INDONESIA: Nasi Goreng
Something of a taste from my childhood, Nasi Goreng is a staple of Indonesian (and Malaysian and Singaporean) cuisine, spicy fried rice with omelette pieces its a filling dish.
The city was first mentioned in 1350 BCE and has been, in one state or another in constant use since. and Palestine, with Bethlehem in particular has a wide range of tourists and is highly dependant on the income. Most tourists come for a few hours for for a day trip, a much smaller number stay in one of the thirty hotels.
When people talk about Jerusalem they are really talking about the old city, the town first settled in the 4th century BCE, which has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. Jerusalem itself has grown well past that point, but the old city is still a major part of the town and is not just a site of ancient wonders, but of shops, homes and restaurants.
On both banks of the river Jordan stand locations claiming to be the site of Jesus Christ's baptism by John. Separated by a dozen feet of water, the faithful, the interested and the border police stand on either side.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is slowly dying. Climate change is having a dramatic effect on the region and the water from the River Jordan, which previously kept the sea level is drying up.
People often compare Wadi Rum desert to Arizona. Whilst both are desolate landscapes dominated by rocky outcroppings, the similarity really stops there. Wadi Rum does not have the dramatic striation that defines Arizona, but instead has an almost melted look on its rock outcroppings due to the soft sandstone and limestone of the region.
Petra is an ancient Nabatean city and has some of the most incredible, memorable and breathtaking architecture you will see in you life. In the middle of the desert, the sun bakes down, but over the centuries the rare rain has slowly been eroding the carvings, despite the overhangs and rain gutters the Nabatean's caved and the local archeological teams keep in working order.
The town of Madaba is small, but busy, with vendors selling on the streets and a number of high end local shops selling locally made designer clothes. The town dates from the middle bronze age and is referenced in the Bible.
Mt Nebo is reputed to be where Moses stood when he saw the holy land after leaving Egypt. Hardly a mountain by most standards, it is still much taller then the flat planes all around it.
Little Petra is also known as Siq al-Barid and is a few miles north of the more famous Petra. It is free entrance, unlike Petra and is usually much less crowded, though it still has a number of Bedouins selling souvenirs and local children following you around looking for money.
Much like Rome herself, Philadelphia was built on seven hills. The Citadel ruins are on one of them looking over the Roman Theatre and Hashemite plaza in the basin.
About an hour outside of Amman is the ancient city of Gerasa (now called Jerash), the largest Roman city remaining outside of Italy. Much of it is still undiscovered, and the modern city spills over a large piece of the underground ruins preventing their excavation.
Downtown Amman is hectic, shops spill out into the streets and street vendors setup tables anywhere there is space.
Amman is a large city, with a bustling center, heavily gridlocked at many hours of the day. Owing to this, more and more commerce and leisure options are appearing in the suburbs.
We decided, as part of our trip to visit Rabat, the capital city of Morocco and see somewhere off the main trail of tourist spots.
On Wednesday when we got to the hotel, it was fairly late, but we'd not eaten so we went up to the hotel restaurant for dinner and we got a bit of a show from a belly dancer who was working that evening.
White Water Rafting on the Annapurna River
At 5am again, we crawled out of the hotel, all bags in hand and paid over the odds for a taxi to the Hotel Tradition where we would be staying after the rafting to leave our unneeded bags behind.
Everest from the Air
We had booked the Mountain View flight the previous evening, and were looking forward to our one chance to see Everest. This day started at 5am with a mini coach ride to the very basic Domestic Terminal of the airport with my associate and the American lady and gentleman.
Chitwan Nature Reserve
As we reached Chitwan, we pulled in to a lovely complex of old wood and faux wattled walls, with wide basket light fixtures. It was quite beautiful.
We got up early and took the purple bus to Pokhara. The non-day bags were loaded onto the roof, and I can only hope nothing breakable was in there because they were hurled up with some force!
At 06:30am, I was started into wakefulness from a pleasant dream about paying for some parking at a multi-story by a bleating alarm clock.
Nepal though, is a vibrant, chaotic, beautify place. The clothes, the buildings, the sun over the mountains are all a riot of colours that can be a challenge to do justice, and that shooting Black and White would impede.
We took a Tuk Tuk in, and had a wander round, ended up eating lunch (not me) in a Russian place which was terrible and then stopped for ice cream to eat as we walked. Patong is ok, its busy, touristy and cheapish. Good for a night out. Wandered on to the beach for a bit and eventually found, on the main walkway, a bar serving cocktails at 50% off for the next two hours. We had lots. I jumped up from time to time to run across the road to get photos of paragliding and sunsets.