Petra, Jordan

April 6 and 7: On the 6th, we were with a small tour group as we crossed over to Jordan from Eilat to Petra. On the way, whenever we stopped, we took some pictures of the scenery, especially the mist-enveloped “Grand Canyon” of Jordan. At Petra, we walked through a maze of canyons until we saw the so-called Treasury, the most elaborate and monumental building of the ancient Nabateans.

We couldn’t take as many pictures as we wanted to because of the tour guide’s time restrictions, but the next day, we headed out on own at our own pace (until, of course, we had to be back at 3:00 to depart for Eilat). In our six hours in Petra, we savored every feature of its archeological grandeur—from the at times surrealistically sculptured cliffs, the chiseled (by nature and by the Nabateans) canyon walls, and the natural and man-made dams. Nor can be forget the caravans of tourists riding camels, donkeys, horses, and horse-drawn carriages. Our camera covered it all, plus a few unrehearsed shots of traditionally dressed Arabs.

While I was riding in a tour bus from Aqaba to Petra, Jordan, two solitary camels were traveling side by side along the shoulder of the superhighway, the only paved road for hundreds of miles. And then on the way back, I noticed a camel comfortably standing in the back of a pickup truck going at least 50 miles per hour.
At noon in the Petra canyons, I wanted to sit down while my wife sent to the WC. There was one vacant spot next to an Arab woman. I took it for a minute until I heard a growl. In front of me was an indignant Arab man. He thrust his hands out and motioned for me to get off the seat. I did so immediately. I don’t know what—if any—relationship he had with the woman. Perhaps I had committed some sort of taboo. In any case, I was happy to stand up until my wife rejoined me.

Gobbledygook to the Rescue
Our tour guide in Petra, Jordan, told my wife and me to shoo away any of the children who try to sell us souvenirs as we progress into the canyons. My wife, who once taught and tamed students at middle school, did a good job: when she said no, every one of the urchins stayed clear of her. It wasn’t just her firm voice; her body language left no wiggle room for ambiguity. I, on the other hand, wasn’t as successful at first. As with my grandchildren, I have difficulty saying no as if I really mean it. I am too inherently courteous to be curt. After my wife reminded me that I must be more forceful in dismissing these omnipresent pests, I dredged up a new tactic: relying on my patented gibberish—a kind of guttural guttersniping—that I delivered with resounding authority. As the next unsuspecting little entrepreneur approached with his wares, I snarled something like vachvatuch-kvark-pflutchig. Perhaps flabbergasted, perhaps cowed, he fled from me; and I never had to deal with him or his cohorts again. I had triumphed, pleasing my wife and regaining my machismo. At the same time, I did feel sorry for the poor kid. I guess there aren’t too many paper routes in Jordan, eh?




On the road back to Eilat, Stan (through the bus windows) took lots of pictures of the unceasingly exotic Jordanian mountains.

