Sometimes it’s an good idea to do some research before you start something. For example if you go on vacation the same week all schools are closed its quite likely there will be a lot of people at the airport. And don’t forget about Murphy, according to Murphy’s law (if something can go wrong, it will go wrong) the electronic check in system went offline and you don’t wanna know the length of the queue to check in. But to be positive I never really had any chance to get bored at the airport and since I had no time for breakfast at Arlanda my waiting time in Riga went really fast, even that Riga airport is really small and boring.
Once we arrived in Israel I was able to take two steps on the soil before two guards stopped me. Since we landed way out in the middle of nowhere we were suppose to take the bus back to the terminal and the rest of the passengers did while still was on the tarmac questioned by the guards. Obviously its weird to travel alone according to them and once I said that I love to travel they started to examine my passport and I had to answer a bunch of questions what I have been doing in Russia, Turkey, Albania. Not really any problem but it took some time and once they felt happy I jumped on the next bus to the boarder and passport control and there it started all over again.
To be honest it took forever and I don’t really feel welcome here but at least I’m checked in at the hostel now and they were nice, time to be social for a while before I hit the bed, it will be an early evening since I leave for Jordan tomorrow.
One of the reasons I went to the holy land is to see on of the wonders of the world, Petra.It would however both the stupid and boring not use the opportunity to see as much as possible once I packed my backpack so this trip went to Israel and using Jerusalem as some sort of base, from here its quite easy to go to Jordan and Petra, With easy I mean you can join a guided tour or buy a bus ticket and its just crossing the Israel-Jordan boarder (leaving Israel is not a problem) and you are there, however Petra is kind a far away from Jerusalem so I really recommend at least a two day trip so you really can enjoy it, Thats what I did and the schedule for the first day is more or less just to get there with a stop at Jerash and Amman Citadel.
Jerash is an old excavated roman city. What make it special is that it was burried in sand which makes the city very well preserved. I must confess that I was sceptic to the idea to spend a few hours at another roman ecavation site but it was amazing and totally worth it. From starting with an huge arch there was and racing track, temple and a lot of different buildings/ruins so it never went boring. However instead of me just mumbling facts which I might not remember correctly I let my photos speak for them self instead.
Amman citadel is located more or less in the middle of Amman which is the capital of Jordan. You have a lovely view over the city and this is one of the places which has be inhabited for the longest period on earth. Of course there has been different leaders during time which gives the place different kind of styles and you can find churches, mosques in all kind of variants. I really want to go back to Amman and explore the city more and you are unsure if its worth a visit or not, i would say go go go.
As the evening arrived we left Amman for the last trip to Petra. You are not allowed to sleep in Petra but there are hotels just outside the area. I however had arranged a night in a bedouin camp. Great food, a lot of tea, singing and chatting before it was time to go and sleep in my tent, lifes good!
I slept like a baby and woke up to a shining sun and lucky for me, a light breeze. The weather forecast promised 20 degrees but it climbed up to 25 and to walk around among stone ruins and climbing on rocks, it was warm at least what you could say. Since the bedouin camp was just outside of Petra, which is an enormous area we were at Petra early in the morning, both before all the other tourists arrived and before the temperature went to high. Even that the whole group succeed to get an sun burn and the fat American lady gave up on reaching the parts there you had to climb. However don’t be afraid, everybody with a normal condition can make it and there is a lot of people who try to sell you souvenirs, rent you a horse/donkey/camel or horse with a wagon just to make sure that you can enjoy Petra (and they make some euros of course).
Petra was establish around bc825 and was habited until 1985 when UN classified it as a world heritage center. Well thats not completely true because the bedouins who lived there before 1985 are still living there even if they are not allowed to it today, however they have moved away from the tourist attractions. At the same time the bedouins now are working at Petra selling souvenirs and try to make money on all tourist, for example letting you sleep in their camp just like I did.
Going back from Petra to Jerusalem took us through the border control at King Hussain bridge, crossed the west bank and back into Jerusalem. Not that far and would be an easy trip if it not was for the Israeli border guards. In my little group 4 of 9 was “random selected” and then we guard found a keffiyeh i bought for protecting my head from the sun, I was fucked. Into an interrogation room, scan me and all my clothes and luggage for explosives and intensives questioning about who I am, what am I doing here, were have I been, why have you been to Turkey.
It sure took some time but finally they had nothing to go on and relunctantly they let me back into Israel after they marked my passport with a stamp I didn’t had before, lets see if that will give me problem then I will try to leave the country.