Indiana Jones in Petra

I visited Petra almost ten years ago as part of a cruise that took us from Italy all the way to Singapore, sailing the Mediterranean, crossing the Suez Canal, and continuing through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The blockbuster film Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade was partly filmed in the ancient city of Petra, a place unknown to much of the world before 1989. Indiana Jones was reviewed as “One of the best action-adventure films of all time,” and “One of the all-time greats. Harrison Ford is perfection-plus as Indiana Jones, so iconic a character that the AFI cited him as the second greatest movie hero of all time.”

“Archeology has never been so cool.”

Located between rugged desert canyons and mountains– in what is now the southwestern corner of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan– Petra was once a thriving trading center and the capital of the Nabataean empire between 400 B.C. and A.D. 106. The city sat empty and in near ruin for centuries. In the early 1800s, a European traveler disguised himself in Bedouin costume and infiltrated the mysterious site. In 1985, the Petra Archaeological Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2007 it was named one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Bab Al Siq’ is Arabic for gateway to the ‘siq’. Here we discovered squared monuments, the massive Djinn blocks, and the Obelisk Tomb, carved in the 1st century AD. Above the tomb are four pyramids as well as a niche with a statue in bas-relief that is a symbolic representation of the five people buried there. An inscription indicated that the tomb was used for Abdomanchos and his family, probably in 40- 70 AD.

The Siq, the main road that leads to the city, is a rock canal that measures 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest was carved by the Nabataeans.

The siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade; the Treasury, or Al Khazna (in Arabic). It is almost 40 meters high and intricately decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes, figures and more. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters, and comprises three chambers. The most recent excavation has unearthed a graveyard beneath the Treasury. 

Almost three decades ago, George Lucas decided to use the monumental Treasury, the centerpiece of Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, as the exterior of The Temple of the Sun in his movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Cast and crew had to travel all the way to Jordan for just one day of shooting, because that’s all it took to make those scenes work.

The Treasury is crowned by a funerary urn, which according to local legend conceals a pharaoh’s treasure. Although the original function is still a mystery, The Treasury was probably constructed in the 1st century BC. However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty.

While the filmmakers were allowed to have free access to the main entrance chamber, access is prohibited to most mortal visitors. The good news is that the most spectacular part of the location is its exterior – as well as the path you need to take to get there in the first place.

The 1.2 kilometer-long walk through a cleft called The Siq is the only way to access the Treasury and come back to the entrance.

Carved directly into vibrant red, white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces, the prehistoric Jordanian city of Petra was “lost” to the Western world for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately with the pandemic going on for almost two years, I have stopped traveling. Instead I write non-stop and have finished writing a series of eight romance novels, LOVE PLANS. The five first books are on pre-order, and SAILING AWAY PLANS will be released tomorrow.

Love Plans Series:

Sailing Away Plans: The successful surgeon quits work to start a new life in the Caribbean, on his new boat and in a new clinic, but love strikes at the wrong time. [RELEASE DAY 9/2]

Dating Plans: Attraction sizzles between a divorced surgeon and a psychologist with a challenging daughter. Things get more difficult when the teenager’s father returns.

Rescue Plans: Arianna fought hard to escape the slums and become a flight nurse. Captain Lopez taught her to conquer fear. Can he help her forget the scum from the past and win her trust?

Wedding Plans: Will the doctor make the right decision between an angry fiancée and a medical emergency?

Baby Plans: They meet at the artificial insemination clinic. Zach is doing research for an article. Audrey is secretly getting a baby. But artificial insemination works in many ways…

3 Ways to Use Less Plastic by @Donna_Fasano

Use Less PlasticIt’s been made pretty clear by now that single-use plastic is bad for our environment and is slowly killing our planet. Everyone can do something—no matter how small—to use less plastic. It’s really very easy. Here are 3 simple ways to get started:

Reusable Grocery Bags

Many countries have banned plastic bags altogether, which has Mother Nature cheering, I’m sure. If you are the crafty-type, try making your own reusable grocery bags. Click here to find written instructions. And click here for a video with instructions. If you are unable to make your own, you can buy them very cheaply. Reusable shopping bags are a GREAT way to use less plastic.

No More Plastic Straws

According to the National Park Service, 500 million drinking straws are used every single day. Every. Single. Day. If you need a visual… that’s enough straws to fill 125 school buses each day. Wow. If we want to use less plastic, we really need to change our habits. Do you really need a straw to drink from a glass? If so, try getting a reusable one made of metal. Some of them are collapsible so you can carry them around with you. They’re not expensive and they make GREAT stocking stuffers for holidays or gifts for birthdays.

Say NO To Single-Use Water Bottles

People throw away one million plastic water bottles every minute. Every. Minute. My family uses stainless steel water bottles. Some come in a bottle shape. Others have wide-mouth openings. Some have a thermal feature that keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. You can go a long way in saving our planet if you stop using single-use plastic water bottles. Choose whatever works best for you.

