Indiana Jones, Petra, Wadi Rum, Masada. One Week.

Daily Travel Report! 11/23/2016
06:00 Petra, aka Wadi Musa or وادي موسى, literally “Valley of Moses” [where Indiana Jones was filmed!] Breakfast & Pack.
08:00 Petra > Wadi Rum or وادي القمر‎‎ “Valley of the Moon” Drive
10:00 Wadi Musa – [where The Martian was filmed!!!] – Jeep tour…with Camels!
12:00 Aqaba, Jordan [Arrival]
13:00 Jordan – Israel Border Crossing [4x passport check + minor cross interrogation]
13:30 Eilat Airport > Tel Aviv [Jet set]
16:00 Tel Aviv arrival, [Taxi recruitment]
17:00 Tel Aviv > Jerusalem [rush hour]
18:00 Jerusalem Hotel Check In. [INTERNET!]
20:00 Jerusalem…..[Hummus and Wine hunting!] #jordan #israel #hiking #history #tourism #places #people #travel #love #turkishcoffee #thanksgiving #middleeast #memories #indianajones #adventure


05:00 Harmony Hotel, New Jerusalem
08:00 Jerusalem Breakfast
09:00 Old Jerusalem, walk
10:00 Castle of David / King Herod’s Castle
12:00 Damascus Gate – Armenian Quarter
14:00 Mount of Olives
15:00 Chapel of Ascension
15:30 Garden of Gethsemane
16:00 Lions Gate
17:00 Old Jerusalem Market, old fashioned haggling
18:00 Harmony Hotel, Happy Hour!!
ADDENDUM: Met an old jewelry merchant at the market today, within the Christian Quarter. He owned a tiny antique shop, a straight shot from Jaffa gate. Appreciative of all ‘ antique and Bedouin, I requested to view a few BCD pieces….and their history. Bedouin amulet + negotiated shekel handover later, we leave to tour the Mount of Olives.
Post tour, we returned to the shop before closing hour [6pm, in Old Jerusalem.] The same weathered merchant gave me a jade ring, blue eyes twinkling bright… passing on decades worth of travels, histories, and treasures in the space of 30 minutes. Mid-explanation, he broke to say three things. [Paraphrasing]
1. You cannot hide who you are. Passion shows in your face and eyes.
2. Reconcile your heart with your head. Don’t let things get to you.
3. Learn to love yourself. Do that, and watch how things come in time.
Sharing the aforementioned to encourage family, friends, students, colleagues-
Angels exist.
People are good.
Appreciate divergence.
Listen, even if you don’t understand.


At Masada. 11/28/2016

Chaos isn’t a pit.
Chaos is a ladder.
Many who try to climb it, fail and never get to try again.
The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or love.
Only the ladder is real.
The climb is all there is. –Game of Thrones, Petyr Baelish. (2013, S03E06)

Chronicled by Flavius Josephus, a Jewish rebel leader / historian captured by the Romans, the siege of Masada was one of the final events in the First Jewish–Roman War. In 73 C.E., after the Great Revolt had been savagely subdued, the Romans decided to put an end to the last pocket of resistance: the freedom fighters of Masada.
For three years, the Zealots had managed to keep the Romans off the mountain. Now, however, nearly 10,000 troops tried starving the Jewish rebels. When it became clear that the end was near, Zealot leader Elazar Ben-Yair called his people – 967 men, women, and children – together. He reminded them that they had long ago resolved to serve God only, and not the Romans nor any other master. He called upon them to die as free men and women, rather than face capture and slavery.
His speech persuaded the Zealots to commit suicide before the expected dawn attack by the Romans. They burned their belongings and their weapons, leaving food so that the Romans would know that they had died of their own free will and had not perished of hunger.
Lots were drawn – 10 men were chosen as executioners: the rest lay side by side and bared their necks. At the end, one Zealot killed the other nine and then took his own life.
It was the first day of Passover, the holiday in which the Jews celebrate their freedom from bondage.
—Times of Israel 

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