The conclusion of our Israel vacation was most special: An overnight trip to Petra.
We stayed in Eilat, which is only 10 minute drive from the Jordan border and left first thing in the morning. There was mucho security on both sides of the border with countless guards, searches, and passport showings.
A guide and driver picked us up at the Jordan border to take us to Petra, about a 90-minute ride from the border. We passed through the city of Aqaba on the Red Sea and then a scenic drive through the desert and rugged and rocky mountains.
We stayed at the Petra Guest House, a comfortable and well-situated four-star hotel, right at the entrance to the ruins.
Our guide Shuaib, a Jordanian native, who was mild mannered and had a good sense of humor and most importantly had complete knowledge of all of the history and culture of Jordan.
He told us the in depth history of Petra, an ancient city built about 312 BC, which was the capitol city of the Nabateens, a tribe that inhabited Arabia and the surrounding area. The Romans, the Syrians, and the Greeks also inhabited Petra over the centuries. Petra was reborn again after 1929 when a team of four British archeologists surveyed and excavated the area, so eventually it could be open to tourism. Shuaib also pointed out the spot where the film Lawrence of Arabia was shot.
Many of the stone mountains had archways, which lead to caves, which were once ancient tombs. The highly textured stone with colorful mosaics of pinks, oranges, rust, amber, copper, and beige tones were spectacular.
The high point of the tour was the Treasury of Petra, a magnificent structure believed to be a temple or royal tomb, most likely constructed in the 1st century BC. The pink stone against the rugged wall and the Roman columns along with the intricate carvings was breathtaking.
We spent almost five hours walking thorough Petra in complete awe. Petra is almost indescribable, a world on to its own that I have never seen anything like before, and my words in this post have not described it adequately enough. Hopefully my photos will make up for it and show you some of the splendor. I can see why it is named one of the Seven Wonders of the World and named one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die” by the Smithsonian Magazine.
Next week I will write about the incredible evening tour we took along with photos.
The Jordanian Tourist Board generously provided our hotel, tour guide, and driver, which was invaluable in planning our Petra trip.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.