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Middle East Travel

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The Dead Sea or 'Yam Hamelach', sea of salt in Hebrew, is considered the lowest point on Earth. It is 1300 ft below sea level. The extra-ordinary salt in the water, enables bathers to float. The salty water and the therapeutic mud are known for...
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Jerusalem
It was Saturday morning after Good Friday in Jerusalem. I was determined to see the sunrise over the Old City. My friends doubted my ability to get up for a headstart on the day. But, under the notion that this would likely be my only opportunity...
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Jerusalem
Known in Hebrew as the Kotel, the Western Wall is singularly the holiest of sites for Jews. On the other side of the Western Wall is the Temple Mount. For centuries, Temple Mount was the location of the sacred First and Second Temples for the...
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Jerusalem
This quickly captured image of a woman sweeping the entrance to Mary's Grotto in Jerusalem, near the Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives, is provocative in the sense that, in Christian theology, Mary was a servant to give birth to God's Son,...
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Jordan
Everybody is after the "money shot" of the Treasury glimpsed between the cliff edges of the siq, but an even better way to capture the Treasury is from above. Just after the Palace Tomb (along the Royal Tombs ridge), a set of weather-beaten stairs...
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Levant

A route created by local guide Yamaan Safady ensures that hikers arrive at Petra the way pre-Christian-era travelers did: out of virgin desert, no tour buses in sight. The six-day, 50-mile “back door” route begins in the Dana Biosphere Reserve; at...

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Basman, Amman, Jordan
Tea is the centerpiece of Jordanian culture. I’m in awe of how Jordanians drink tea. Like coffee, tea is served in tiny glasses. The glasses normally don’t have a handle, which makes it difficult to hold when hot. You become really good at holding...
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Wadi Rum is one of those places you visit and then think about for the rest of your life. A place so stunning and bizarre it permanently etches its memory in your bones. I ended up there with no plans or expectations, and no clue what was in...
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Take in views of a hot spring–fed waterfall, a dramatic ravine, and the Dead Sea from a resort that sits more than 800 feet below sea level. A cliff-top outdoor restaurant serves organic greens from the garden. Evason Ma’In, (800) 591-7480, from...
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Jordan
The ancient Nabataean red-rock temples and tombs at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra truly embody that overused word mysterious. A few hints of the people who constructed this city in the 3rd century B.C.E. can be found in ancient texts,...
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Jordan
There is more to Petra than its iconic Treasury building and the winding Siq leading to it. Known as the Vegas of its time, crowds still converge to marvel at the ancient tombs, temples, and churches. Through the ages, it has acquired a myriad of...
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Jordan
It's a bit of a hike up to the Monastery, but it's worth all the sweat. Just past Petra's central city ruins, a steep trail twists and turns up the hill leading you, finally, to the plateau where the Monastery sits. The name is something of a...
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Levant
One worthwhile activity when visiting Jordan is to browse the many women's cooperatives around the country (for example, the Petra Pottery Workshop shown above). These establishments not only allow you to watch women create beautiful handicrafts,...
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When most think of the Dead Sea they think of Israel, but remember you can visit it in Jordan too. We hired a driver to take us to an area where locals go. We were able to rinse off in a nearby stream and we didn't have to pay a fee. Floating and...
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Bethlehem
After a whirlwind trip through Israel, I planned a day trip to Palestine. Despite the conflicts surrounding the area, I had come so far to not visit the historical sites in Palestine. As I walked into the Church of the Nativity, I felt a calmness...