The Levant

As part of my mission of visiting the seven wonders of the world, I have been to Petra, my sixth on the list.

To get here you can fly, drive or wade through the waters of the Red Sea, the Dead Sea or, if you are particularly adventurous, the Med(iterranean) Sea. Had an overwhelming experience walking the cobbled streets of old city of Jerusalem- the sacred site for three major faiths of the world. Delighted to explore the ruins of Petra town, a trading post from where the Nabateans have amassed wealth controlling three major trade routes of yesteryears, slave trade from Africa, Spice route from South Asia and the Silk Road from China.

Jordan is a melting pot of varied traditions, customs and cuisines : the benefit of being at the crossroads of the three continents of Africa,Europe and Asia. Granted mixed fortunes by Nature, the country has scant rainfall resulting in sandy deserts as well as the fertile valley of Jordan river with 70% of population dependent on agriculture.

Israel is very modern, advanced,vibrant and is the little Europe set among the Middle Eastern countries. Only country with more forest cover now than at the time of the nation’s birth. Drip irrigation is taking the crop production to a different level. Military training mandatory for both genders. low rates of crime, evident from our walk on the beach promenade in Tel Aviv enjoying a midnight ice-cream. A country with high security & top rated intelligence, had to go through six screenings to get to the aircraft, feels like entering a war zone.

Must visit places while in this part of the globe are Amman : the crowded Jordan capital city; Madaba: the mosaic town; Petra: world heritage site. Mt.Nebo: where Moses revealed the promised land. Bethlehem : the birth place & Nazareth: the childhood grounds of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem : the holy land. Tel aviv: the hip and happening capital city.

The highlight of my trip was at the lowest point on Earth: floated on the salty, buoyant waters of Dead Sea, proving that heavy masses can float and can defy physics !!