

The amazingly beautiful Treasury at Petra
David and Carol at Petra

We found Ashraf and Jordanians in general to be a generous, intelligent and peaceful people and the country of Jordan to be one of beauty and pride, and we do recommend this tour to everyone. Our tour company – No Limits Tours - did a fantastic job. Our small tour group had great chemistry and everyone seemed to really enjoy the day and each other.

Bob, Joan, Carol and David high above Petra in Jordan
Manos (from Greece) and David high above ancient Petra in Jordan
Mother and daughters from Uruguay who we met on our tour of Petra

On the van back to the Jordanian/Israeli border, Ashraf took us on a tour of 6000-year-old Aqaba, a major Jordanian city on the Red Sea. King Hussein has a palace here. We found it very interesting when Ashraf told us that George Bush and a conglomerate of his associates are planning to build a world-class resort near Aqaba.

Leaving Jordan

After the bus tour of Aqaba, we arrived back at the Israeli/Jordanian border. Crossing back into Israel took much less time than our early morning crossing into Jordan, and by 8:00pm we were back at the hotel for a shower.

Welcome back to Israel after a day spent at Petra in Jordan

We had made plans to meet several of our tour-mates for dinner so at 9:15pm Carol and I walked to the promenade bridge. We met our new friends Peter and June and Anna and the five of us walked to the marina and enjoyed dinner at Pago Pago, a floating restaurant. Anna is originally from Russia and now lives in New York, and Peter and June live in Perth, Australia, although June is originally from South Africa.

Anna, Peter, June, Carol and David enjoying dinner after a fun and interesting day at Petra in Jordan

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and at 11:30pm we exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and wished each other safe travels, and by midnight Carol and I were fast asleep after a truly adventure-filled day.


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