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Columbia, South Carolina
March 27, 2009     The Columbia Star
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March 27, 2009

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16 - MARCH 27. 2009 T H E C O L U M B I A STAR ~," S C / BFWarner M. Montgomery My wife Linda and I joined an Overseas Adven- ture Travel (OAT) expedi- tion to the Middle East for three weeks in March 2009. We began in Egypt, took a quick trip into Saudi Ara- bia, and finished in Jordan. It included a seven-day we toured a small part of cruise from Port Said the country ruled by one of through the Suez Canal to the Top Ten Dictators In ' Aqaba. The World. We were glad to From a modern hotelbe among the first few on the western outskirts of American tourists allowed climb up Jebel Moussa to see the burning bush and the spot where God gave Moses the Ten Command- ments. I took a camel halfway up the mountain, then walked the last 760 steps. The ship docked at Diba, Saudi Arabia, during the night and the next day Cairo, we visited the Great in the Kingdom, but to say Pyramids of Giza and the it lacked wonder is an Step Pyramid of Saqqara. understatement. We then flew to Luxor for a We left the ship at wonderful excursion Aqaba, Jordan, across from through the Luxor and Kar- Elat, Israel. At Wadi Rum, nak temple areas and the we visited the Seven Pillars Valley of the Kings and the described by Lawrence of Valley of the Queens. Back Arabia and saw where he in Cairo, we tried to tie all cut off the Turkish railway the ancient Egyptian histo- line to Mecca during World ry together at the National WafI. Museum. All along the way The Lost City of Petral we sampled the local food One of the great wonders of and tested the local handi- the ancient world! One of crafts. And, I might add, we the most magnificent mon- had armed guards protect- uments existing today. The ingus everystep oftheway. Nabataeans built it along Since Egypt depends on the the caravan route, the tourism dollar, they are Romans conquered it, and doing everything to keep after centuries of desola- the bad guys at bay. tion it became home to We travelled overland wandering Bedouins. to Port Said where we we drove up Mount 'boarded the OAT ship M/V Nebo and completed our Artemis. At daybreak, we Life of Moses tour. It was entered the Suez Canal. from here that Moses saw This magnificent creation the promised land after 40 of man lived up to its repu- years of wandering in the tation, and I can now check desert. From Mount Nebo off the Suez Canal from my we were able to see the ]or- list of Canals To Visit Before dan River, Jericho, and I Die. Only a few more to Jerusalem... and feel go. Moses' pain. The next day The S0-passenger we drove to a Dead Sea Artemis, manned by a crew resort and played in the from Croatia and Indone- oh-so-bouyant water. sia, sailed through the Gulf We made camp in of Suez into the Red Sea Amman, actually the Tole- and around the Sinai do hotel, and took excur- Peninsula.We disembarked sions to famous historic at Sharm el Shaikh for a sites. Monuments at Jerash bus trip to Mount Sinai.We and Ajlun proved once had seen the bulrushes, the again the Romans did pharoah's palace, and indeed conquerand con- where Moses parted the trol all of western civiliza- Red Sea, so it was time to tion known at the time. Who is more beautiful, Linda or the Sphinx? Warner wades in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, a body of stagnant water shared by Israel and Jordan. Warner celebrates at the top of Mt. Sinai (Jebel Moussa) where Moses received the 10 Commandments. Linda stands under the famous Burning Bush at St. Katherine's Monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai. For the next many weeks, I will take you, dear readers, on a day-by-day, adventure-by-adventure 'The seven pillars behind Warner inspired Lawrence of Arabia to write his famous book. Linda stands in wonder before the Great Pyramids of Giza From the top of Mt. Nebo, Warner points across the Jordan River to Jericho and Jerusalem. trip through the above- mentioned places. Please Lknda and Warner stand kn front of The "Itea- join me. I'm sure you will sury at Petra waiting for Indiana Jones to enjoy it as much as we did. charge out.