The flight to Israel from Amman, Jordan to Tel Aviv was just a 45 minute hop, and I arrived at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon, the start of the Jewish Shabbat or sabbath. From sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, Israeli public transit, stores, and many restaurants and services close down. The airport was like a ghost town, and the heavy security screenings I’d anticipated did not happen at all.
Category: Middle East
Part II: A Little Indiana Jones, a Little Lawrence of Arabia: The Kingdom of Jordan
After what had been a rather stressful stay in Egypt, my next stop was Jordan. I’d arranged to meet Obeid, a Bedouin guide from the southern part of Jordan, at the airport in Amman. He’d be taking me to the famous archeological site at Petra, and then to his Bedouin camp near the Saudi border.
Part I: “Now I Understand the Motivation for the Exodus” – A Visit to Egypt
Even though I’d read that the name Cairo was Arabic for “The Victorious One”, after only an hour in the Egyptian capital I began to wonder if something had gotten lost in translation, because to me, Cairo must certainly be the Arabic word for “chaos.”
“Is First Time in Hamam?” – An Introduction to Istanbul
In 2014, after exploring nearly every corner of Europe, I set my sights upon Turkey as my next vacation adventure. After spending a few days in the exotic and lovely Cappadocia region of central Turkey, hiking scenic desert canyons, staying in a hotel carved into bizarrely shaped rock formations, dining on wonderful food, and trying to learn a little Turkish, it was time to go to the big city, and as I boarded my flight and buckled myself in, I practiced the wealth of Turkish I’d acquired thus far. I knew merhaba (hello), but found “goodbye” in Turkish to be unpronounceable, so I avoided that phrase! Kelebek (which was the name of my hotel in Cappadocia) means “butterfly” and of course everyone knows what a kebab is. As the flight attendant gave her safety briefing, I added cikis to my vocabulary, which means “exit.” Oh yes, Istanbul, I am ready for you!Continue reading ““Is First Time in Hamam?” – An Introduction to Istanbul”