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Franco
02-05-2012, 06:39 AM
When I got my first TB bag, a Ristretto fro iPad, a few months ago I promised I would have soon posted pictures of it in front of the Colosseum here in Rome...

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Well, these are definitely no Ristretto and no Colosseum...

Unfortunately I've not yet had a chance to get there and take the promised pictures.

In actual facts, in the meanwhile I got myself a Synapse and had it with me when I flew to Amman, Jordan last week.
So here is the Synapse visiting the beautiful Roman theater in Amman.

Frank II
02-05-2012, 07:22 AM
And speaking of Rome....this photo was taken this weekend in the snow covered Eternal City. I'm sure many TB fans are having a good chuckle:
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(Courtesy of the Sacramento Bee)

Any chance of seeing photos of your Tom Bihn bags with a snow covered Rome as a backdrop?

bchaplin
02-05-2012, 11:24 AM
Just great! Thanks for posting. Jordan is on my list of places I'd like to visit. (And - I have a Synapse!) Did you have a good time?

Franco
02-05-2012, 12:56 PM
Any chance of seeing photos of your Tom Bihn bags with a snow covered Rome as a backdrop?

Unfortunately, even tough yesterday I went around most of the day with my Ristretto and definitely took few pictures in the snow, neither the Ristretto nor any recognizable part of Rome is visible in any of the shots.

I was focused too much on a couple of subjects who were having a lot of fun. Maybe I should buy them their own TBs.

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On a sidenote, it's great fun to see how a big city can go completely nuts with just 20-30 cm of snow...
But then, what can you expect from a city who's usually put on her knees by an, above average, rainy day?

Franco
02-05-2012, 01:13 PM
Just great! Thanks for posting. Jordan is on my list of places I'd like to visit. (And - I have a Synapse!) Did you have a good time?

Well,
considering it was a business trip and I only had one and a half days off, yes I had a good time.
Was only able to have a quick tour of the city and a rush to the death sea (only 40 minutes from Amman).

I saw enough to be willing to see more of Jordan, luckily I'll have this opportunity soon.

I'll go back there in a few weeks (and some more times over the next months), this time I'm planning to visit both Petra and Wadi Rum. I'm sure I'll have pictures to post if you're interested.

TavaPeak
02-06-2012, 10:43 AM
I'd love to see photos of Petra. Have done research on Nabateans for a project I'm working on.

moriond
02-06-2012, 11:11 AM
I'd love to see photos of Petra. Have done research on Nabateans for a project I'm working on.

I was thinking about Petra, too, when Franco posted his first photos. "A rose-red city half as old as time…" and Burgon had never even seen Petra when he wrote those lines.

backpack
02-06-2012, 05:06 PM
Many Thank Yous Franco for sharing your beautiful pictures.

The first is masterfully lighted and shot to showcase perfectly the sublime architecture and beautiful Synapse. The second, with the "couple of subjects who were having a lot of fun" in the snow, is very lovely. :)

bchaplin
02-07-2012, 06:09 AM
I'd be delighted to see any pictures you take on a return trip to Jordan!
I want to go there next year.. looking forward to some good Middle Eastern humus and falafal.
Beth

Franco
03-03-2012, 12:50 AM
Just got back from Jordan once again,
this time I was able to go for some interesting tours.

As some of you have expressed interest, here are my impressions.

Two days trip to Petra and Wadi Rum.

Day one: Petra.
Petra is absolutely amazing, same-league-as-Pompei amazing if you know what I mean.

I spent there about a day from mid morning to sunset, walked all the time from the incredible Siq (a canyon of about 2 km) which constitutes the entrance, to the breathtaking experience of discovering the Treasury at the end of it, and then to the Roman Theater, the Royal Tombs and all the way up to the inspiring Monastry (you'll have to climb few steps short of 800 to get there - or take a donkey ride - we walked).

I did not absolutely rush the visit but could have used a couple of hours more.

Anyway, it was awesome to the point I was completely satisfied by the end of the day, even though I left few things to see behind me.

The Treasury at the end of the Siq

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The Roman Theater from a distance

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Path to the Monastry, the first steps (we counted 780)

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The Monastry, a mint flavoured tea and a Synapse...

