Part 2…A day to remember…Petra…Aqaba Jordan…photos, photos and more photos…Plus pirate drill!

Part 2.  Our experiences in Petra, the lost city.  Part 1 was posted yesterday on May 15, 2013.
For the detailed history of Petra, please click here.

Yesterday morning, after posting our Part 1 of our expedition to Petra, everyone aboard ship was to participate in a mandatory drill in preparation for our upcoming passage into the Gulf of Aden.

All passengers in the inside cabins would be required to stay in their cabins in the event pirates boarded the ship. Passengers in balcony cabin (us) and suites were to move to the hallways after locking their cabin doors staying in place until directed otherwise. 

The drill lasted 30 minutes as security maintained their stations to ensure all complied. The quiet was unsettling. 

As described to us, most often, pirates attack larger ships during the night. Thus, we’ve been instructed that tonight and over the next three nights, beginning at sunset and ending at sunrise, to keep our curtains closed and all outdoor lights off.  Also, all outdoor nighttime activities will be suspended during this four day period.  Walking along the decks at night will also be prohibited.

After speaking with a ship’s officer a short time ago, he explained upon my polite pressing, that an escort convoy of naval ship from multiple countries will be accompanying us over the next four days as we navigate toward and through the Gulf of Aden.

Are we frightened?  Not at all. The likelihood of pirates boarding a cruise ship at full speed with naval escorts is slim to none.  Although, we must admit that the excitement of it all adds to our varied experiences as we travel the world.

Who we are as individuals is comprised of all of our life experiences, good and bad.  Every step of our journey, now almost seven months since leaving Minnesota, has changed us in subtle ways, has changed our view of the world and, our view of our world.  These discoveries continue each and every day as new opportunities and challenges are presented to us, such as the visit to Petra.


Now, back to where we left off yesterday in Part 1 ending with this photo as we inched closer and closer to the Treasury at the lost city of Petra, Jordan:

This was the photo we posted at the end of yesterday’s Part 1 of our trip to Petra.
This was the next scene as we entered “the city” to see the world renowned “Treasury.”
We couldn’t stop shooting.  It was breathtaking!
In Jordan, the camel owners proudly let us take photos.  In Egypt at the Great Pyramids, either they’d grab your camera and smash it or demand $50 to get it back.
More of the Treasury, illustrating the rose hue to the daunting structure.
Actually, Tom was much happier than he looks in this photo!
Imagine, they said tourism is down.  What would it have been like if that wasn’t the case!
Check out the intrigue detail of Treasury performed by craftsmen over 2000 years ago. The twelve pillars represent the twelve months of the year.
The seven cups along the border illustrate the seven days of the week
After the long walk, sitting down for this not so smiley photo was a huge relief. The grates behind me at the front of the Treasury are protecting more intricate design.
Much to our surprise, vendors were set up by the Treasury but in Jordan, they weren’t “pushy” as they were in Egypt at the Pyramids.
We continued on past the Treasury to yet another area full of wonders.
This camel posing for us preferred his side view!
Visitors aren’t allowed to enter the various tombs and chamber.

The ride back was nerve racking, the bus bobbing along on the rough roads. Luckily, the day was cool which made a huge difference in our three hour walk. But when we got onto the bus, the driver put the heat on full blast. It was so hot, it felt as if it was burning our feet as it blasted out down below. No one on the bus said a word.

This donkey, high above us was standing on the rocks, waiting to be beckoned for his next passenger.
Tom, sitting on the aisle jumped up and approached the driver, kindly asking that he turn off the heat and put on the AC.  He agreed and the people on the bus cheered as the cool air came on.
Our tour guide positioned himself in an advantageous spot in order to take photos of passengers in our group using each of our own cameras.  He took the photo of us at the top of this page.

The ride continued on until about five miles from our ship.  Suddenly, a warning sound on the bus blared, startling all of us.  The driver stopped the bus, turning off all of the lights, as he pulled toward the curb.  Moaning ensued by the passengers. 

Wouldn’t it be interesting to crawl into these openings?

We heard one person say, “Oh, I knew this day was too good to be true.”

The open area by the Treasury make me wonder what it would have been like 2000 years ago filled with townspeople, animals and vendors, typical of the era.

My mind was spinning. It was already 7:30 pm. We could be stuck on this road for hours waiting for another bus, a hazard on the road with no taillights turned on.  Both the driver and the tour guide were speaking in Arabic on their cell phones trying to figure out what to do. Fifteen minutes passed.

More interesting formations.

Tom looked angry. I was worried. Soon, they both got back on the bus and the driver started it up. It sounded alright. We could see our ship at the far distance, its lights twinkling in the dark. Much to our delight, we were on our way once again, the driver mumbling something about a “bad sensor.”

More interesting entrances.

We didn’t get back to the ship until 8:00 pm. We were hungry, exhausted and anxious to move about. Rather than spend time showering and dressing for dinner, knowing the main dining room closed at 9:30, we dropped off our heavy bag, changed into clean clothes and headed to dinner.

Imagine the hard labor for the artists who crafted these stones.
Falling into bed by 10:30, we had smiles on our faces over an overall enriching day that neither of us will ever forget.
A doorway to…
Thank you, Jordan, a peaceful country rich in history and treasures they have gifted to the world to see.  We’re grateful, once again.

Comments and responses Part 2…A day to remember…Petra…Aqaba Jordan…photos, photos and more photos…Plus pirate drill!

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Very interesting account. I have traveled to most places in the world but not Petra which I have had on my list for a long time. Thanks for your report.

  2. Jessica Reply

    This past cruise through the Middle East was more exciting than we ever could have imagined. The Strait of Gibralta, the Suez Canal, the Great Pyramids, Petra, the Sphinx and even the excitement over the pirates all added to an experience that we'll treasure always. Thank YOU for reading and writing to us. Sharing these experiences adds so much to our adventures.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  3. Anonymous Reply

    Awesome post! I used ur pic and story as part of my blog, List of Living ( Thank you for your stories and keep being an inspiration! 🙂

  4. Jessica Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing our photo on your blog, which, BTW, I found to be very appealing. Petra was my #1 favorite place we've visited thus far until recently when we currently are living for three months, in Marloth Park, South Africa. Although both locations couldn't be more different, the daily experiences in Marloth Park are unmatched. Thanks so much for writing and sharing a piece of your story.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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