So I recently added a few more destinations to my lifetime goal of visiting every country in world which included checking off a bucket list dream of mine to visit Petra. Queue the Indiana Jones Theme song!!  My sister has been living in Tel Aviv for the last two years, and I only recently got my tuchus into gear and made the trek to visit! I'm a bad sister, I know! BUT I did repay them by taking their engagement photos whilst I was visiting, so there is that. (Another blog post coming soon!)

The shuk in the old port city of Yafo.  The city can also be spelled Jaffa, Jaffo, and various other ways and everyone will still know what you mean. 

If the photos above just look like a cluster**** of stuff, it's because it is! The shuk in Yafo is also a huge flea market of sorts, where you can find all kinds of odds and ends. I did manage to find a fun vintage Kodak film camera, but I guess my haggling skills weren't up to snuff because the purveyor wouldn't budge on the price, so I had to pass. It's nice having the web available to make sure you're not getting ripped off! 

Meandering through the streets and alleyways of Old Jaffa, and finally making it down to the docks! 

 

 

The city of Jerusalem. 

The city of Jerusalem. 

Took a Holy City tour through Jerusalem, which was an interesting experience.  Visited the different quarters of the city, and even left a note in the Western Wall.  I happened to be visiting during the month of Ramadan, which meant certain things were closed. Kind of a bummer to travel all that way to be told a lot of things were closed...was definitely channeling some Griswold Family Vacation vibes! 

 

Next we rented a car and made the drive down to Masada, and the Dead Sea.  It was during this leg of my trip that I mainly used my phone to take pictures, mostly because it was insanely hot and the idea of strapping my camera to my body was unbearable! You can see more of that on my instagram @cathybee or on @catebatchelorphotography. 

Some extremely well preserved fresco paintings, and my soon to be bro-in-law, Dave, rocking his adventure hat! 

Some extremely well preserved fresco paintings, and my soon to be bro-in-law, Dave, rocking his adventure hat! 

Roman ruins at Jerash. 

Roman ruins at Jerash. 

My sister and I decided to visit Jordan through Abraham Tours  which ended up being SUCH a great decision! Not only did it make crossing the border and seeing the sights so much easier, but we had such a fantastic group of people on the tour with us!! What's better than making new friends while traveling??

Be prepared for an influx of Petra photos now...

My first glimpse of the Treasury in Petra. Simply breath taking. 

My first glimpse of the Treasury in Petra. Simply breath taking. 

I was greeted with this incredible view of the Monastery after an 800 step climb up the mountain. Whew! It did not disappoint! You could choose to ride a donkey up, or walk it on your own. I definitely think the walk made me appreciate it all that much more...plus I wanted the steps for my fitbit tracker! 

The Monastery

The Monastery

We visited during the low season in Jordan, when it's usually too hot for anyone to function. The weather decided to cooperate, and stay in the mid to low 80s, which was a huge relief! When usually there are thousands of visitors, we happened to be a small tour group and maybe 100 other visitors.  It was incredible to see the place in such solitude! 

View out of the Royal Tomb, and my last look at the Treasury at the end of the day. 

View out of the Royal Tomb, and my last look at the Treasury at the end of the day. 

I have returned to the states as a bronze goddess with a new found love of the Middle East, and I can't wait to continue my adventures! 

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