Look at Jordan on a map and you might not think “tourist destination.” Bordered by Syria to the north, Iraq to the east, Israel and Palestine to the west, Jordan is the calm eye in the center of the Middle East storm. And its capital city of Amman is full of surprises…
After 26 hours of travel from Portland through Vancouver B.C. and London, I finally arrived in Cairo late on Christmas night, excited to see Viktoria after four months apart. My time on the ground was short-lived. We woke up the next day and headed back to the airport to embark on a Nile River Cruise of the temples of Upper Egypt.
Westerners have a long tradition of discovering things that were never lost in the first place. The ancient city of Petra, hidden away in Jordan’s southwestern desert, was “discovered” by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. However, the Rose City—named for the color of the sandstone in late afternoon—had long been an object of curiosity in the region.
Today, Petra is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World (check out our rundown of the Seven Wonders we’ve visited) and Jordan’s most popular tourist destination. But 2,000 years ago, it was the capital city for the nomadic Nabataean people. They lived in caves chiseled deep into the sandstone and carved intricate facades into the outer walls to indicate temples and tombs…. Read the rest at CascadianAbroad.com
Over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work preparing a new Cascadian Abroad. Not only will it provide more flexibility for us, but we’ll be able to display larger photos and more interactive posts. We’re excited about the new look and the opportunities that go along with it.
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Other ways to Follow The Adventure!
It’s been nine months since we left Japan and although we did some exploring around Cascadia, I haven’t had much opportunity for travel since Viktoria left for Cairo. Fortunately, a recent work trip took me to Pennsylvania and I stretched it into a weekend in Philadelphia.
I dropped my co-worker for an early flight, which gave me an opportunity to get a jumpstart on sightseeing. I dropped the rental car off at my Airbnb in the historic Italian Market neighborhood, put on my walking shoes and set out on the town. The unseasonably warm November weekend would be full of walking as the transit workers decided to go on strike, but we’ve had experience navigating a transit strike before, so I was good to go!
48 hours and 60,000 steps later, I checked off everything on my Philadelphia bucket list.
There are many things I miss about Japan, but festivals have to be near the top of that list. This weekend marks the 368th anniversary of the first Kawagoe Matsuri, the main festival event in our former hometown.
When most people picture Oregon, they see green fir trees, maybe snow-capped mountains or the Pacific Ocean. But 45 percent of the state is classified as desert and it is here where some of the most unique terrain in the state can be found.
More than 200 miles east of Portland, the Painted Hills may be the most unique of all. Millions of years ago, the desert was covered by an ancient river that left a geological fairy tale behind in the rock and soil. Vibrant black, gray, red and gold soil layer the hills, colored by the prehistoric vegetation sediment from a time when the area was a hot and humid rainforest.
Located in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the site is also important to archeologists. A bounty of fossils, the remains of early horses, camels and rhinoceroses, can still be found in the area.
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If You Go…
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
From Portland, take US-26 east Mitchell (approximately 225 miles).