Jordan, Aquabah & Petra
|Our last trip was to the ancient lost city of
Petra. Petra is famous to most of us in recent times as the place in
the Hollywood movie "Indian Jones, The Last Crusade" where the treasury
building known as the Khazneh was the location of the Holy Grail, cup Christ drank from
during the Last Supper, was to be located.
The trip to Petra was a long one. We took two days with the first day being to travel from Tel Aviv to the port city of Elat at the southern most tip of Israel.
The second day we waited for the tour bus to go into Jordan. While I thought to myself that we were going to be part of a large tour we were lucky and only about 15 people showed up.
An interesting fact that we discovered when we got to the border station is that we could not carry any food or water with us into Jordan. The food made sense, but no water? Well as it turns out this is part of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. Because Jordan is so poor, any tourist coming into the country cannot bring in any food or drink so they would be inclined to buy it to help the Jordanian economy. Well I guess I can live with that.
Jordan is indeed a poor country. The Jordanian tour guide (we also had to switch buses and guides although our guide followed with us) spoke of things to come to the city of Aquabah. Being a city on the edge of the Red Sea (Jordan's only sea port), Aquabah is a booming city. It is rivaled by Israel's Elat, however you can see the money being invested in the city.
After leaving Aquabah, we truly saw how poor the country is. But I also note the comments made by many that King Hussain wants to improve the land and the people. An example is the quest to educate the Bedowins (a nomadic people). He has schools being built for them. His father is the one who started this and even though they still have ties with Iraq's Saddam Hussain they do show promise for their people. In contrast, Israel does nothing for the Bedowins and you find their nomadic tribes all over that country.