Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The main goal of our trip to Jordan was to see Petra, a world wonder found among the mountains in the middle of nowhere. On April 13, 2010 a tour bus was waiting for us on the border with Israel in Aqaba, next to Eilat,  and after 2 hour trip we came to this place.  

Petra is located just outside the town of Wadi Mousa in southern Jordan. Taken from a tour bus, approaching Wadi Mousa.

Entrance to the Petra Visitors Center. The portraits on the wall are of of King Hussein (who died in 1999) and his son, Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, the reining King of Jordan. 

From Wikipedia: Abdullah was born in Amman to King Hussein of Jordan and his second wife, the British-born Princess Muna al-Hussein. He was the king's eldest son and as such he was automatically heir apparent to the throne of Jordan under 1952 constitution. However, due to unstable times in the 1960s, King Hussein decided to appoint his brother, Prince Hassan bin Talal, as his heir.
In 1982, King Abdullah II attended Oxford University where he completed a one-year Special Studies course in Middle Eastern Affairs. In 1987, he attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
In the 1980s, the King considered arranging the throne to pass to his brother and then to his son Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, but changed his mind by 1992. He seriously considered appointing one of his nephews as heir, but on his deathbed, on 25 January 1999, he appointed Abdullah as his heir. Abdullah became king on 7 February 1999, upon the death of his father King Hussein. Hussein had recently named him Crown Prince on 24 January, replacing Hussein's brother Hassan who had served many years in the position.

A narrow passage between the mountains named the Siq leads to the ruins of Petra. The Siq is about one kilometre in length. Those not wishing to walk can ride a horse or take a horse-drawn carriage.

Waiting for passengers.

It was only 18 degrees Celsius (64 F) that day. The weather was just perfect, but the April sun was already merciless, and people were getting tired pretty quickly after the walk in the mountains. Here you can see tourists returning from Petra in a carriage. I can't imagine go there in summer time, the heat could be deadly.

What is it there, behind this turn?

Canyon Tree.

Camel Ride.

He deserves some rest, doesn't he?

A guard in some kind of an army uniform.

At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (popularly known as "the Treasury"), hewn into the sandstone cliff.

Bedouin boy on a horse.

Horses and camels represent the main mean of transportation on the way through the narrow passage.

Bedouin girl.

Bedouin girl selling beads.

A different view of the Treasury.

Bedouin boys selling beads.

Waiting for riders.

Bedouins and their horses.

Weird shapes of the stone walls.

All the pictures below were taken from a tour bus.

Truck stop.

Land 4 Sale. And such a beautiful view!

Desert in bloom.

Mountains of Jordan.

Small oasis in the desert.

Bedouins burning tires (just having fun, I assume).

Bedouin houses.

Aqaba homes and a view of Eilat in the background.

Car accident at one of Aqaba intersection. 

View of the city of Aqaba.

Church in Aqaba.

Streets of Aqaba.

The Great Arab Revolt Flag in Aqaba, Jordan celebrates the 1916 revolt when Sharif Hussein Bin's Arab forces began the fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire.

View of Eilat from Aqaba

Good bye, Jordan!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weight Loss Story, post #3

Three weeks after the last report about of my weight-loss program my weight is 101.4 kg.
I had a food poisoning this week, high fever, shaking chills - however, e
very cloud has a silver lining - I couldn't literally eat for a couple of days, and this mouse on the scale is moving!

July 7th, 2010:
I've lost 5.6 kg , and I have to lose 6.4 kg to reach my target weight.