Sailing through the Suez Canal Egypt

Sailing through the Suez Canal Egypt - Lucy Williams Global

 

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It is 120.11 miles (193.30 km) long and 24m (79 ft.) deep and 205 meters (673 ft.) wide.

It was built so ships did not have to sail all around Africa to get to the Mediterranean from the Middle East. That is why we sailed through to get to the Mediterranean Sea from the Red Sea in the Middle East on the world cruise.

It took ten years to build and was opened in 1869. It was built by the Suez Canal Company. During the early years of construction, they used forced labour of Egyptian workers.

Later that stopped and over the ten years, 1.5 million people from various countries were employed to build the canal.

The Suez Canal is different from the Panama Canal as the waterway does not have a lock system. This is because of the flat terrain and a minor sea level difference between each end.

There is one shipping lane and ships must go in convoy to transit the canal. It takes between 11 to 16 hours. It is mainly oil tankers and container ships that pass through the canal. We were the only cruise ship going through that day.

When we entered the canal I could smell it! The scenery going through the canal changes throughout the transit. From just sand, to the odd building or mosque. Then to a desert town to a town that is very green. See the photos below:

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I hope you enjoyed reading about sailing through the Suez Canal. Please share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

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A Day in Petra Jordan the Lost City

 

A Day in Petra Jordan the Lost City - Lucy Williams Global

In Jordan, I went to explore Petra the Lost City, one of the seven wonders of the world. If you have not heard of Petra the Lost City, you may have seen it in films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Arabian Nights or The Mummy Returns.

It was a fascinating and tiring day. I walked 10km (6 miles) around the lost city, but it was worth every step I took, even if I ended up with huge blisters on the back of my heels!

Aqaba

We sailed into Aqaba, located at the southernmost tip of Jordan on the Red Sea and it is Jordan’s only seaport. The tour bus drove us from Aqaba through the arid desert to Petra.

It takes two hours to get to Petra and there is nothing but desert and the odd Bedouin tent or the new houses of the Bedouin settlers.

The Bedouin are the travelling people of Jordan, they used to travel from place to place for food and water.

The desert landscape does change though from; sand dunes to sandstone rocks and mountains of wild herbs (chamomile, sage, etc.) growing in the desert.

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Petra the Lost City

Petra is hidden in the sandstone mountains and is believed to have been built as early as the 312 BC.  The lost city was unknown to the western world until 1812 when the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt introduced it.

It was only known by the Middle East as Petra was a major trading hub of Arab Nabateans.

As soon as you enter Petra you feel you are in a different time as you walk down the uneven path and see tombs straight away.

The people of Petra believed your second life was better than your first life so you needed a beautiful tomb to be buried in.

The tombs are carved into the sandstone rocks. The first impressive tomb we saw was the Obelisk Tomb and the Bab el-Siq Trielinium from the 25 – 75AD era.

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We walked on to the entrance called the ‘The Siq’ which is a natural narrow gorge that winds towards the ancient city of Petra which is around a 2 km (1.2miles) walk.

The Siq is a magnificent sight that is so tall with the sandstone showing off its different shades of colour. The rock is smooth and in some parts each side is nearly touching the other.

The Siq

On the way, there are some carvings throughout the Siq and there are the original water pipes on each side of the Siq that carried fresh water to the city from springs. The Nabateans were known for their great ability to construct water collection methods.

Petra was a bustling city that had a constant procession of travellers, visitors and pilgrims, that passed through the Siq.

The Treasury

As you get towards the end of the Siq you can see a glimpse of Al Khazneh which is also called ‘The Treasury’.

Between the two sides of the narrow Siq and you can’t quite believe your eyes how something so old is still standing and has been so well-preserved.

When you get the full view, it is spectacular. It was built-in the 100 AD era. This is the busiest part of Petra as this the most photographed. From this point, you can get a camel ride.

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Tombs

Then Petra gets really interesting as soon as you turn the corner from the Treasury there is tomb, after tomb. Not as in such good condition as the Treasury but still fascinating.

All carved into the sandstone and is still standing, after earthquakes and flooding. They called this area the Streets of Facades from the era of 50 BC – 50 AD.

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As you keep walking you come to the Main Theatre that is a Roman style that would have seated 6000 people completely carved into the rock from the era of 25 AD – 125 AD.

