Jordan Journey: Petra

2 of 4 posts on my 7-day stay in Jordan

The next two days have us exploring Petra, which UNESCO designated as a World Heritage site in 1985 and describing it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.”

Like Wadi Rum, Petra has been used as a setting in many well-known movies. Although there were already a handful of movies filmed in Petra before Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Petra gained more attention after the Indiana Jones movie.

Since our first day in Petra was just half a day, which was good for getting to know the general layout, the next day was for real exploration. Our goal was to climb nearly every major monument or temple despite the 100-degree F which seemed to grow hotter with every passing hour. And climb we did. For example, there were about 800 steps up to the ruins known as the High Place of Sacrifice, and even more needed to get to the Monastery, a beautiful tomb carved into the side of the stone mountain top. However, we ended up climbing even more steps to see the Royal Tombs close-up, each one situated on its own perch with even more steps needed to get there.

After exploring Petra for close to 10 hours, we raced to the new Petra Museum before it closed for the day. We had a little over half an hour to wind down in the air conditioning to learn more about the ancient culture, which thrived about 2,000 years ago. The day ended with my legs feeling like rubber bands. My feet seemed like they had a life of their own, as they just passed out on me not too long after I reached the hotel, which was walking distance from Petra.

To see 1st post:
Wadi Rum

Exploring Egypt: Luxor

6th of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

City full of shrines,
Magnificent artifacts,
Temple of Karnak.

The Temple of Karnak
The Temple of Karnak is a large, well-preserved complex of monuments that honor various pharaohs. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Karnak Temple has an impressive collection of pylons, massive stone obelisks, and chapels.  Sad fact: More Egyptian obelisks today are found outside of Egypt, like in Paris, than in Egypt itself.

Animal Care in Egypt
The tour company we used has a charitable stake in this organization, so we stopped by the Animal Care in Egypt facility to see how the animals are given care and treatment. Many locals depend on ACE to help heal their donkeys, horses, and other animals.

From ACE’s website (https://www.ace-egypt.org.uk/): “Animal Care in Egypt (ACE) is a charity dedicated to helping stop the suffering of thousands of animals in the poorest communities of Luxor by providing free veterinary care and education.”

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo
3rd day: Aswan
4th day: Abu Simbel
5th day: Nile River

Exploring Egypt: Abu Simbel

4th of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

 A four-plus-hour drive,
Close to Sudanese border,
Worth all-day event.

 A temple complex,
King Ramses II’s legacy,
To celebrate him.

About Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel is a small village where Pharaoh Ramses II had built a temple complex to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Within the complex are two temples – the Grand Temple and the Small Temple. The Grand Temple showcases carvings and hieroglyphics that indicate homage to several ancient Egyptian gods, along with a record of Ramses II’s noteworthy life events. The Small Temple is dedicated to Ramses II’s favorite wife, Queen Nefertari.

The temples were relocated about 200 meters further inland and 65 meters higher up in 1964 to save them from going under the Nile River due to High Dam. The Abu Simbel temples are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List (as of 1979).

Inside the Grand Temple

Next day:
Nile River

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo
3rd day: Aswan

Orlando

Opening Spring Fling in Florida – Part 2 of 3

Our return to an expanded Disney Springs.

(sung to the tune of Abba’s Fernando)

Can you hear the gasp, Orlando?
I remember long ago when souvenirs were less than this
On a fire sale day, Orlando.
You’ve come a long way from a few shops to miles of chains
I could hear the constant ka-ching,
And sounds of consumerism from all over.

They are so many now, Orlando.
Every hour, every minute a sale is made
My eyes are glazed, Orlando.
Every turn I make, there’s a character from the past and present,
And I’m a little ashamed to say,
The sights and sounds still impress me.

Other parts:
Part 1
Part 3