Masada

We woke up the following day with two missions: to visit Masada and to swim in the Dead Sea.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend the money on a rental car or a private driver to go see Masada and the Dead Sea. Continue reading

Advertisements

Wholly Loud in the Holy Land

When I was booking our AirBNB in Jerusalem, I was intrigued by several features of the place we ended up booking: hip (and convenient) neighborhood, full kitchen, balcony overlooking the activity on the street, good reviews, good price.  As we neared our check-in date, I again reviewed our reservations and started to see reviews that warned of the loud bars that had recently opened downstairs.  “How bad could it be?”  I said.

Apparently, it could be pretty bad. Continue reading

Off to the beach!

After spending two glorious and exhausting days in Petra, we left the comfort of the Al Rashid hotel ($24 per night, including breakfast for two!) to move on to some real R&R.  (The Al Rashid is actually the #1 hotel in Wadi Musa, despite its budget price – I wouldn’t say it’s luxurious by any means, but it’s comfortable and has air conditioning.  It also inspired several rounds of jokes between Jolyn and me, such as, “I splurged on the Al Rashid for you, honey” and “Romance at the Al Rashid!”)

29384394795_2b45a2b122_k

Continue reading

Hiking to the Monastery

After the Treasury, the second most famous structure in Petra is the Monastery.  The Monastery, or al-Deir in Arabic, is inaccurately named – it was likely a temple.  The Monastery is about an hour and a half’s hike from the Treasury, and consists of roughly 800 steps.  The best time to go is in the afternoon, as the steps are largely shaded at that point, while the facade of the Monastery is fully lit up by the sun.  You will have many offers for donkey rides, so if the 800-step ascent seems too daunting, hop on a four-legged taxi.

Continue reading

Finding the Lost City of Petra

When we were thinking about where to go this summer, the overwhelming urge to go to the Middle East was spurred on by our desire to visit Petra.  We had seen it on shows such as An Idiot Abroad and Departures, and that only fueled our interest.  Despite some less-than-glowing reactions from friends and family who were nervous for our personal safety, we had made up our mind – we were going to Jordan and the Middle East.  (I’ll explain just how safe the Middle East can be – depending on your destination – in another post.)

Continue reading