My Inner Peace

Kerak Castle, a visit inspired by „Kingdom of Heaven” movie

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

After four days in Aqaba, enjoying the Red Sea, we rented a car and started to drive back to Amman. We had a lot of objectives on our map, mostly castles, and we manged to see only the most important of them. So, our first objective was Kerak Castle, an old Crusader forteress oppened in 1142 to oversee the commercial roads between Jerusalem, Damascus, Mecca and Egypt.

From Aqaba we took the highway following the western part of the country, near the border with Israel. It’s the fastest way to reach Kerak (Al-Karak), 250 km drive away, and we needed to be fast to be able to see the castle before 16:00 when the visiting hours were ending. So, we left Aqaba at 12:00, stopped for lunch on the highway and then driving to Kerak.

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

To reach Kerak, you have to drive for almost an hour outside the highway up on the mountain. So, small damaged roads with endless curves are waiting for you. If you have a bad stomach, think twice before doing this part. :p

However, once up on the mountain, in the middle of the castle ruins, you are in the right position to thank God you took the journey. You can see everything from up there, Al Karak city below and the roads looking like a small part of Transfăgărășan road in Romania. Basically, you have a 360 degree view of the horizon! And if you happen to be there close to the sunset, the view it’s breathtaking.

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

The place has a good energy and you may feel like staying for a while. So, if you have a day, just enjoy the castle and also the city.

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

I am fascinated about old castles, hence for me it was a blessing being there and walking inside the rooms preserved after so many centuries, and imagine how everything used to look like at that time. Even if most of them where built as strategic points of defense, I still find them fascinating.    

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan
Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

But why Kerak Castle?

Well, I am a huge fan of the famous movie „Kingdom of Heaven”. One of the most important battles of that time was in this area between Saladin, the frist sultan of Syria and Egypt and the conqurer of the Kingdom of Jerusalim from the Christian’s commands, and  Raynald of Châtillon, prince of Antioch. Even if the movie was not shot there, I wanted to see the place and step into the energetic footprints of the people fighting for a „kingdom of conciousness” they understood at that time it’s made by stones and buildings.  

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

In fact, if we are looking at the root cause of the current wars we are facing today, we can easily see we are not that far from them. We are fighting in diffrent countries for material things like land and properties, in the name of the same God that we, as human beings, understood He promised us a material kingdom. And if we look at Kerak Castle or other points of defence in history, we can understand what will be left from today’s wars. Only ruins and a history painted by the ones in a powerful position.  

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

As I see it, the only way out from all the ancient patterns we are repeating over and over again is by rasing our level of counciousness, which will take us out of this reality to build the Kingdom of Heaven as it should be: a kingdom of counciousness embodied in human beings led by their inner voice of their true nature manifested as kindness and compassion for their own phisical manifestaion and for all the other beings around.  

Al Karak, Jordan
Kerak Castle, Jordan

To be continued…

Check out the begining of the Jordanian adventure here:

Wadi Rum – The Desert is quiet, yet the Desert speaks!

Wadi Rum Desert
On Top of The World – Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

During these three days in Petra my body was burning, my inner peace was nowhere to find and I felt like dying for few times. My only window towards myself was opened only inside the Prophet Aaron’s tomb where I was able to meditate for half an hour. It was a real blessing and I am sure it was actually our ticket back safe into the car where my fever came back again. 

Tough night, but I managed to sleep and that was a real help. The interesting thing when I woke up was to notice the fever was completely gone. So, luggage done and jump into a taxi towards Wadi Rum Desert where we booked a jeep tour and a night in a camp in the middle of the desert.

I was a bit dizzy in the taxi, I admit, but once I stepped into the desert, I was completely a new person. We took a jeep tour and started visiting the most important things Wadi Rum has for tourists’ eye.

