Aqaba is on the shores of the Red Sea at Jordan’s southern most tip. Luxury hotels are springing up along the waterfront and new homes are being built everywhere along with improving the city’s infrastructure. The main road connects Aqaba with Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Iraq is sending their oil through the Port of Aqaba to be shipped creating income for this little area in the desert. It is the only seaport in Jordan.
Petra is 80 miles from Aqaba and this 2,000 year old city was carved into rock. After a series of earthquakes the city was abandoned. I cancelled my tour to Petra because it was going to be 104 degrees and I did not want my body to overheat. You were out in the heat for a couple of hours walking about 5 miles. Four people from our ship tour had to be treated at the hospital for heat related issues. These are pictures from other passengers.
Wadi Rum was made famous when much of the award winning film, Lawrence of Arabia, was shot here. The towering sandstone mountains rise out of the sand of the desert.
Safaga, Egypt is a jumping off point to go to the pyramids and Luxor. This seaport has taken on major building projects for highways, new homes and luxury resorts along the Red Sea. The bombing of a tour bus on 5/19 near the pyramids caused all tours 5/22 to be cancelled for safety. Security guards are riding all our tour buses and there are bomb checks under the buses. There were several check points as we traveled the roads.
We went to the Mena Ville Resort along the Red Sea to swim. I rode a camel along the beach and had a wonderful relaxing day.
Luxor Temple was a complex on the east bank of the Nile while the Valley of the Kings was on the west bank surrounded by the Theban Hills. The Valley of the Kings are the tombs built for the pharaoh and powerful nobles. It was 120 to 130 degrees the day I went to Luxor depending where we were.
The village culture in Luxor has not changed much in hundreds of years. There are very few cars and modern buildings. Crops are harvested by hand and placed on a cart pulled by a donkey. Crops are irrigated from canals feed by the Nile.
Thobes (men’s robe) and Abeaya(women robes) are worn outside by most people even if they are Christian. There are 100 million people in Egypt and there are not enough schools for the children so they go for half a day and there are two sessons each day. The illiteracy rate is 30%. There is some free housing for the poor along with free education and medical for everyone.