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Colonnaded Street

Further along is the Temenos Gate at the entrance of the Colonnaded Street built by the Romans between 100 – 200 AD.

They believe this street may have been lined with houses and the street hosted markets trading goods such as frankincense, myrrh, semi-precious stones, textiles and spices. This part of Petra was badly damaged by an earthquake in 363 AD.

Temenos Gate is an arched entrance to the Qasr al-Bint Temple which is at the end of the Colonnaded Street. Then there are a few more tombs, churches and temples. Archaeologists are continuing to find more in Petra.

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I did not see the whole site as it takes 4 days to see everything and walk along all the trails, but I saw most of it and still walked 10 km around the site.

From the entrance, you can ride a horse or take a horse and carriage. From the Treasury, you can ride a camel or a donkey to the Qasr al-Bint Temple.

I recommend if you visit Petra to wear comfortable shoes, such as walking/hiking boots as the surface is uneven. Bring a bottle of water or two as the dry desert is dehydrating and wear long loose-fitting clothing, a scarf and hat. Wear sunscreen as the sun gets very hot even if the temperature is not that high.

Aqaba has the most pristine coral reefs in the Red Sea so it is a great spot for diving and snorkelling. Just over an hour away you can also visit Wadi Rum which is in the desert and has a beautiful red landscape, soaring peaks and plunging valleys. It is called Valley of the Moon as it is like being on the Moon.

Essential Info

  • Climate: Desert climate warm all year round can reach up to 40*C.
  • Currency: Jordanian Dinar.
  • Language: Arabic/English.
  • Top Tip for Petra: Wear walking boots, scarf and hat.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Petra in Jordan. Please share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Have you been to Jordan? What did you do?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

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A Day in Petra Jordan the Lost City - Lucy Williams Global

 

What You Must See if you Only Have 48 Hours in Dubai

 

What You Must See if you Only Have 48 Hours in Dubai

What must you see if you only have 48 hours in Dubai? The desert and the skyscrapers!

Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. It is one of the seven emirates that make up the country. The Seven emirates are; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.

I spent two days in Dubai and it was a diverse experience. The first day I went on a desert safari which took us to an old Dubai. The second day I was going up to the 125th floor of the tallest building in the world!

Desert Safari

The desert safari experience was very different to what I expected. We boarded the 4WD jeep and drove to the desert. It was strange going from the busy city to an empty desert, well it was empty until we reached the another 500 people on the same tour!

When we got to the entrance of the desert the driver deflated the tires we and we took some photos. We got back in the jeep and drove through the sand dunes and the only way can I explain the feeling is it is like being on a roller-coaster but in a jeep, that you think might crash! It was a lot of fun, but I was holding on for dear life!

After the sand dune experience, we stopped to watch the sunset. It was very tranquil watching the sun set into the sand dunes.

The Arabian campsite was done in style, we were greeted with Arabic coffee and dates. The campsite was a beautiful setting with Persian rugs all over.

There was an area to eat which had rugs and matching tablecloths. The rugs on low tables and cushions to sit on. The area was under cover like a tent, but with fabric draped.

There was an area to smoke shisha, we did and it was like a liquorice taste. You could ride a camel and have your photo taken and sandboard (like snowboarding). My husband went sandboarding and he came back to the ship with his pockets full of sand!

There were ladies painting the henna tattoos. I was feeling adventurous and had one painted from my finger to up my arm, but then I had live with it for ten days and it made me realise I never want a tattoo!

The food was delicious, we started with a large starter of traditional Arabic food that included shawarma (chicken grilled with tomato and onions in flat bread), fatayer (dough filled with cheese and spinach) and falafel (fried chickpeas balls).

The main course was a huge barbeque of lamb, chicken and vegetarian options with humus and salad. The bar was an open bar, that was all included in the tour ticket, you could have wine, beer or soft drinks.

After the meal, we were entertained with a belly dancer performance. It was a magical night and I recommend this tour if you go to Dubai, as it is a unique experience.

After the performance, it was time to go back to the ship, we drove back through the desert, stopped to inflate the tires and drove back through the lit-up city.

City Tour

On the second day, I toured the city and it was very different to the desert with a few tents. Dubai is a big building site, everywhere you look there is a crane or a half-completed building.

