Results tagged “Shopping” from Eurasia 2012

I'm still after someone to come and give me a foot massage.. I've done just over 100000 steps in the past four days!

First stop this morning was a short walk to Garden Lodge - Freddie Mercury's old home (and current home of Mary Austin) in Kensington. There's a bunch of written notes to Freddie stuck to the walls (behind some plexiglass heh).

Then the tube into town to go to St Paul's cathedral. I arrived at the opening time of 8:30 and ended up spending three hours there! The audio tour there was actually an audio/video things on an iPod! Climbed all the way to the top of the domes for some great views of London.

Then walked across the Millennium Bridge to go to the Globe Theatre. Got to see some Argentinians rehearsing for their show tonight - they were doing Henry IV Part 2 as part of the Globe to Globe festival (which sadly doesn't appear to have Hamlet in the original Klingon).

Back across the bridge and tubed over to Leicester Square to meet Campbell for lunch. We had some nice dumplings, and was good to catch up with him again.

Then we walked up the road a bit so I could get some more USB and SD memory at a pretty decent price too. Should do me until I get to Japan, then can use Stu's computer for the rest of the trip as the non-platter backup.

And finally to the British Museum. I was hoping to have most of the afternoon there, but with the late lunch and shopping, I ended up only having an hour and a half there :( Hoping to get some more time there tomorrow afternoon, but that's all a bit up in the air at the moment.

Stopped in at M&S on the way back to the hotel for some reasonably decent salads for dinner.


Distance covered on the GPS: 27.8 km
Steps walked: 25438
Photos on the Canon: 188
Photos on the Sony: 65+?
Videos: 0
GBP Spent: 35.36

Slept in til the alarm went off at 6am so that was pretty good.

Another pretty good breakfast although no beef bacon today :(

Drove through Tahrir Square (nothing much happening at the moment there).

Our first stop was Salah Al Din Citadel, a big old fortress that apparently was never attacked, so is in remarkably good condition.

Didn't really see anything much of the fortress except the outer walls, but instead went to the Mosque of Mohammed Ali.

There were a whole group of very scantily clad girls in front of us, so they were given robes to cover up. They were also the ones throwing their shoes down soles-down on the carpets inside the mosque. hrmm.

There's a pretty good view from outside. Should have been able to see the pyramids but it was too hazy today.

Next stop was a shopping area with narrow alleys and bazaars. But apart from some stuff near the entrance square, nothing much was open, and I wasn't really interested in anything anyway.

Met up at the meeting place in this nice cafe, which was a little reminscent of something out of a movie. All it needed was ceiling fans!

Back through the CBD and back through Tahrir Square.

To the Egyptian Museum.

Security here is pretty strict here as well - xrays at the courtyard entrance. You can take photos in the courtyard but not inside. So if you want to take your cameras in to photograph the building, you then have to leave your camera at the checkpoint at the outer entrance, where you get a token for retrieval.

So into the building, another xray bag check.

We had the guide for a while and he took us round and showed us a few things. Then he gave us an hour to explore, but we asked for an hour and a half. Of course you could see maybe 5% of the museum in that time. hrmm. So we went in to see Tutenkamen. Spectacular! And all the stuff in his tomb - amazing! Then went and saw the royal mummies (100LE extra). Then some aimless wandering. There was this creepy guy in the animal mummy room who kept staring at me wherever I went, so really couldn't concentrate on the room until he eventually left :(:( So did our wandering then left, then came back to the hotel.

Had to fight the internet connection (it's ~$18 for 24 hours :( ) but the connection in my room was stuffed so had to get onto tech support for them to fix it. Blah.

At 6:30 we got picked up to go to a Nile dinner cruise.

Getting food was quite chaotic, but was nice enough (they carved up a *massive* turkey! - or maybe it wasn't massive to American standards, but looked pretty big to me!).

There was a belly dancer, and a whirling dirvish, and some singer. But after dinner we all headed up on deck to watch the lights. The boat mostly went round in circles in a little section of the Nile, so didn't get it to see all that much.

After two hours we got back and headed back to the hotel.

Radio silence for a few days after this - not even mobile phones or credit cards work anywhere south of Aswan.