If everyone around the globe started using the three suggestions listed above, just think how much less plastic would be going into our landfills, our rivers, our oceans. Wow!

I have other suggestions, too. Things like:

  • Glass containers for leftovers
  • Clean with vinegar and water mixed in a reusable bottle
  • Use baking soda as a cleaning abrasive
  • Use cloth cleaning rags rather than paper towels
  • Buy dishwashing powder in a cardboard box
  • Buy bar shampoo that comes in a paper box (I LOVE this stuff!)
  • Switch to bar hand soap rather than liquid soap
  • Repair items when they break rather than pitching them into the trash

Lastly, educate your children and grandchildren. I bought my granddaughter a copy of this rhyming book and we both learned a lot from it.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR LAST CHANCE TO ENTER THE AUTHORS’ BILLBOARD AUGUST CONTEST!

Florida: More Than a Beach by @PatriceWilton

When you think of Florida, you envision the beach: cerulean blue skies, sparkling turquoise water, the sight and sound of waves splashing on the sandy shore. There are so many things to do on Florida beaches. Enjoy the sunshine with a good book. Surfing. Dolphin watching. Shell collecting, kayaking, building sandcastles, laughter, and fun. Let’s not forget swimming! Sunny Florida delivers the very best in outdoor living.

Florida is more than a beach

Yes, there are a multitude of things to do on the beach. But Florida has a great many other activities and sights to offer. Like scary alligators at Everglades National Park. Did you know that America’s Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States? And then we have Disney World and Universal Studios. We have the Kennedy Space Center. Then there’s Daytona Speedway, and Busch Gardens. There are museums, art galleries, and wonderful restaurants.

Sunshine 7 days a week?

I have to admit that it’s not all sunshine and roses. We do have downpours like nobody’s business. Did I forget heat? Oh, yea—we have that. And humidity. And hurricanes that hit us every year.

But… do I love living in the Sunshine State? You betcha!

Florida Beaches Horseback Riding

Yesterday I took my granddaughter horseback riding on the beach. We had so much fun, and both of us will do it again. There were two people in charge of us, one went in front the other took the rear. A group of five riders at a time. We walked through a trail first that led us to the beach, and then we were on the white sand feeling the sea breeze in our face, enjoying the sway and feel of this magnificent animal under you. It was a real thrill and adventure for the both of us.

Horseback Riding on the beach

Come on down to Florida and enjoy the beauty of nature and everything else my wonderful state has to offer you.

Learn more about me and my books on my Amazon Author Page.

Laverbread by @KatyWalters07

Laverbread is a seaweed. A traditional and popular food collected for consumption by communities on the Welsh coast. As a child and early teens, I enjoyed meals consisting of freshly gathered cockles and laverbread with newly grown vegetables. Even to this day, my first choice for a meal would be prawns, cockles, and laverbread.

Rhossili Bay Katy Walters

My Welsh family is from the South Gower Peninsula. Rhossili Bay was my playground. The South Gower is a beautiful vista of vast golden sands, high dunes, and soaring cliffs. Within those cliffs are the most ancient prehistoric caves in Britain. One is a 4000-year-old Neolithic burial chamber. Another find was the skeletal remains of The Red Lady of Paviland from the upper palaeolithic era. However, the Red Lady proved to be a male whose bones were dyed in red ochre. As a child, I used to play near that cave.

Childhood Memories

I cherish the memories of living some of my childhood in this incredible coastal area. I remember my grandparents going out at dawn with their cart and horse to gather the cockles. My grandmother would then cook them in a cauldron over an open fireplace. I was at first startled by the whistling noise coming from the black iron cauldron as the cockles cooked. My grandmother told me it was the cockles singing to us. Later I realized it was the air escaping from the shells.

My childhood in Wales was a delight of sea, beaches, climbing towering dunes, and exploring ancient caves with my friends. I was always fascinated to watch the small herds of wild horses racing along the golden sands. I think it shaped my love of history and nature and my love of seafood.  Now, when walking along the promenade, I think of the cockles singing as I buy a pot of them.

How to Eat Laverbread

This is a highly nutritious variety of seaweed. Read more information on Wikipedia by clicking here. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, and very low in calories. It is easy to find on the internet and on Amazon. The seaweed can be cooked fresh or from tins.

Laverbread

Cockles and mussels can be added. It is your choice. Bacon, eggs, and fried bread are an alternative. A little vinegar can be added for taste.

For this recipe, I use the tinned variety. The full recipe to cook laverbread from fresh takes hours!!

You may want to cook cockles and mussels separately or in the same pan. But do be careful not to overcook the laverbread.

As I spend my time writing or dog walking, I use this quick and nifty way to enjoy it.

So have your frying pan ready.

  1. Open the tin of laverbread.
  2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and then add the laverbread.
  3. Some people cook the bacon in the same pan, but that is your choice.

Cook the laverbread until it is sizzling and then plate it.

Add fried egg, bacon, and fried bread to your choice.

Now, have lovely glass of red or white wine and enjoy.

Learn more about Katy Walters and her books at her blog.