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January 31, 2013 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-01-31

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Offbeat Honeymoon Destinations

Why not start off your marriage with
a grand adventure?

By Masada SiegelIJNS.org

hether it's the ancient lost
city of Petra, the Wild Coast of
South Africa or the enchant-
ment of Alaska, the world is filled
with untold beauty. Here are a few
suggestions to help you escape the
tourists and honeymoon craze in
favor of a more offbeat and adventur-
ous destination:





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Visit JNonline.us

34 February 2013 I



Petra is a mythical city that was hid-
den to the Western world until 1812,
when Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig
Burckhardt rediscovered the ancient
city carved into the red rocks. It was
established around the sixth century
as the capital city of the Nabataeans,
a tribe that turned the city into an
important stop on the historic India-
Eastern Africa spice route.
In 1985, Petra became a UNESCO
world heritage site. The magic of
generations past seems to whisper
to visitors as they walk through the
entrance to the city or the "Siq." It's a
narrow gorge, more than a half-mile
in length and surrounded on both
sides by soaring, 262-foot high cliffs.
Walking into Petra makes you feel
like an ancient explorer — the phe-
nomenal colors and formations are
mesmerizing. The view at the end is
where you can catch the first glimpse
of the breathtaking Al-Khazneh, oth-
erwise known as the "Treasury'
Carved out of the reddish-pink rock,
the Treasury is a massive facade mea-
suring 98-feet wide and 141-feet high.
It was carved in the early first cen-
tury and was used as the tomb of an
important Nabataean king. You also
might know it from Hollywood—the
site was featured heavily in Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade.
If you are traveling to Petra from
Israel, use www.desertecotours.com .
They provide transportation, border
crossing assistance, guides and ac-
commodations (you can either stay
in a hotel or overnight in a Bedouin
tent.) They can also custom design a

South Africa is filled with a magic,
a pulsing sensibility that is hard to
touch but easy to feel. While the
Wild Coast of South Africa is one of
the poorest regions in the country,
it is one of the richest in beauty.
The birthplace of former president
Nelson Mandela, it is located be-
tween Durban and East London and

stretches more than 150 miles along
the eastern tip of the country. It was
known as the Transkei Homeland
during the apartheid period, from the
early 1950s until 1994.
The breathtaking jagged coastline
is dotted with remote villages, numer-
ous rivers, waterfalls, shipwrecks,
unspoiled beaches, expansive open
space and pristine forests.
You can climb onto the shipwrecks
and hike on private beaches and find
your way over rolling hills covered
with long blades of grass blowing in
the wind. Depending where you go,
you might find a lagoon surrounded
by lush green foliage and shimmering
If any part of South Africa is your
destination of choice, the best travel
agent to work with is isobel@belaire.
za.net. She will design an outstand-
ing tour for any budget, and can also
point you in the right direction for
anything Jewish related, from sites
such as the South Africa Jewish Mu-
seum to helping you book a kosher

Alaska is an adventure lover's
paradise and can also be the ultimate
destination for relaxation.The best
way to see Alaska is to spend time on
the land and take a cruise for a differ-
ent perspective.
Spend a night at the Historic
Anchorage Hotel, which, according to
legend, is haunted. Also be sure to go
on Ghost Tours of Anchorage, where
you will be both frightened and en-
lightened while walking through the
city streets. Enjoy a stylish decor and
tasty meal at the Sweet Basil Café.
The Mat-Su Valley, located about a
45-minute drive away from Anchor-
age, is filled with gorgeous adventure
opportunities. One of the most fun
and exciting is the pristine Matanuska
Glacier hike.
While the drive to get there can be
a little unnerving, the views of snow-
covered purple mountains, aqua blue
rivers and green forests make it well
worth it.
Be sure to stay at the romantic
Matanuska Lodge, where you will be
greeted with a mezuzah on the door.
The lodge offers a cheerful sensory
overload, from the colorful and com-
fortable couches to the table covered
with books and baskets of chocolate.
But, if strapping on crampons and
hiking a glacier is not so appealing


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