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The Synapse was perfect for the job during this two days trip, it duplicated well as both the only piece of luggage and the bag for daily hikes. I'll get to "why I need a Brain Bag" later on.

Franco
03-03-2012, 01:28 AM
Day two: Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum is a spectacular desert valley about one hour south of Petra, it was made famous to the western world because of the events involving T. E. Lawrence at the time of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during WWI - The 1962 movie "Lawrence of Arabia" helped just a little bit.

Desert here is not about large sand dunes, it is about soaring cliffs and sandstone and granite mountains, in a way it reminded me about the area between north Arizona and south Utah, without the GC of course...

Even though quite different from Petra, it inspires the same kind of awe.

Wider canyons you can walk or drive through.

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Narrower canyons you'd have to climb your way through.

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Yes, there is a man down there.

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I have to say, pictures definitely do not do justice to this place.
It's the whole experience that's worth it. The nature, the silence.

I'm planning to organize an overnight stay there under the stars sooner or later, no doubts about it.

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Walker
03-03-2012, 05:46 AM
Wow! Thanks for your awesome photos & impressions. Both places are on my list of places to experience.

About staying overnight - can you do that on your own or do you have to sign up with authorized tours? Hope you share your experience about it!

Happy travels!

Walker
03-03-2012, 05:59 AM
The Synapse was perfect for the job during this two days trip, it duplicated well as both the only piece of luggage and the bag for daily hikes. I'll get to "why I need a Brain Bag" later on.

I am impressed that you travelled with just the Synapse. I travel light but my travel bags are the BB + Co-Pilot. I do not like having my travel docs + other critical personal items behind me, hence the Co-Pilot. Most times, neither are full. Sometimes, I nest the Synapse inside the BB to use at destination.

Happy travels!

bchaplin
03-03-2012, 11:34 AM
Thanks for posting! I'm glad you got to see more of Jordan.
I'd love to hear details of the trip -- as another poster asked, did you plan your own route or use a tour? Do you speak Arabic, and if not, could you get by with just English?
Beth

Franco
03-03-2012, 12:47 PM
Thanks for posting! I'm glad you got to see more of Jordan.
I'd love to hear details of the trip -- as another poster asked, did you plan your own route or use a tour? Do you speak Arabic, and if not, could you get by with just English?
Beth

I did my own plan. With 3 other friends/colleagues we rent a car in Amman and drove all the way to the dead sea, Petra, Wadi Rum and back. 2 days in total. Started from Amman at 6 am on friday and got back at 7 PM the next day. None of us can speak arabic, we were able to get by with just english and some italian style hand gestures in one occasion...

Even though the fastest route from Amman to Petra/Wadi Rum is the Desert Highway we decided to follow the longer path and went down to the dead sea driving from there to Petra on a beautiful scenic, mostly gravel paved, road (no 4wd though, so we were sloooow), arriving to Petra from the west instead of north.

After visiting Petra we decided to continue towards Wadi Rum and see if we could fine a place to sleep there. We knew there was a sort of a lodge close to the entrance of the reserve. Our plan B, in case we couldn't find anything in the Wadi Rum area (we were not equipped for camping), was to drive 30 minutes more and get to Aqaba, on the sea. The lodge was there so we sticked to plan A and stopped for the night. Aqaba will have to wait for the next visit.

We were able to negotiate for a guide + 4wd directly from the lodge for the next day so we saved some time. We did not investigate if you can drive by yourself in that part of the desert, same for doing an overnight stay. We completely skipped the visitors center.

On our way back we took the Desert Highway, full of speed control bumps and police but generally ok.

TavaPeak
03-03-2012, 01:47 PM
WOW. Thanks for posting those photos! I hope to get to Petra & Jordan on my next trip to Israel. About how long did it take to walk the Siq to the Treasury?

Franco
03-08-2012, 11:10 AM
WOW. Thanks for posting those photos! I hope to get to Petra & Jordan on my next trip to Israel. About how long did it take to walk the Siq to the Treasury?

I was so absorbed by the natural beauties around me that I did not realize how much time did it take to walk the Siq. I'd say about half an hour including many, and I really mean many, stops for taking pictures. Not a long walk at all.

I'll try and post some more pictures as soon as I have few spare minutes.