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

We started with Lawrence Spring, where two Jordanians asked me nicely to take some pictures with me. I was surprised even if I’m already used to this kind of requests when I am traveling in countries where my skin color looks so interesting for the locals and they are asking me to take pictures with me like with a movie star or something. So, my surprise was not coming from the request, but from the fact that after three days of fever, my look was not that great, and for a second I asked myself “why in the Gods name would you like a picture with someone looking like me?!” But looking at the guy and seeing how nervous he was, I felt my heart melting and I said to myself “if you see something that worth being immortalized, so be it!”. And we laughed and they were trying afterwards to catch a camel for me from the free ones around, and I guess that was the Desert way of saying “Welcome to my world!”

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

After this unexpected experience, we went and hiked the Sand Dunes. And there I was back again in touch with myself and God! On top of that Dune, I was able to do my first quiet, profound and relaxed meditation under the full light of the Sun bathing my body and my Soul. For Christians like myself, it was actually the celebration day of the two Archangels MikaEL and GabriEL, under which power and blessings I surrendered my entire being.

Desert Wadi Rum Meditation
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Sand Dunes

Once back in the jeep, I felt like having a new body and the certainty of a complete healing was installed in every cell. Then we headed to a canyon where one can see the Anfishih nabatin Inscriptions 200 B.C. old left by ancient trade caravans.

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – The Canyon
Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Anfishih nabatin Inscriptions

After getting into the heart of this canyon where one may find it a bit uncomfortable to keep his own balance while stepping on wet rocks trying not to slip and fall into the water, we went to Um Froth Rock Arch. Climbing that rock it’s more like climbing a wall. It’s not easy to climb, nor to get down afterwards, but it’s worth all the effort and the queue you have to wait patiently as it is one way only and the path is so tight only one person can pass at a time. Once you are up, it’s amazing! You have this mixed feeling like being on top of the world despite the fact that the arch is only 15 meters high, but you are up there, looking down at all that people ready to take a picture of you, and the small path is giving you the sensation that you can fall anytime. In fact, is just that monkey brain scared as Hell seeing itself out of its comfort zone. 😊      

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Um Froth Rock Arch

After these experiences full of adrenaline, we went to a nice place where we were able to take some panoramic pictures of Wadi Rum desert and spot the line between the red and white desert.

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – panorama point

It’s amazing to sit in the red sand, play with it and feel like home!

And moreover, 300 meters away set a small camp, and witness a majestic Sunset while drinking Bedouin tea. Words are not enough to describe the feeling, so I advise you to go there and have this experience.

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Sunset

Once the Sun was down, we went to the camp for the night, we had Bedouin tea again, we had dinner and then we decided to walk for a while into the desert and just listen. And I think if God has a voice, that is the voice of the desert!

After this walk, I laid down on a bench to watch the stars. I have never seen so many stars not once in my trips in different parts of the world. And I felt like my body was melting down and becoming one with the sky, one with the stars, one with the entire universe. This was my second door of the day into a profound meditation where I felt like finding an equilibrium between all 5 elements and integrate it. And there it was again, that healing state coming from a new layer and embodying into this human being.   

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Sky after sunset

And after three days of fever, my body was not burning anymore, was kind of freezing for a bit. So, we headed towards our tent with a view over the desert and the sky, and I was finally being able to fall asleep watching the stars and the Moon shining over the quiet sleepy desert.

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Moon view from the tent

I woke up several times that night, just to watch the Moon and the stars as I was always dreaming of, and then fall asleep again with a big smile on my face.

And if you spend a night in the desert, you cannot miss the sunrise! So, we woke up at 5:00 am and we went out to witness how the Sun is touching the mighty Desert. We climbed the rock that was behind our camp, and there, after consuming that strong feeling of joy for the present moment, I set on the edge of the cliff, I closed my eyes and I felt like falling into another dimension. There, on that cliff, I reached another layer of my own being, and I understood my profound connection with this world, and the meaning of the burning days in Petra.

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Sunrise

That’s why I’m saying… As much as quiet the Desert seems, the Desert actually speaks!       

Desert Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan – Sunrise

To be continued…

Chek out the begining of the Jordanian story here!

