Jordan & Palestine
Days 1-2, Saturday and Sunday, October 21, 22. USA Transatlantic Flight- Amman
We will take our morning flight from Salt Lake City connecting with various international airports for our flight to Amman, Jordan. We arrive late afternoon the following day at Amman Airport. Amman is the ancient city of Philadelphia. Upon arrival we will check into our Amman hotel for one night then hold our group orientation meeting.
Day 3: Monday, October 23 Amman-Jerash
Our first full day of touring in Jordan will begin with the ancient city of Philadelphia, the Roman Theater and Citadel. We will drive north stopping at Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world. We will visit the Hippodrome, Temples of Zeus and Artemis, two theaters and the famous Hadrian’s Arch. We will return to Amman for dinner and overnight. During this day, Neil will be teaching his photo class to local Jordanian photo enthusiasts at Amman’s Millennium Hotel while the rest of our group tours listed sites. Please feel free to sit in on this class and make some new Jordanian photo friends!
Day 4: Tuesday, October 24 Wadi Mujib – Petra
This morning we check out of our hotel in Amman and drive south to Wadi Mujib where we explore its narrow canyons and spectacular waterfalls. Afterwards we will continue driving down King’s Highway towards the ancient Nabataean capital Petra where we will check into Guest House for 2 nights. Our hotel lies at Petra’s boundary making our photographic day far more productive since we spend very little time commuting to our destination.
Day 5: Wednesday, October 25 – Petra
Today we tour one of the world’s most impressive and atmospheric archaeological sites. The Nabataean city of Petra. Petra reveals itself to us following our walk through a deep ravine called The Siq. We will visit the Treasury, The Theater, the Royal Tombs and the Monastery. After a long day we return to the Guest House.
Day 6: Thursday, October 26 Petra – Wadi Rum
We begin our early day with a rare privilege. Our guides arranged local bedouin residents allowing us to photograph them in their ceremonial dress including wedding clothing. We’ll be the only group present prior to Petra’s official daily opening making this a chance to create once in a lifetime images. We follow with our early morning hike visiting some of the many monuments on Petra’s south side. We check out of our hotel at noon. Following check out we’ll drive a short distance to Wadi Rum. The desert landscape of Wadi Rum is one of the most awe inspiring sights in the Middle East. This is the desert of TE Lawrence. We will explore this desert landscape by foot and 4 wheel drive adventure. We will photograph the desert sunset and overnight at Beit Ali, a Bedouin Camp. If conditions permit we can try our hands at star photographs.
Day 7: Friday, October 27 - Wadi Rum
Today we will continue to explore the desert landscape of Wadi Rum aboard our own camels. Desert photography becomes all the more exciting and available as our “ships of the desert” transport us to remote photo sites.
Day 8: Saturday, October 28 - Jordan River Crossing-Jerusalem
After checking out of our Bedouin camp, we drive to the Jordan River Crossing and enter Palestine. We drive to Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities, where we check into The Oasis hotel for dinner & overnight.
Day 9: Sunday, October 29 Masada – Dead Sea – Jericho
An early drive will take us through the Wilderness of Judea to the Jordan Valley and south along the Dead Sea, earth surface’s lowest point. Here we will see the new displays at the bottom of Masada and take a cable car to the top to see the ruins of the palace-fortress built by Herrod the Great and to recall the story of the Zealots’ last stand against the Romans. Driving north we’ll have lunch at Ein Gedi, one of the areas where David hid from King Saul. Then its on to Qumran, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls, where we’ll do a Dead Sea float followed by a short drive back to The Oasis hotel. For those interested, Neil teaches his photo class to Palestinian photographers during this day. Please feel free to sit in on this class and make some Palestinian photo friends.
