MOTOR COACH TOURS - AIR AND CRUISE TRAVEL
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* April 7-10
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MIRIAM KREININ SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
* WE ARE A FULL SERVICE TRAVEL AGENCY!
(CRUISES, AIR, TRAINS, INTERNATIONAL)
or Israelis and many of Is-
rael's visitors, peace with Jor-
dan means one thing — the
borders to Petra are open. Al-
ready in the last month, bus loads
of tourists have descended upon the
famous Nabetian city from her
Petra has always held a spe-
cial allure for Israelis as a strik-
ingly beautiful, forbidden city. In
the early 1950s two young Is-
raelis went so far as to sneak into
Jordan just to lay their eyes on
Petra and ended up captured by
the Jordanians and killed.
So now that you can finally see
this magnificent place with an Is-
raeli stamp on your passport or
even an Israeli passport itself,
here is what to expect. At present,
Israelis are still only allowed into
CALL FOR DETAILS, OTHER TRIPS & FL YERS!
Prices p.p. dbl. occ. Group Discounts.
BERKLEY TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC.
559-8620 OR 1-800-875-TOUR (8687)
Florida, Las Vegas,
New York, Chicago,
Israel, Hawaii, Paris,
AND MANY MORE...
The Gates To Petra
Are Now Open
• Airlines • Hotels • Tours • Cruises
Don't speak Hebrew in loud voic-
es; 2) Don't wear T-shirts with
Hebrew writing on them; 3)
Avoid getting into political con-
versations; 4) Anyone who steals
will be prosecuted; and, my fa-
vorite, 5) Try to avoid singing the
"Petra Song" in Petra. The way
it is worded suggests that if you
have a great urge to sing it, then
it is okay. The "Petra Song" is a
famous Israeli song about Petra
which was banned in Jordan by
King Huessin. Do not take these
guidelines too seriously. All the
Israelis I saw spoke in Hebrew.
However, our Jordanian tour
guide in Petra asked our gener-
al guide, Nuriel, to sing the "Pe-
tra Song" and he refused, either
out of respect or fear.
The flight was very comfortable,
leased and left Israel by foot. We
walked through a large parking
lot in no-man's-land and came to
the Jordanian gate where a smil-
ing and friendly Jordanian
checked our passports and let us
into phase two — the Jordanian
side of the border. When he
checked my Dad's passport and
saw "born in Israel," he winked
slyly and said "Shalom".
The Jordanian border consists
of a large parking lot set up with
trailers for different tasks. The
main goal is to get the Jordanian
visa and then an entrance stamp.
However, this costs money, which
they will only accept in Jordanian
dinars. My first line was at the
bank. That took one hour. We then
moved on to the visa line. Posted
here is a list of how much money
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PHOTO BY LYNN AVADENKA
The ancient city of Petra, Jordan.
Jordan in an organized tour
group. Any other nationality,
however, can go it alone.
I chose the organized tour
group option and signed up for
the quick "see Petra and leave"
two-day tour with Galilee Tours.
The cost is $305 per person which
includes a round-trip flight from
Tel Aviv to Eilat, bus trans-
portation, one night in a four-star
hotel, two meals, and a guided
tour of Petra and Wadi Ram. If
you don't need the flight, the price
drops dow to $195. American
passport holders can get a visa
directly at the border but Israelis
need to order theirs in advance.
When you receive your tickets,
the tour agency also passes out a
letter of recommended guidelines.
A few of them are as follows: 1)
Miriam Kerinin, formerly of East
Lansing, now lives in Israel.
but crossing the border requires an
unlimited amount of patience. I
found the whole border experience
rather charming, but the rest of my
group (consisting of six Americans,
five British, seven Swiss, two
French, two Dutch and six Israelis
— three of whom were sent back to
Israel for mysterious unidentified
reasons and my father, an Israeli-
born American) did not. The Is-
raelis took all our passports and 47
NIS each and went to process
them. We settled down on the
desert floor and waited.
After an hour the official came
back, not to return our passports
but only to identify us according
to our pictures. She promised a
quick return to which our tour
guide, Nuriel, asked in all seri-
ousness, "Will you return today?"
Another hour passed and all the
other travelers filtered out to the
other side. Finally we were re-
people from each country have to
pay to get into Jordan.Great
Britain was at the top, paying 17
dinars ($51); Americans have to
pay the second highest at 15 dinars
(I thought that rather cheeky after
we just overwrote their billion dol-
lar debt); all Muslim countries
could enter for free; Israelis paid
the bargain price of five dinars; and
for some unknown reason South
Africa and Finland were free, too.
This payment board generated a
great deal of interest as people psy-
choanalyzed how the Jordanians
chose each country's price.
After an hour of standing in
the visa line, people were be-
coming quite restless. Some trav-
elers lay down on the pavement
to take a nap whole others orga-
nized a soccer game with a child's
ball. I was the designated
stander-in-line while my Dad re-
laxed in the sun. Just as it was