These Petra photos are way out of order because I wanted to save the best for last. :)
You can hire a horse carriage to take you the two or so km from near the entrance to the Treasury. The Treasury is the main attraction of Petra, I suppose, and is the first building you see after you wind your way through the giant, smooth, sublime canyon. I felt so bad for those horses though. There is a hill at the end and I saw many of them struggling really hard to get up it with so much weight from the passengers and the carriage. The driver would whip them and yell at them and the horses would neigh like crazy and try to back down the hill. It wasn’t a large hill, but it was still difficult. There were signs that directed visitors to pay attention to the health and happiness of the horses before they agreed to ride them or ride in the carriages, to consider if the weight of the passengers would be too much for the horse to bear, and that they should not have more than two people to a carriage-though I don’t know if that included the driver or not. Poor things.
Just past the High Place. I think I’m getting better at this whole photography thing. I’m very thankful for the wonderful camera my parents so graciously gifted me with for graduation. I’m a lucky daughter. :)
I find cats wherever I go. Or, they find me, rather. It’s a genetic curse. (My mother has 13 of them right now-about half of them need homes…any takers???) I swear. These kittens were SO SOFT and so friendly. They must eat well from all the tourists. I think their mom was the cat who smelled the peanut butter I was eating and came to find me (so I fed it some, of course) when I was taking a break a little bit before we arrived here…wherever that was. Petra is enormous and vast, so I couldn’t keep track of everywhere we went.
Here we are riding camels in Petra. Riding camels in the Middle East! My dream come true. It wasn’t in Egypt, in front of the pyramids, but I think Petra might actually be better than those silly pyramids…or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better about not being able to go to Egypt.
I took more pictures, of course, but these were the best, thus the ones I bothered to edit.
Here I am, back in Elat, waiting for the bus to Jerusalem, at a POTATO BAR! Why don’t we have those all over the place in the States? NOM! Delicious and naturally GF (providing they don’t put some weird gluten filled topping on your potato). Look at the size of that thing!
One more of the Abbey. I love all the mosaics everywhere in this part of the world. I love, love, love mosaics. I think I’ll start making some when I get back to the States. I’ve always wanted to and never have. They sound like a soothing activity-tedious but satisfying. That’s how I meditate. :)
This photo is from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is owned by three different religious sects, and is heavily fought over by them. This is the supposed Stone of Anointing, though only added in 1810, so who knows.
The Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount, where many temples have been built and destroyed. Now it belongs to the muslims, and though Jews and Christians are allowed to visit, they are not allowed to pray here. Many Jews don’t visit this site because it is where the site of the holy of holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was contained in the third temple. Only the high priest was allowed to walk there, and only once a year, on Yom Kippur, the day of repentance, where he asked for forgiveness for the sins of all the Jewish people. You’d never know it from the picture, but it was extremely windy and rainy just before I shot this.
And here is the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall (well, part of it-the men’s side)
We toured the tunnels running underneath the Western Wall, which is the second coolest thing I’ve seen here so far, the first being Petra. The current street level of the Muslim quarter in the Old City (there are four quarters-Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) is raised by two levels of arches, creating the tunnels underneath. So those tunnels are where the old Muslim quarter originally was. So crazy.
That’s all for now! I hope you enjoy this mini photographic tour of our trip. :)