I am now in sunny and beautiful Aqaba, on the Red Sea coast in Jordan. I arrived last night after spending a few days on the other side of the water in Egypt. The place I was staying in Egypt was really beautiful, but I wasn't really feeling it so I left early to go to Jordan. So far I much prefer Jordan to the place I was in Egypt, maybe it's not as secluded and aesthetically beautiful, but the people are lovely and to be honest, I'm really glad to have all my Israeli border crossing over with. I was only in Israel proper for a few days, to visit the dome of the rock mosque in Il Quds (Jerusalem) and to visit my friend Simon who was at a conference in Bethlaham. We toured around the camps in Bethlaham together and walked around the "security" wall, which is the most mindblowing obstruction within the city, its really awful and intrusive. I have some great photos of the grafitti on the wall, which I will post in Canada. The wall, which I discussed a few times already, so I will spare the rant, cuts right through Bethlaham and has caused a number of issues for the Palestinian people living there.
From there I bussed to the border between Israel and Egypt, and the bus route runs right beside the Dead Sea, which was really beautiful. Other than that, I mostly just missed being in Nablus, I am more and more endeared to the people in Palestine the longer I am away from there. In Egypt, I can't say I was blown away, but I was only in the really touristic area of the Sinai, so I really am not trying to generalize. I'm sure there are so many tourists there all the time that the locals are quite adept at the whole "rip off the tourist" game. It was just kind of disconcerting after I had been in Palestine, which is so not touristy and people are much more friendly and genuine. (okay, again, not trying to generalize, this was only my breif experience).
So, I am in Jordan, and last night I had one of the most delicious meals of my whole trip! Sayyideh...mmm, filet of the freshest tasting white fish fried and then topped with tomato/onion sauce and served with this rice that tasted like cinnamon and cardamom! Amazing!
THis morning I got up and walked the boardwalk along the sea and went to the Aqaba museum, which was fascinating! Then I visited this ancient castle that was built by crusaders and was destroyed during the Arab revolt (WWI era...also Lawrence of Arabia anyone?...), so basically I am in my Middle Eastern history glory over here! Tomorrow I am getting up bright and early and taking a bus to Petra!! The city featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...so exciting. I am going to stay there in the desert for a couple days and meeting my friend Charlotte there. So, I am going to post some more photos when I am not using a computer built in the early 80's like I am right now. (okay that's an exaggeration, but it is really old).
Missing you all!