Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Egypt and Jordan

The last time I updated Cheryl was about to head home and Eric and I were still in Hurghada. Cheryl made it home and Eric and I took the 4am ferry to Sinai, which meant we had to get up at 2:30am, not much fun. The good thing though was that because it was so early I slept through the whole ride and also on the bus to Dahab, which is where we stayed for the next few days. Dahab is a backpackers town, lots of chill restaurants and bars, beaches, bookshops, a nice place to relax. It isn't very Egyptian, but I liked it. We did some more snorkeling and took a tour up Mt Sinai that was petty crazy. The tour was to see the sunrise at the top of the mountain so we started hiking at 1am, haha. It was a long night, but the sunrise was pretty awesome. Its the mountain that Moses got the 10 commandants on in the Bible, so there were lots of people there and singing as the sun came up, which was fun. We also stopped at one of the oldest monastery's on the way down and saw a decedent of the 'burning bush' but it was a bit too crowed and I was way tired by then from hiking all night. We have actually seen a lot of important Christian religious sights lately, which makes sense given where we are, but some how it didn't occur to me when planning for this part of the trip. Also when we were in Dahab Eric and I won a pub quiz! It was very exciting and the prize was 100 Egyptian pounds which is a fair amount considering that out hotel room only cost 60 a night. It all had to be spent on drinks tho and we actually had quite a hard time drinking it all, haha, but ended up taking lots of bottels of water back with us.
After Dahab we headed to Jordan on an epic ferry journey which lasted 13 hours. Mostly the ferry was just incredibly late and there was a lot of waiting around, but we were really tired by the time we finally got to the hotel in Aqaba. We went straight from there to Wadi Musa the next day, which is the town Petra is outside of and we spent two days hiking around Petra. Petra is really quite amazing, its a whole ancient city carved out of the sandstone. And the area around it is beautiful as well so its fun to hike around even thought the ruins are a bit spread out. Its not quite as hot as in Egypt so we were able to hike most of both days, though we were always happy to rest and buy tea from the Bedouin families who sell souvenirs and drinks along the paths. After Petra we wanted to stop at the dead sea but it seems easier to go to Amman and then find a tour going to the Dead sea from there. We found a hotel in Amman and booked a tour the next day. We couldn't find one that just went to the sea, so the one we did made some stops along the way. We stopped at a church with some very old mosaics, Mt Nebo and the place where Jesus was baptized, tho Eric and I decided not to pay to see that one. Really I just wanted to swim in the Dead Sea which we did and it was pretty crazy. The salt content is so high that you float so much, its a lot of fun. Its also the lowest place on earth which I think is pretty cool. I didn't actually swim too much because the salt is quite painful to any cuts and pensive areas of skin, though as a female I seemed to have more of a problem with this then the guys.
The next day we took a bus to some Roman ruins out side of the Amman called Jeresh, which were really nice. There were two theaters and tons of columns and old parts of buildings and there were very few people there which surprised me since its like one of the top 3 things to see in Jordan. That night we also went out for a bit of a fancy dinner, partly for Eric's birthday which is on sunday and partly because the guide book said that they had scrambled tofu. It was quite good, but the scrambled tofu I ordered didn't actually have any tofu in it, haha, just veggies and cheese, oh well. It was interesting to see that part of town though, its very modern compared to downtown which is where we have been staying. Yesterday we saw the Citadel and another Roman theater and also and archeology museum which had some of the dead sea scrolls which was interesting. Then Eric left in the afternoon to go back home and I'm hanging around until tomorrow for my flight to Vienna!

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