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…

Retirement Planning by Nancy Radke #mgtab

Retirement planning involves a lot more than just trying to save money. It involves choosing where to live and how to support yourself. Often it means downsizing or selling your home. It is one of the things I did, selling my large house and building an ADU (additional dwelling unit) onto my daughter’s home. There is a door between the two, so that we both have privacy, but if I need help I can just open the door.

I figured I was building my own retirement home, so considered things like wheelchair access (if it was ever needed) and no stairs. I also have an adjoining room that is for my office. And since I won’t live forever, I designed it so that two people could live in it comfortably.

Retirement can mean many things to people. For some, it is a chance to travel and see places they’ve never been. (The photos above are of some of our other authors, having fun.) For others, it means finding some other form of work, since Social Security increases are actually decreases once they take out the increased health care cost. The longer you live, the less you have to live on.

Ideally, you want to have some sort of income stream that doesn’t depend upon you having to work. I was fortunate that my husband bought some rental duplexes, so I have a steady amount coming in from that, besides my books. People need to find some type of investment to help them. Savings is fine if you have enough to last and the rising cost of living doesn’t eat away what you have, which is what usually happens. Family is even better if they love you, so make sure you love them.

The best thing about family is that they will sacrifice for you, just as you sacrificed for them while raising them. You want to make sure you aren’t a nuisance, or complainer, or are making yourself unwelcome. You want to be loving.

One of my books—Appaloosa Blues—centers around a ranch family in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, where the grandfather uses his heart condition to control the rest of the family members. He loves his granddaughters and doesn’t want them marrying the Trahern men, so naturally, the two girls fall in love with the two Trahern brothers.

Their romances have to stay hidden from the old man, as they figure he will have a heart attack if he finds out about them. Being a loving grandfather, he tries to set one up with another young man, the son of a friend, with disastrous consequences. Also, being wise, he knows something is going on by the joy or sorrow he sees on his granddaughter’s faces.

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