Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday, March 23 - Check another off the list ...

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all from Petra, Jordan, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It’s been a few days, so after a nice nap Jenny and I thought we’d say hello, well actually Jenny is getting ice cream and shopping
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since our last shout out aboard the Sonesta Star Goddess. After we got off the Nile, we made our way to Cairo to finish out our Egyptian portion of the honeymoon. We started our first day back on land with a visit to the ancient city of Memphis and Sakarra, site of the oldest man made structure in the world, the spectacular Step Pyramids, nearly 5,000 years old. It may not have been the most breathtaking of sights, but to close our eyes and think about the history of the place is amazing. Back in the states, we consider something historic if it’s 200 years old, and here, that would never make a tourist guides’ cut, but something 5,000 years old just amazes you.
Our lunch nestled us at the foot of the Great Pyramids of Giza, the highlight of the trip thus far. We actually got to climb inside of the Great Pyramid, about 2/3 of the way up in the smallest of tunnels built by the ancient Egyptians in 2600 BC. O, and we most definitely did the classic touristy thing by hopping on a camel for some photos in front of the 3 pyramids. And yes, that is our camel taking a moment to get comfortable before our hike, hilarious … except for the fact that we almost tipped over, but instead of accepting our guides help, we asked him to quickly snap a photo of a great memory! It was pretty fun to ride about in the desert and just look over the land and structures built so long ago.
After our walkabout, we went on to the Great Sphinx and happened upon one hilarious entrepreneur. This teenager took our hand and went Vogue on Jenny and me, snapping hilarious photos of us, the Sphinx and the pyramids. We had a blast and some great memories, and the little girl made a great tip in less than ten minutes, genius business mind!
Then, on Wednesday we woke up for our last day in Egypt that took us to the great Cairo Museum. We’ve never been big museum folks, but to see the ancient history in Cairo was stunning. Most memorable was the sarcophagus gallery featuring that of King Ramses II, the most prolific of the Egyptian pharaohs seen throughout our last week of tours. Kind of creepy we could still see nails and hair after 4,000 years, but pretty cool to think about the technology they created for preservation so long ago. King Tutankhamen’s wing was pretty legit too with shrines for the only in tact tomb found to date from the Valley of the Kings. His gold mask took our breath away, 30 pounds of pure gold and a tomb of 300 pounds of gold was breathtaking. A visit to the market that afternoon was our last farewell to Egypt filled with a lifetime of memories indeed.
Our sixth flight took us to Jordan for a few days. Jenny and I didn’t know what to expect of Jordan, but it has turned out to be the hidden gem of our trip thus far. Going from Cairo, a city of 20 million people, crazy traffic and not too much clean space to Jordan was shocking. The sandstone buildings and city set in the mountains was great, especially since we stopped that night for some food to settle our tummies, yes, nachos and pizza in Jordan. Egypt, we love you, but the food, did not love us back
Yesterday we took a long road trip from the capital of Amman to Petra by way of a few stops. The night before, I must say was a great treat was we benefited again from low tourism numbers with an upgrade to the executive suite, rose petals and all, quite the nice upgrade.
Mount Nebo, the supposed burial site of the prophet Moses was our miraculous first stop of the day. The view of the Holy Land atop the mountain was great, as well as St. George’s Church and the many mosaic pieces … almost forced us to purchase a mosaic table, but our haggling skills were not up to snuff, or we were too cheap, either way, no dice.
Last night we arrived in Petra to the great Movenpick Hotel (best showers yet) for our visit to check off another one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Today’s tour was superb as we trekked through the ancient city traveled by nomads centuries ago on their way to and from Europe/Asia for trade. As we walked down the alley and turned the corner, the light shown through the crack for an amazing sight into the city, it helped us to see what has made this such a popular tourist attraction indeed. It was a pretty long 3 hour walk through the city today and to the top of the monastery for an amazing view.
What a whirlwind it has been, and to think we’re only halfway done! Tomorrow we head to Wadi Rum for a night’s stay in the desert before heading to Victoria Falls and the finale in Zimbabwe for the safari.
We hope all is well back home, know that everything here is great indeed. Can’t thank you all enough for the well wishes and prayers through our journeys. Can’t wait to see you all soon … o yes, and for a big glass of cold rich chocolate Ovaltine.
Nate and Jenny
PS, Nick and Lauren, thanks for watching the pooch, hope Caden is well … just a heads up Nick, while I am craving some Ovaltine, Jenny is craving the Nicholas cooking special
PSS, the classic saying over here for pretty girls is for the people to tell the man, “you a lucky man” and “how many camels?”, I’ve been asked that a lot

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