93 Kms from Beer Sheva
I had a great opportunity to make my holiday vacation with my close friend (Rahul) in Israel's capital Tel Aviv, located on Mediterranean coast. Here’s a quick summary of our journey which kicked off from Hyderabad (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport) via Dubai to Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion International Airport). It was chilling climate on Saturday morning, when we step out of the Tel Aviv Airport.
124 Kms from Beer Sheva
From Aqaba, we again set off on an amazing jeep tour into the Wadi Rum desert. And as we reached Petra, we knew it was the perfect place for a history-lover like me. As a young boy, I often imitated the adventures of Indiana Jones and now I was breathing amongst the walls that had once stood for the Last Crusade! So without further adieu, we delved our curious and excited foot steps into the carved pink sandstone and soon made our grand entrance, through the winding canyon of Siq, finally to the legendary Al Khazneh (The Treasury). Walking past the stone-resurrected tombs and narrow gorges amidst the rocks that have withheld a metamorphosis with the passage of time. And finally we got lucky for our first glimpse!Marked in every corner by its history of Bedouin culture, yet it reeks of the once effluent Pharaoh's lavish interests. So as we headed out, content with ourselves of the historical essence our trip had brought on, we realised it was just impossible to stay in Petra for just a day. To get the feel of the ruins that shaped history, we decided we'll stay on and explore more. So in the coming days came the Roman Theater and the Royal Tombs and the magnificent show that we are glad we didn't miss- Petra by Night. And with the visit to the Mountain of Aaron, our trip came to an end.
146 Kms from Beer Sheva
Amman is the capital city of Jordan and as per some old biblical dictionary it means a city perched atop 7 Hills. As I drove from the airport to my hostel in downtown, this fact became apparent as I came across several viewpoints which offered a panoramic view of the entire city. My stay was booked at The Boutique Hostel (nothing Boutique about it though) in downtown Amman. It was a small house managed by a helpful but shrewd Palestinian owner. The itinerary for the day was to visit the Roman Theater and the Citadel. Both nestled inside the city limits. I got my directions from the hostel manager and decided to walk (walking is the best way to explore any city).The entire downtown Amman is filled with shops that sell everything, from classy leather jackets and boots to the boring electronics to the much hyped dead sea cosmetics. People are warm and friendly. Infact, I was approached by many of them as they instantly recognized the traveler with a camera and the fact that he also looked Indian. Questions pertaining to Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai, Delhi were asked and offers made to buy discounted products from their shops. I only asked further directions to the Roman Theater.Unfortunately, the Roman Theater was closed due to severe flooding that had taken place due to torrential rains (something that is least expected in a desert) and I also came to know that the next place I planned to visit was supposed to be closed for the day in the next 15 minutes. I immediately rushed to my next destination, not wanting to miss out and have nothing to speak about my first day as a solo traveler. Upon my arrival at the Citadel, several tour guides offered an extra hour of sight-seeing beyond the closing time so that I could see the entire place, for an extra 20 JD. Well, it was totally worth it. The majestic sun was calling it a day, the city was turning into a burning red rose and I was on top of one of the 7 hills of Amman surrounded by history and roman architecture.I walked back to my hostel (atleast 4-5 kms) and upon my return, I got to meet my room mates – an Indian, a friendly Taiwenese man and an aloof Japenese teenager. Pranav had arrived two days back in Amman and was still to explore the many tourist destinations of Jordan. Being Indians, we bonded quickly and even faster we made plans about the places to visit for the next day. Pranav and me had booked a tour guide who would pick up from our hostel and take us through the King’s Highway to visit the Moses Burial Ground, the Dead Sea, Panorama and the Ma’in Hot Springs. King’s Highway is the one of the oldest trade routes in the middle east, offering scenic spots of the entire country side of Jordan and connecting all the major tourist spots. Its runs like a snake carved through mountains and has no speed limits. Going up and down the hills, it offers some great sights for photography.
196 Kms from Beer Sheva
If you ever happen to visit Spiti, You have got to spend a night here! The night sky is the most amazing i have ever seen! its a small verical village like on both side of the road and thats it. There is an old Tabo manastery which you have to visit! Have a yummy english breakfast at any of the small cafes in the Tabo market.