Distance covered on the GPS: 50.2 km
Steps walked: 11720
Photos on the Canon:
Photos on the Sony:
Videos:
EGP Spent:

Urrrgh. I hate drama. Hate stress. Blah.

Breakfast at this hotel was ok - the nicest thing was meats at breakfast!! Haven't had meat at breakfast this whole trip (except for some tuna on the first day).

Loaded up in the coach and got driven through the most affluent part of Amman, with the tour guide doing a whole PR spiel for the country. It certainly was nicer that the first impression we got of the country.

Our first stop was the "Memorial of Moses" on Mount Nebo - possibly the place that Moses came up to see into the Promised Land before he died. There were a couple of nice mosaics there and you could just barely see Jerusalem through the haze.

Came down from there and stopped at a mosaic-making workshop where they make some stunning mosaics from cut stone. They can take months to complete, depending on the size of stones and intricacy.

Then into Madaba. Traffic was a little crazy as traffic lights were out, and did I mention they don't really have road rules here?

We parked and walked up to see St George's Church and the amazing mosaic they have of the middle east something like 1500 years ago. But the buttheads decided to build a church on top of it, and stuck a supporting pillar *right in the middle of the mosaic* !?!?!? Idiots.

And then back to the bus back through the market street.

For some reason this town had a nice feel to it. Maybe because the shops looked more familiar (a lot of English and selling more western products), maybe because the locals were friendly and waving, maybe because the vendors weren't aggressive. Who knows.

Headed a way out of town to a new restaurant for lunch and it was really nice (with nice clean free toilets - a major bonus in this country!). They even had this camel milk custard dessert!

Next up - another one of Herod's palaces at Mukawer, traditionally the location that they beheaded John the Baptist. A good little climb up and a great view.

This country is amazingly water poor, but we did see a couple of interesting things. One thing was temporary water tanks with tubing to irrigate roadside trees they're trying to grow. At another point we saw a burst water pipe on the side of a mountain gushing water in a huge geyser half way down the side of the mountain.

Then to the "Grand Canyon of Jordan" - Wadi Mujib.

Then headed south. The landscape changed dramatically from farmland to semi-arid.

Had a pitsop along the way, but had to pay for the toilets here.

Continued south (then west) to Petra (Wadi Musa), arriving just on sunset (behind the clouds anyway).

Navigating this hotel is a drama. You have to take two separate lifts, but there's only two at each site, and they only hold six people at a very tight squeeze. Found some stairs and decided they were much easier and faster.

Dinner was a total drama. First the parents arguing about which way up or down the table to move to not leave odd seats, so abanonded them. But then getting food was a *massive* drama because of a bunch of rude Europeans (Italian I think but could have been French - both are in the building) pushing in and making everything take longer. Hate.

Internet is $5 for the whole stay, but another couple gave me a couple of dollars to use it briefly. But it's so slow I may not be able to get my blog entries online anyway. Plus the only place you can use it is in the lobby, and that's where all the Europeans come to smoke :( *sigh*

Now it's stoopidly late because we got here late and have to get up stoopidly early. Which means my chances of getting any decent sleep tonight are about zero..


Distance covered on the GPS: 351.5
Steps walked: 16414, but I'm taking off 5000 due to bumpy roads screwing up the count
Photos on the Canon: 335
Photos on the Sony: 49
Videos: 11
USD Spent: 5-2
JD Spent: 0.5+2

Only five more nights. I have to keep telling myself that. Only five more nights. Then I get my own room. Saving $1400, I guess I can put up with it.

Moving on.

So had a slight disaster last night - my lovely 64gb USB stick that Stu got me for Christmas died. It had one of the backups of all my photos. It was also the one I was going to send home with the parents later. Not happy. It detects it briefly when you plug it in, but then it drops out of windows again, and the led flashes non-stop on it for as long as you leave it plugged in :(

We had an early start today - on the bus at 7:30. This is so we could queue to go through security to get onto the temple mount. Queued for about three quarters of an hour. They did a visual inspection of bags (probably looking for Bibles which are forbidden), and then an xray. At one point there was a sign, obviously posted by Jews, saying that entry to the temple mount is forbidden according to Torah law. It's kind of weird that us Aussies can get in whereas most Jews can't I don't think (or possibly choose not to in case they step on where the holy of holies was). In fact the whole city is this weird and very delicate balance of Jews and Muslims.