PETRA, the City of the Magic Fire (2nd part)

After an evening full of medicines and all kind of therapies, I finally managed to sleep and I woke up at 6 am willing to explore the magic tracks of Petra. I went to the Visitor’s Center and I started walking inside the archeological site at 8:45 am. I expected to find less people, but, to my surprise, there were a lot of big groups walking around, taking pictures and speaking all kind of languages. I was walking so fast to find some peace in there, but soon I found out it was really impossible before reaching again “The Treasury”.

The second day in Petra is different than the first one. “The Siq” and “The Treasury” are already familiar, so you don’t need to spend too much time there anymore. What I did on this part was just walking, and once I reached the Treasury, I went up on the mountain to take some pictures from that angle as well. Being early in the morning, the sun highlighted a part of the place where we were sitting to take “the perfect picture”, so we had the chance to play with the light and shadow and to do some great shoots. Up there, you need to pay 1 JOD, and you receive a black tea… awful! 😊

Petra – The Treasury

Once we came back from the mountain and reached again the “Street of Facades”, we passed the “Theatre” and the “Great Temple” and we continued to walk towards the “Ad Deir” known as “The Monastery”. To reach it, we had to climb another mountain, and from a certain point, to walk the 850 stairs on the way up. There were so many donkeys exploited up and down on the mountain to help tourists climb it easily. Some of them were so sad, and I spent some minutes with them just cuddling and making them feeling special. And the most impressive thing was to see a few of them crying while I was petting them. They broke my heart in so many pieces, as I really felt their sadness, loneliness and hard time to cope with the effort their masters were asking them to do. And, to be honest, I don’t think climbing that mountain on the back of a donkey is too much fun. I’ve seen tourists scared, uncomfortable or just tired to keep the balance on some tricky paths to avoid falling from a peak. So, I would say, think twice before asking for a ride. It may cause you more pain then just walking, and you will force an innocent animal to make a huge effort under your weight.

Petra – The way to The Monastery

So, step by step, stair by stair, breath by breath, and amazed by the beautiful Canyons we were crossing, we managed to win the race with our own limits, and reach the peak. And there it was “The Monastery”, 47m wide and 48,3 m high. This amazing building dates from 2nd century AD and it took the name “The Monastery” after it was used as a Christian chapel. Different yet similar with “The Treasury”, what stroked me again were the details and the perfect cuts into the mountain. If the “Tombs” and the “Great Temple” are “less perfect” and the time got them and left some important tracks, “The Monastery” and “The Treasury”, are still there and more perfect than the others, even if they are supposed to be older (except “The Church”).

Petra – The Monastery

Now, being on the top of the mountain and witnessing such a beautiful architecture, I always have to check it from different perspectives. And here, I had a new idea! Why not taste this monumental building?! 😊 Inspired by the donkeys that were licking the rocks, I tried the same with “The Monastery”. Aaaand… Surprise! The walls are salty! And this information can produce now so many stories. My favorite one is that everything was under the water ages ago, and all the rocks and Canyons around are salty! 😊 I haven’t taste them all, still, I like to believe they are! 😊

Petra – The Salty Monastery

Once the crazy things were done and the pics were made, I just set down looking for a while at this amazing shape. It is so beautiful to allow yourself to dive into the unknown story of this place and just feel it inside out. There is this new layer covering the history the local people are telling. This layer much more profound that doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. I think is just there for whom is really interested to see it and to feel it. It’s maybe the unspoken voice of the Mighty Spirit of Creation.

To be continued…

Getting lost in a Thai forest by night

After walking twice the Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago) in Spain and Portugal, I know very well that when you start your journey with another person, you accept the challenge of sharing his / her experiences as well. So, I accepted to do this trip with a friend and after a full day on the Ocean visiting the Islands, we decided to build a more adventurous day, walking to see another beach, approximately 4 km away from Patong.

Freedom Beach Forest, Patong, Thailand, 2019
Freedom Beach Forest, Thailand, 2019

The journey was not easy, as we started walking around midday, after having a late breakfast. And when I say “not easy”, I mean it. I love walking when it’s hot outside, but the 90% of the way was without shadow at all, and we had 38 degrees Celsius, feeling like 45. 😳

We were walking up and down on the mountains, under the heet, but the beautiful scenary was like a fresh breeze helping us to go ahead.

