Rome Album

January 2011, spent with 6 days in Rome to relax after the Egypt adventure. Savored good food, explored more ancient sites, enjoyed medieval & renaissance art, and caught tail end of Epiphany service at the Vatican.

Rome Travelogue

Spent with 6 days in Rome to relax after the Egypt adventure. Savored good food, explored more ancient sites, enjoyed medieval & renaissance art, and caught tail end of Epiphany service at the Vatican.

01/03/11: Walking tour to hit major squares: Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori and finally Piazza Venezia.

01/04/11: Cold & dreary. Spent the afternoon wandering around the Vatican Museums, including Raphael rooms with School of Athens and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

01/05/11: Morning at Museum Capitolini. Afternoon cleared up. Went to Forum, Palatine Hill and outside of Colosseum.

01/06/11: Attended crowded Epiphany service led by pope outside Saint Peter’s square. Afterwards, toured Appian Way, old Roman road and catacombs.

01/07/11: Castle St Angels, Piazza Venezia, National Monument to Victor Emmanuel and window shopping.

Egypt Album

December 2010, wrapped up our studies of ancient history by taking a 16 day grand tour of through Egypt: CairoLuxor, Nile Cruise to Aswan covering ancient sites and some modern ones as well. Ended the year with an excursion to see Petra & Biblical sites of Jordan. We managed to “escape” just in time as riots to overthrow Mubarak’s regime broke out only 2 weeks after we left.

Jordan

Spent New Years 2011 in Jordan. Flew into capital Amman then traveled to main tourist attraction Petra, the city carved into stone during 6th century BC by Nabataeans. Along the way, we visited several sites of Biblical significance during the time of Moses. Former kingdoms of Moab & Ammon are thought to be descendants of Lot. Edomites are descendants of Esau.

12/31/10: First stop at Madaba in Moab region to see oldest mosaic of the holy land. 15m x 6m made of 2 million pieces of naturally colored Jordanian stones unearthed in the flooring during the construction of the Greek Orthodox church. Map depicts region around Dead Sea, Jordan River where Jesus was baptized all the way to Nile of Egypt. Next we went up to Mt Nebo to the memorial of Moses where he saw the promised land. It was a dreary day, but apparently from the site, the ancient walled city of Jericho and Jerusalem are both visible. We then stopped by a mosaic factory to learn about the process. Along the way, we passed Abu Shurak for the castle built during the crusades. Also visited Wadi Musa (literally Valley of Moses) to see the spring brought forth by the staff of Moses. Arrived in the city of Petra, land of Edom, in late afternoon.

01/01/11: On New Years Day, hiked 1 mile through the natural gorge Siq to arrive at the impressive Treasury of Petra. The facade, entirely carved of stone, displays influences of Assyrian (lions), Egyptian (Isis), Greek & Roman (columns & mythical characters) empires. It is thought to be the tomb of King Eratus IV, who ordered the death of John the Baptist. Other caves, tomb, temples, columns and an amphitheater were littered throughout the area. Saw several other ornate tombs, including urn, Corinthian and palace tombs. Took horse carriage back out.