Tombs, Trees, and Petra, Oh My!

by Shelli Stein

Maybe I’m feeling a little ancient right now with all this sheltering in place time. Maybe I’m dwelling on the past too much. Who knows? In any case I’m fascinated by a few sites and ancient virtual tours I’ve taken. Rather than a blog post on each, I thought I’d share three of them with you in one post. Enjoy Petra, Pharaoh Ramesses’ Tomb, and Open Trees from around the world.

Petra As You’ve Never Seen It

This coming fall I had a super exciting trip planned to Petra and Jordan. Of course that itinerary has been rescheduled. So I was eager to read about what’s happening there now.

Petra, the ancient city, is Jordan’s biggest tourist attraction. Petra, which 2,000 years ago was part of the thriving caravan trade route, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You might also remember Petra from the 1989 movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” because some scenes were filmed at Petra.

The pandemic brought tourism at Petra to a halt. Long-time tour guides and other tourism workers have never seen Petra like this before. They wonder what’s ahead. These photos and story are but a glimpse into Petra and her magical beauty, minus all the people.

Petra Palace Tomb

Image: Wikimedia

Pharaoh Ramesses Tomb: Amazing 360 Degree Virtual Tour

I’ve seen ancient Egyptian art collections at many museums but this virtual tour is in a league of its own. Earlier this year, the Egyptian Tourism Authority released a full 3D model of the tomb of Ramesses VI. What makes this so unique is that it’s an interactive experience. You get to go through the tomb at your own pace and without limits.

Ramesses VI Nebmaatre-Meryamun was the fifth pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt. He reigned for about eight years in the mid-to-late 12th century BC. The tomb lies in the Valley of the Kings. The key feature of this tomb, which was originally built for Ramses V and expanded by Ramses VI, is its vaulted astronomical ceiling with a double image of the Goddess Nut swallowing the sun.

Open Trees: Where to Find Trees in Various Cities

If you’re like me, one of the first things you do when you travel to a city is find a park and take a walk. If I’m going through jet lag this definitely helps me reset my internal clock. More importantly though, I can tell a lot about a city and its people, even if it’s a city I’ve been to many times before, by its parks.

Because I’m an explorer of parks, big and small (I love neighborhood pocket parks), near and far, I found this Open Trees site a fun resource for finding trees! The data is provided by the cities themselves and then sorted into all kinds of fascinating categories on this site.

Not all trees are in parks, of course. My favorite category is the edible tree locator. In some cities there are as many as 9 different types of trees providing fruit. Maybe I’m a nature buff but I do get hungry when I walk around cities looking for trees:)

Final Thoughts

Hope you enjoy one or maybe even all three of these explorations. If you have any sites you’ve had fun exploring, let us know.

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Jonathan May 9, 2020 - 11:39 am

Ugh! So sorry to hear about your trip to Jordan being cancelled. We’re slated to go in November to Jordan and Lebanon, but still very unclear if that’s going to happen! I can’t wait to see Petra!

Shelli May 9, 2020 - 11:47 am

Thanks for reading Jonathan! I’ll get to Jordan as soon as possible, for sure. Fingers crossed you get to take your journey.

Jeremy May 9, 2020 - 3:16 pm

Petra is my single most favorite place on earth. Absolutely breathtaking how amazing and large the whole area is. Hope you make it.

Shelli May 9, 2020 - 3:20 pm

I’ll make it, Jeremy, for sure!! Thanks for reading, and the inspiration to keep my Petra destination goal alive.


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