Around Aqaba

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

This week we were taken to visit Jordan (no - not that one - the country near the Red Sea!) by club member Paul Davies who has visited there several times. We started in Aqaba and its immediate surrounds with its views over the Gulf of Aqaba to Egypt (which looks very close) and Israel, which borders Jordan to the north-west.

We were then taken to Petra - the ancient "Rose-Red City" to the north of Aqaba - well - not so much a city, Paul told us, but rather an extensive series of monuments carved out of the mountainside - but their real purpose has been lost in time (bit the way I feel sometimes!). The actual city has apparently long disappeared and nobody knows exactly where it was. His pictures led us through the narrow, red-walled canyon to its culmination at the imposing carved façade of "The Treasury" (featured in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"!). Paul explained that, huge though these "buildings" look, they only have a small space or "room" behind each façade! The Romans had been here too (well, they got everywhere didn't they!) leaving an amphitheatre and many other buildings.

From Petra, Paul took us over the desert to Wadi Rum, made famous by TE Lawrence (of Arabia fame). We saw pictures of the huge "humps" of mountains encircling this area of desert which have been weathered into roundness and, of course, the odd camel! Paul also included a clip from the film "Lawrence of Arabia" which featured the exact location where he took his pictures (different camels though!).

Following the tea break (we were now feeling a bit dry after all that desert!) we were plunged into the Red Sea where Paul showed us his beautiful images of life among the coral. And not only coral - ships (and the odd tank surplus to requirements) have been deliberately (we hope so!) sunk to provide variety for divers!

It was a great evening, so thank you Paul for taking us on this journey through your superb images and commentary.


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