Travels with Lois and Jason

(and Adi, Naomi, Michal, Stacy and Uri)

 

Israel’s Negev Desert and Jordan’s Petra Ancient City

April 9 -  16, 2019

 

 

 

Our granddaughters turned 12 and in Israel that calls for a party.  Girls in Israel do not have a Bat Mitzvah as here in the States, but instead have a grand party where all their classmates are invited to celebrate. For girls there is no religious aspect nor reading from the Torah, just a fun evening of dancing, games and food! We wanted to join the party so traveled to Israel and oh what a wonderful welcome and trip!!!

 

 

 

 

The Shoshan’s live in the north end of Israel, in the development called Aztmon, about an hour east of Haifa.

 

They live in one of those Jewish National Fund forests – all those trees we gave Tzedakah for as kids. This picture is the view from the Shoshan backyard.

 

We were surprised by how green (and cold) everything was. We were told that everything is watered with drip irrigation.

 

Another reason to travel to the Middle East was to visit Petra, the ancient carved city in the Arabah Desert of Jordan. The Shoshan family joined Lois and Jason for a week long road trip to the southern desert of Israel and an overnight excursion to Petra, Jordan.

 

Desert desert everywhere,

Lots of sun and very strong winds,

Multi-colored mountains rise above and splendid deep valleys spread below.

Two deserts, divided by the Jordan Valley – the Negev to the west and Arabah to the east -- caressed our eyes as we went by.

 

Quiz question:  What trail is two miles downhill and two hundred miles back up the hill? 

Answer: The ancient stone city of Petra trail! 

 

Petra is in the south of Jordan.  The closest boarder crossing from Israel to Petra is at Eilat. 

 

 

Our Road Trip

 

 

Our road trip took us south with our first night in Beer Sheva, a 3 – 4 hours drive from Aztmon.

 

The next morning we drove a couple of hours through the Negev Desert to Eilat and stayed for two nights. We spent the day at a beach on the Red Sea and some of the Shoshans snorkeled. Before dinner we went for a hike in Red Canyon.

 

We arranged our trip to Petra through Desert Eco Tours. They picked us up at the hotel and took us to the Eilat-Aqaba boarder crossing. They told us that it was best to be picked up at 6:30 AM “to beat the tour bus crowds” as it could take two hours to go through security. But we said we were on vacation and wanted a 9:30 pickup.  So, instead of beating the lines, we slept for two hours. Were we sorry?  No way! When we arrived at the border crossing we were literally the only ones there and went through in less than 10 minutes.

 

We then drove north to Petra and had lunch at a nice restaurant. We then walked the Sig, the long crack in the mountain and entrance to Petra (with the 200 mile walk back to the entrance).

 

We stayed overnight in the city of Petra and the next day drove south to the border crossing and spent the night in Eilat. 

 

The next morning we toured Timna Park and spent the night at the Ramon Crater, then returned to Aztmon.

Description: ap of Israel showing general
                      touring routes

 

Our trip  is best described through pictures.

 

Petra Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 



 

 

Timna Park

 

 

 

 

Adi, Naomi, Michal and Uri at arch

 

 

 

Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains

 

 

 

Desert Warning Signs

 

 

Uri’s military training camp

 

 

Jordan Experiences

 

 

We had arranged the trip from Eilat to Petra via an Israeli tour company. The Israeli company picked us up at our hotel and took us to the border where we were met by a Jordanian guide, driver, and armed security guard (who stayed with us until we got to Petra).

 

Petra was about a two hour drive from the border crossing in Aqaba. On the way to Petra we made a comfort stop and were introduced to Bedouin hospitality. The headdresses were quite comfortable and we bought a couple.

The guide spent the afternoon with us, and the driver spent both the afternoon and most of the next day.   He was the more interesting of the two.  Both spoke excellent English, having learned in school and much practice with tourists. Our driver was a Bedouin and said he grew up following Bedouin customs and lived as a nomad. His mother died when he was an infant. His grandmother and father wanted him to have an education so they moved to the city when he was 12 and he started school. After school he served in the Jordan army, and spent two year in Ivory Coast as a member of the United Nations Peace keepers. He said he was the first in his family not to have an arranged marriage.

 

 

Eilat Dinner Highlights

 

 

Food, food and more food.  We had three excellent dinners in Eilat – Indian, Asian fusion, and steak – to fill our evenings after a day of exploration. 

 After returning from Petra we went to a steak house for dinner – Stacy ordered the rib eye and literally got a mouth full!

 

 

 

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Photo journalist:  Lois Frand

Writer:  Jason Frand

Editor:  Lois Frand

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April 30, 2019