First of all, let’s welcome the members of the Eh Team, who have just arrived in Israel today. Don’t they look happy to be here?
The Adventure Tour members (who, by the way, are comprised of members of several dragon boat teams – Moishe, L’Chaim on the Mayim, Sea Lions, Free Spirits) had a real adventure today, heading into Jordon for the day to visit the ancient city of Petra.
We had to leave our Israeli bus and and guide in Eilat and walk across the border, where we were met with a Jordanian guide, Ahmed. We drove several hours into the country. Once we reached Petra, we had a walk of about 3.5 km to reach the most well-known spot, the Treasury. You can walk a lot further, but we didn’t have the time. This is probably a good thing, because one incredible sight after another could keep you walking a long way. It was very hot and dry, but once we reached the canyons, it was easy to forget that. The carvings and natural rock formations were spectacular. And going in was downhill. Coming out was uphill.
After dragging ourselves back out of the canyon, we went for a late lunch at a nearby restaurant, then all piled into the bus an promptly fell asleep for the drive back to the border.
All the Jordanians we met were hospitable and charming (well, except for the border guards) and Petra was truly stunning – but I confess to feeling a fair bit of relief when we walked back over that border to Israel. I talked to a few others who felt the same way. Israel, to many of us, feels like a second home. And even for those who don’t feel that way, it still feels familiar; westernized. But Jordan has an alien feel to it. It truly is a foreign country. Despite the charming Ahmed’s assurances that we were all welcome to return and stay longer next time, its good to be back.