They are building a new cruise ship terminal that will have a shopping mall, hotels, apartments and offices. Then there are skyscrapers being built everywhere there is a space.

From the ship, we drove through the modern city of skyscrapers straight to the Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa is 829.8 meters tall and has 163 floors. Inside the Burj Khalifa are the viewing floor, the Armani Hotel, apartments, a night club, restaurants and a mosque.

The entrance to the building is in the Dubai Mall which is the largest shopping mall in the world. It has over 1200 shops, an ice rink, an aquarium, a cinema complex and lots of restaurants.

We went up to the 125th floor to the viewing floor. Going up in the elevator only took 1 minute and the pressure felt like taking off on an aeroplane. The elevator was fun going up as there were lights flashing like you were going into space.

The whole experience from lining up to walking to the elevator to being on the 125th floor was fantastic. There was information to read, videos to watch and you can have professional photos all over the place.

Whilst on the viewing deck on the 124th floor a sandstorm was happened, I was wondering why it was so windy!

The viewing deck has just glass walls so you can look down at every angle. It is strange-looking down at skyscrapers, you do not realise how high up you are until you get up there.

As there was a sandstorm, the visibly was not as good as it could have been but I could still see, the photos just do not do it justice.

After coming down from the 125th floor of the Burj Khalifa I had some free time to walk around the Dubai Mall, but it is so big you need all day.

But I did win some free tickets to the aquarium tunnel and underwater zoo experience as it was the International Day of Happiness1

We then drove to another shopping mall, the Mall of the Emirates to see Ski Dubai. It is an indoor ski resort where you can ski or snowboard. It is like a real ski resort with ski lifts and has a temperature of -4*C. Again, this is a huge mall!

Next, was to view the Burj Al Arab Hotel which looks like a sail. I went for afternoon tea and lunch here around eight years ago, and it is a spectacular seven-star hotel.

To enter the hotel, you need to have a reservation for one of the restaurants or be staying at the hotel otherwise they will not let you in.

The last sight to see on the city tour was the Jumeirah Mosque which is one of the most photographed sites in Dubai as it typical Middle Eastern architecture.

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In the evening, we went back to the Dubai Mall to go to the platinum suite at Reels Cinema to watch a movie. We watched Beauty & the Beast in 3D.

The movie was very good and it is a great experience as you get a comfy chair that unfolds so you can put your feet up and you get a blanket and pillow, it’s like being home.

Also, before you go in or during the movie you can order a whole meal and drinks, not just popcorn and hotdogs!

After the movie, we used my free tickets to the aquarium tunnel and underwater zoo which was a lot of fun seeing the fish up close.

Outside of the mall is the Dubai Fountain which is the largest choreographed fountain system in the world and at night there are shows. The water is illuminated by 6600 lights and 25 coloured projectors and the water shoots up into the air up to 152.4 meters!

We watched a show at 10 pm and there were loads of people, so go early to get a good spot to watch. I’m only 5.2” and didn’t get a good view, but the atmosphere was incredible with the Arabic music. My husband held my phone up to video it for me, so I watched it later!

I had a fabulous time in Dubai and it is amazing how this modern city is built on a desert. Add it to the bucket list if you have not been.

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Essential Info

  • Weather: 23*C – 42*C Sunny/Few Showers/Very Humid/Sand Storms
  • Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham
  • Top Tip: Remember when walking around Dubai to respect their rules; shoulders and knees to be covered and no kissing or display of affection.
  • Recommendations: Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, always keep a bottle in your bag. Bring a scarf for the desert so sand does not blow into your face. Wear clothing covering knees and shoulders like these:

Water Bottle – 24 Hours Cold & 12 Hours Hot

Joules Scarf

 

 

 

 

Light Weight Boho Yoga Bohemian Pants

 

 

Simple T-Shirt

 

 

All the recommended products are available from Amazon. If you would like to take advantage of free delivery on many of their products, sign up for an Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Dubai, please share on Facebook and Pinterest so your friends and family can read too. Sharing is caring!

Have you been to Dubai? What would you recommend doing?

Happy Travels

Love Lucy x

What You Must See if you Only Have 48 Hours in Dubai

 

(L. Williams is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, at no extra cost, to you).

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