Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Petra Dish For You

Hey! I'm almost up to date with my photos! At least I'm done with the pile from Jordan, so go ahead and have a look if you like.

The trip to Jordan turned out to be almost just Petra. I went in February, which turned out to be an especially good month to visit Jordan for people that enjoy making snowmen. My original plan was to have a look at some dunes and scorpions as well, but a blizzard closed all the roads I had wanted to travel on. So instead I spent a good deal of time in Petra, which was great, and some fairly bleak days in Aqaba, the grey "beach" town just east of the mine field that is also known as the border to Israel.

It took only about 10 hours to get from my kitchen to the gates of Petra. The flight is 5-6 hours long, and then there's a two hour taxi ride to the rocky delights. Mind you, the hours on the plane may turn out to feel a lot longer. Especially if you, like me, end up sharing a plane with ninety middle-aged, female, over-perfumed, slightly drunk cosmetics distributors on a company trip. I was fine, but next time I'll bring a jock strap or something.

Even though Saudi-Arabia is just next door, you can hardly say that Jordan is a Mekka for anything at all, and certainly not for tourism. Both when I arrived and when I left, the only planes I saw at Aqaba International Airport were the SAS planes I traveled with. Tourists to Jordan seemed mainly to consist of busloads of people coming in on express visits from beach hot-spots in Egypt. It's a long ride, so all they had time for when they arrived in the late morning was to have a quick look around at a couple of temples, before they had to leave and go back. I'm glad I had more time to see Petra properly.

I wasn't so happy, however, about the Jordanian hotel breakfasts. Lacking tourists and an understanding of what and how one should eat, and I suspect having too many people employed to do the dishes, the morning meal typically entered the table distributed across 15-20 tiny plates, all full of vaguely alien objects that may or may not have been for human consumption. Fortunately, there was always some cereal to rescue me. Mind you, the milk I was offered to pour onto the cereal was as a rule kept boiling hot. Oh dear.

Never mind. I had not come to Jordan to enjoy the food, but to explore the mountains that contain the treasure of Petra. Any further details regarding this can be found in the gallery I have just published. The short of it is that I liked it very much, and I recommend that you use at least 2-3 days exploring and experiencing Petra.

In other news, my travel sickness bag collection has opened at a museum in Hå in Norway. I was invited to attend the opening, which was a nice gesture. Except the opening was on June 12, and I received my invitation on June 15. I'm sure it was meant well. #8D)

At roughly the same time, the results from the voting for the Wikipedia/Wikimedia photo of the Year was completed. I did not win! But my iguana photo made it to a split tenth place, and this pleases me a lot. Thank you, Charlie, I could not have done it without you!

Now I'm stuck in the rain in Norway, considering whether I should escape somewhere for a week or so, or whether I should just stay home and do something useful. I'm tempted by both options. Does this mean I'm getting old?!

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