Day 10: Monday, October 30 – Jerusalem
We start our Jerusalem tour walking through the ancient City of David, where so many events from the Old Testament took place. We will look across the Kidron Valley site of the Assyrian Army encampment where Hezekiah gave his speech to the citizens of Jerusalem, proclaiming, “There be more with us than with them.” Continuing down the ruins of the ancient city to the water gate we’ll see the shaft up which Joab went to open the city gates allowing David’s army Jerusalem entrance. David’s forces ousted ancient Jerusalem residents, the Jebusites. We’ll proceed down Hezekiah’s Tunnel allowing Gihon Springs’ life giving water inside water city walls from outside. We’ll exit Hezekiah’s Tunnel into the pool of Siloam. After lunch we visit “South Wall excavations.” Here we see the ancient road along the temple’s western wall along with large stones left from temple destruction by Romans. We will walk excavated temple south steps , observing stone entrances dating back to Christ’s time. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Tuesday October 31 Bethelem – Herodian – Mar Saba
We begin our day visiting ancient monastery Mar Saba. Overlooking the Kidron Valley, this Greek Orthodox monastery, lies halfway between old city Jerusalem and the Dead Sea within Bethlehem’s Governorate of the West Bank. Built in 483 and considered one of the world’s oldest inhabited monasteries, it still maintains many of its ancient traditions. We next visit At the Herodian, burial place of Herod the Great. We finish our busy day at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem after which we return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Wednesday November 01 Jerusalem
The Western Wall leads off our photo day where we enter tunnel excavations following an ancient temple wall north to Antonio Fortress. At the Western Wall we’ll watch Jewish faithful participate in morning prayers at Judaism’s holiest shrine. Taking our tunnel exit we walk the Via Dolorosa following 14 stations of the cross, entering the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We take lunch break in the old city followed by shopping free time. Our afternoon brings us old city exploration time on our own followed by dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 13: Thursday November 02 Jerusalem
This morning we visit the Holy Mount, home of Dome of the Rock and El Aksa Mosque, both tied to much sacred and secular history even though now forbidden to entrance by Muslims. After our Dome of the Rock visit we make our way to Pool of the Bethesda followed by National Museum and Dead Sea scrolls. Airport overnight.
Why travel and shoot with Pixels? With nearly 13 years’ experience planning and conducting local and international photo expeditions, we strive for truly memorable experiences each trip. Whether to Nepal, Africa, the Middle East, Alaska or China, Pixels supplies each region’s best guide services as well as quality lodging and food and most of all, exciting photographic opportunities. Part of Pixels’ staff from our very first days, Pixels education director and Dean of P.U., Neil Eschenfelder brings more than 40 years’ photography and camera equipment experience in addition to nearly 20 years teaching for University of Utah’s Continuing Education program on this photo safari. While our photo trips attract many enthusiastic experienced photographers, Neil helps make sure beginners have rewarding photographic experiences as well.
Jim Gee has been an independent photo safari leader & guide to photo locations around the world. A researcher and archaeologist in the Middle East for over 20 years in conjunction with a team from Brigham Young University, he has spent the past decade primarily in a series of tombs throughout Petra, unearthing many new discoveries of the ancient Nabataean culture. An expert in ancient maps and antiquities of the same region, Jim has written several articles published for the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU. Through his work as a guide in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Turkey, Israel and Palestine, Jim has developed many friendships throughout numerous communities and cultures, a highlight of his time spent in the Middle East. When he isn’t abroad, Jim lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Carol. They are the grandparents to three boys.
One of the first questions arising about Middle East travels concerns safety. What kind of security will we have? Jim Gee accompanies photo groups to Petra and Palestine multiple times each year traveling only well controlled and patrolled areas. Past participants remark about local population friendliness. Guests never encounter even the slightest sense of worry. Jordan & Palestine threats pale in comparison to violence in areas of the United States. Please come along and enjoy our once in a lifetime photo opportunities throughout one of the world’s most historic regions. You won’t regret making this trip. If you’d like more information regarding our photo safari, please call the store, 801-233-9090, or e-mail Neil: firstname.lastname@example.org. We have time to sign up for Pixels’ Jordan and Palestine trip. Don’t delay, though. Make sure your spot doesn’t go to someone else!
Pixels’ Jordan and Palestine Trip, double occupancy, costs $5663, including round trip airfare from Salt Lake City, all hotels, transfers and most breakfasts & dinners. If you decide you’d like to reserve your place in our group you’ll need to put down your non refundable $1000 deposit. Since this is a net net based trip credit cards incur 3% service fee.