Tuesday, December 7, 2010

is there a world without borders

November 19, 2010

Walking across from one country to another…the ground, the feel of the earth never changes, and I envision a world where people are allowed to be, free to move around, free to live, with only one desire - to share and give, and ask the other “how may I serve you”...

Walking from Israel to Sinai, from Sinai back to Israel, and into Jordan…the only duality were the signs separating, dividing and creating obstacles through passport checks, border taxes and the manifold security checks. 

We crossed into Jordan, and the feeling was of peace, soon to be replaced with another feeling, more of confusion as the hordes of people tried to persuade us to pay a sum of money we thought was too high, maybe for our budget, for the transportation to Aqaba,  and to Petra, our final destination in Jordan.   When we asked if we could take a public bus to Petra, we were told that due to Eid holidays the buses were on a minimum schedule hence we will not find one at this hour.    We looked at each other, then we both had an uncomfortable feeling,  were we being jipped?  So we decide to turn around and return to Israel.  At that point an officer intervened and we were given a “better” price for our ride to Petra.  It is always a great ability to flow and be in the moment, and soon we were on our way. Stopping in Aqaba for a great meal and a quick walk about in their bazaar to buy delicious nuts.   Our driver Isaac or Issa was very friendly, and soon we were sharing as if we were old friends.

The hotel we stayed in Petra, Moon Valley Hotel….great value, with hot showers,  comfortable beds, clean toilets, and warmth and friendliness in the staff.  As we shared many “sheeshas” or nargilas together, meeting people, sharing their stories, including one person who wanted to buy me by suggesting a price of 12 camels, both Frederick and i had a good laugh as we realized their sense of humor.

The trip to Petra, invoked many feelings and the day started with an interesting twist.  The unfolding of the events were made clear when we were in Petra, on the horseback, enjoying the magnificent views, including the sunset.  At one point our guide took us to a precipice, the few quiet moments as we sat there, invoked a feeling as if we were flying.    An amazing lightness of being…later down below,  we faced the treasury, with the moonlight  reflecting on the pillars and the building carved in the mountain, the guide said “look at the top, that is where you were sitting”…it became clear the feeling of sitting on top of the world, in abundance and the feeling of soaring with that abundance…walking through the Siq, not many tourists remaining at that time, was a walk through a magical wonderland.  I looked up and saw Venus, perched on top of the mountain peak, the almost full moon shining, lighting our path.  I turn around and Frederick says, look to your right, I look up at the face in the mountain, so chiseled, the shadow creating the effect of dark hair, it was surreal...we looked, mesmerized and  the eyes which seemed to be closed, opened…no word remain to describe the feeling of that moment.  Petra, the seventh wonder of the world, became the most wondrous place at that moment.

The Treasury at Petra
The Treasury at Petra
Location:Ma'an GovernorateJordan
Coordinates:30°19′43″N 35°26′31″ECoordinates30°19′43″N 35°26′31″E
Elevation:810m (2,700 ft)
Settled:7000 B.C.[1]
Built:1200 B.C.[1]
Visitation:580,000 (2007)
Governing body:Petra Region Authority
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Criteria:i, iii, iv
Designated:1985 (9th session)
Reference #:326
State Party: Jordan
Region:Arab States
Petra is located in Jordan
Location of Petra in Jordan
Petra (Greek "πέτρα" (petra), meaning rockArabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ) is a historical and archaeologicalcity in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is known for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans,[2] it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourism attraction.[2] It lies on the slope of Mount Hor[3]in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorerJohann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as "a rose-red city half as old as time" in a Newdigate Prize-winning sonnet by John William BurgonUNESCO has described it as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage."[4] Petra was chosen by the BBC as one of "the 40 places you have to see before you die".[5]


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