Slideshow | Invite
IMG 8675
1
IMG 8675
20 views
 
IMG 0516
2
IMG 0516
27 views
 
IMG 8676
3
IMG 8676
27 views
 
IMG 0518
4
IMG 0518
27 views
 
IMG 8677
5
IMG 8677
17 views
 
IMG 8678
6
IMG 8678
26 views
 
IMG 8681
7
IMG 8681
15 views
 
IMG 8679
8
IMG 8679
23 views
 
IMG 8680
9
IMG 8680
20 views
 
IMG 8683
10
IMG 8683
18 views
 
IMG 8684
11
IMG 8684
12 views
 
IMG 8685
12
IMG 8685
22 views
 
IMG 8682
13
IMG 8682
11 views
 
IMG 8686
14
IMG 8686
15 views
 
IMG 8687
15
IMG 8687
21 views
 
IMG 8688
16
IMG 8688
20 views
 
IMG 8689
17
IMG 8689
13 views
 
IMG 8690
18
IMG 8690
17 views
 
IMG 8692
19
IMG 8692
14 views
 
IMG 8691
20
IMG 8691
12 views
 
IMG 8693
21
IMG 8693
24 views
 
IMG 8694
22
IMG 8694
13 views
 
IMG 8695
23
IMG 8695
23 views
 
IMG 8696
24
IMG 8696
9 views
 
IMG 8697
25
IMG 8697
14 views
 
IMG 8698
26
IMG 8698
17 views
 
IMG 8700
27
IMG 8700
10 views
 
IMG 8701
28
IMG 8701
22 views
 
IMG 8702
29
IMG 8702
15 views
 
IMG 8704
30
IMG 8704
17 views
 
IMG 8703
31
IMG 8703
26 views
 
IMG 8705
32
IMG 8705
15 views
 
IMG 8706
33
IMG 8706
18 views
 
IMG 8699
34
IMG 8699
23 views
 
IMG 8709
35
IMG 8709
18 views
 
IMG 8708
36
IMG 8708
19 views
 
IMG 0520
37
IMG 0520
27 views
 
IMG 0521
38
IMG 0521
26 views
 
IMG 0522
39
IMG 0522
25 views
 
IMG 0524
40
IMG 0524
37 views
 
IMG 8710
41
IMG 8710
21 views
 
IMG 0526
42
IMG 0526
23 views
 
IMG 0523
43
IMG 0523
18 views
 
IMG 0527
44
IMG 0527
26 views
 
IMG 0525
45
IMG 0525
12 views
 
IMG 0530
46
IMG 0530
16 views
 
IMG 0528
47
IMG 0528
25 views
 
IMG 0529
48
IMG 0529
20 views
 
IMG 0533
49
IMG 0533
21 views
 
IMG 0534
50
IMG 0534
22 views
 
IMG 0531
51
IMG 0531
18 views
 
IMG 0535
52
IMG 0535
19 views
 
IMG 0536
53
IMG 0536
22 views
 
IMG 0532
54
IMG 0532
29 views
 
IMG 0538
55
IMG 0538
12 views
 
IMG 0539
56
IMG 0539
11 views
 
IMG 0540
57
IMG 0540
13 views
 
IMG 0541
58
IMG 0541
44 views
 
IMG 0537
59
IMG 0537
15 views
 
IMG 0542
60
IMG 0542
19 views
 
IMG 0543
61
IMG 0543
22 views
 
IMG 0544
62
IMG 0544
19 views
 
IMG 0546
63
IMG 0546
20 views
 
IMG 0548
64
IMG 0548
27 views
 
IMG 0549
65
IMG 0549
18 views
 
IMG 0547
66
IMG 0547
29 views
 
IMG 0551
67
IMG 0551
17 views
 
IMG 0553
68
IMG 0553
15 views
 
IMG 0554
69
IMG 0554
18 views
 
IMG 0550
70
IMG 0550
12 views
 
IMG 0555
71
IMG 0555
18 views
 
IMG 0552
72
IMG 0552
13 views
 
IMG 0557
73
IMG 0557
23 views
 
IMG 0556
74
IMG 0556
17 views
 
IMG 0558
75
IMG 0558
22 views
 
IMG 0559
76
IMG 0559
18 views
 
IMG 0560
77
IMG 0560
18 views
 
IMG 0561
78
IMG 0561
24 views
 
IMG 0562
79
IMG 0562
14 views
 
IMG 0563
80
IMG 0563
17 views
 
IMG 0564
81
IMG 0564
20 views
 
IMG 0566
82
IMG 0566
23 views
 
IMG 0567
83
IMG 0567
15 views
 
IMG 0568
84
IMG 0568
21 views
 
IMG 0569
85
IMG 0569
18 views
 
IMG 0565
86
IMG 0565
18 views
 
IMG 0570
87
IMG 0570
15 views
 
IMG 0571
88
IMG 0571
15 views
 
IMG 0572
89
IMG 0572
27 views
 
IMG 0573
90
IMG 0573
13 views
 
IMG 0576
91
IMG 0576
24 views
 
IMG 0578
92
IMG 0578
20 views
 
IMG 0574
93
IMG 0574
23 views
 
IMG 0575
94
IMG 0575
16 views
 
IMG 0577
95
IMG 0577
14 views
 
IMG 0579
96
IMG 0579
14 views
 
IMG 0580
97
IMG 0580
17 views
 
IMG 0581
98
IMG 0581
16 views
 
IMG 0582
99
IMG 0582
38 views
 
IMG 0583
100
IMG 0583
21 views
 
IMG 0584
101
IMG 0584
16 views
 
IMG 0585
102
IMG 0585
48 views
 
IMG 0586
103
IMG 0586
20 views
 
IMG 0587
104
IMG 0587
27 views
 
IMG 0588
105
IMG 0588
16 views
 
IMG 0590
106
IMG 0590
15 views
 
IMG 0591
107
IMG 0591
20 views
 
IMG 0592
108
IMG 0592
22 views
 
IMG 0589
109
IMG 0589
22 views
 
IMG 0594
110
IMG 0594
19 views
 
IMG 0595
111
IMG 0595
19 views
 
IMG 0596
112
IMG 0596
25 views
 
IMG 0597
113
IMG 0597
18 views
 
IMG 0598
114
IMG 0598
18 views
 
IMG 0593
115
IMG 0593
28 views
 
IMG 0599
116
IMG 0599
18 views
 
IMG 0600
117
IMG 0600
19 views
 
IMG 0601
118
IMG 0601
16 views
 
IMG 0602
119
IMG 0602
17 views