Sign warning people to stay off the Temple Mount
Sign warning people to stay off the Temple Mount

Security entrance to the Temple Mount
Security entrance to the Temple Mount

So got go up the ramp next to the wailing wall (rubbing it in much?) and onto the temple mount. Of course the most spectacular thing there is the gold-leaf Dome of the Rock. Only muslims are allowed inside though.

The Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall

Temple Mount<br>Photo by Dad
Temple Mount
Photo by Dad

Dome of the Rock<br>Photo by Dad
Dome of the Rock
Photo by Dad

Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock<br>Photo by Mum
Dome of the Rock
Photo by Mum

Walked past the Golden Gate and then out of the temple mount.

Golden Gate from the inside
Golden Gate from the inside

Just inside the walls of the Temple Mount<br>Photo by Dad
Just inside the walls of the Temple Mount
Photo by Dad

Just outside the walls of the Temple Mount
Just outside the walls of the Temple Mount

Tour group just outside the Temple Mount
Tour group just outside the Temple Mount

Continued walking to the pool of Bethesda and had a look in St Anne's Basilica.

Pool of Bethesda
Pool of Bethesda

Pool of Bethesda
Pool of Bethesda

Poppies
Poppies

Arch
Arch

St Anne's Basilica<br>Photo by Dad
St Anne's Basilica
Photo by Dad

Then into another church - Sisters of Notre Dame of Zion I think - on the site of the Antonia Fortress to look at old cisterns and also an excavated street of Roman vintage.

Drain pipe
Drain pipe

Streets of Jerusalem<br>Photo by Dad
Streets of Jerusalem
Photo by Dad

Struthion Pool
Struthion Pool

Antonia Fortress<br>Photo by Mum
Antonia Fortress
Photo by Mum

Mosaic in Sisters of Notre Dame of Zion
Mosaic in Sisters of Notre Dame of Zion

And then it was to follow the path of some of the Stations of the Cross. This was a pretty cool walk through narrow alleys of shops.

Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa

IV Station of the Cross
IV Station of the Cross

III Station of the Cross
III Station of the Cross

V Station of the Cross
V Station of the Cross

Did you mean Palestine?
Did you mean Palestine?

Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa

VII Station of the Cross
VII Station of the Cross

At the end was The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian quarter that houses seven denominations (mostly various orthodoxes) in the one building. This church is on one of the proposed locations of Golgotha, and houses a stone slab said to have been used for the treatment of Jesus' body after the crucifixion. hrmmm.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre<br>Photo by Dad
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Photo by Dad

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre<br>Photo by Dad
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Photo by Dad

Tombs in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Tombs in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Supposedly where Jesus body was treated after his crucifixion
Supposedly where Jesus body was treated after his crucifixion

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Continued walking to an Armenian restaurant for lunch. This was sooo much better than yesterday - no crowds, food was brought out to us, and a very relaxed setting.

Jaffa Gate
Jaffa Gate

Finally back to the bus to battle crazy heavy holiday traffic out to the holocaust museum. Very sad place. They only gave us an hour and a half there, but could easily have spent a *lot* more time there. In fact, our next stop had to be cancelled because we were so late because of the traffic. So we just headed back to the hotel. So not sure why we had to be so rushed. They could have given us more time there :(

Holocaust History Museum
Holocaust History Museum

Holocaust History Museum
Holocaust History Museum

Holocaust History Museum
Holocaust History Museum

Holocaust History Museum
Holocaust History Museum

When we got back to the hotel we headed straight out again in search of somewhere that sold USB memory sticks. Eventually found a place and bought two 16gb sticks for 149 and 159 shekels.

Old city from near our hotel
Old city from near our hotel

Looking across to Palestinian territory from near our hotel
Looking across to Palestinian territory from near our hotel

Then had to do battle with parents over "laundry" space. Only five more nights, only five more nights.

Can hear fireworks going off. Can't see anything from here though..


Distance covered on the GPS: 28.4 km
Steps walked: 14905
Photos on the Canon: 232
Photos on the Sony: 36
Videos: 3