Outside Patong on the main way to Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019
Freedom Beach forest, Thailand, 2019

Exhausted, we reached Freedom Beach around 1 pm, after crossing a small and beautiful forest and escalating some rocks to be able to reach the most beautiful part of the beach.

Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019
Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019

We’ve spent the entire day there, till almost the sunset. The water had an emerald color and was extremely inviting, so the first thing we did was to take a swimm. After so much heet, that bath in the Ocean feeled like a real divine blessing. Later, the palms offered us the perfect shadow and protected us from the hungry sun rays.

Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019

While we were walking on the beach, we found this small and cute crab crossing the beach and making his own way towards the shadow.

Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019

Around 6 pm, we decided to hit the road back to Patong. Following my friend’s idea, we tried a new path along the forest. We’ve noticed the way was heading in the other direction, but my friend kept hoping the new path will meet the one we did when we arrived at Freedom Beach. The nicest thing was walking bare foot and feeling the dust and the small rocks under your own feet.

Freedom Beach Forest, Thailand, 2019
Freedom Beach Forest, Thailand, 2019

At a certain point we were sweting while climbing the mountain and we transformed our bodies into a great luxurious dinner for the mosquitos. Awful feeling! Soon everything was dark around us and the sound of the forest changed into a new song while the leafs starting to move like in a horror movie. We put our shoes on, and proceed quickly towards the light.

Soon we reached the first local houses in the forest, and 20 minutes after we were back on the main road to Patong, walking along with cars, tuk-tuks, motorbike and all kind of local vehicles.

Morale of the day: when you are looking for an adventure, you may find it right over the corner. So, always be careful what you wish for! 😜

To be continued…

Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019
Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019
Freedom Beach, Thailand, 2019

When you say Thailand, you say ”The Beach”

When you say Thailand, you suddenly think about beautiful white sand islands. Everyone remembers the famous movie “The beach” with Leonardo di Caprio and is sending you messages like: Your pictures made me remember “The Beach”!

I must confess I did not see the movie, but I had to see the beach itself. So, I booked a tour with a speed boat to see: Phi Phi Islands, Khai Island, Monkey Beach, The Vikings Cave, and Maya Bay, where the movie was done.

The nice thing is that when you book a trip, they are coming to pick you up from the hotel, even if you book a shuttle bus to get you back to the airport.

So, my adventures started at 8 am, when the driver pick me and other people up from the hotel, to drive us to the boat in Phuket where we had a snack before starting our journey on the Ocean.

Ao Por Pier, Phuket, Thailand, 2019

After half an hour, our first stop was on Khai Island, where I tried snorkeling for the first time in my life. Once you try it, you will fall in love with the sea life! It was so amazing to see the fishes swimming near me. They were curious and they really looked playful. Khai is a very small Island, but looks like a real Paradise and I almost forgot I cut my hand and my leg in the slippery rocks, following the fishes. 🤪

Khai Island, Thailand, 2019
Khai Island, Thailand, 2019
Khai Island, Thailand, 2019

After an hour and a half, we reached Maya Bay, and we’ve seen the beach where the famous movie was shot. The beach is now a restricted area, closed by the government, so you cannot go on the beach. However, the boats can stop and you can swim in the Bay or do snorkeling.

Another “first time of my life” happened there. I tried to swim and to have a look at the sea life there, and it was amazing. Scary, but amazing! Scary at the beginning, because I have this fear of profound water higher than my own height. The good news is that after winning the battle with my mind, I was able to put on my snorkeling mask and have tale a look. The water was so clear, and the fishes so colorful, so this experience made my day!

Maya Bay (The Beach), Thailand, 2019
Maya Bay, Thailand, 2019

Vikings Cave was the next story. It’s a cave where even today some gypses are still living there, harvesting birds’ nests. The cave received this name based on the paintings that were found on the walls of the cave: different kind of boats, some of them representing a Scandiavian boat.  

Vikings Cave, Thailand, 2019

Next stop was at the Monkey Beach, where we had the chance to see and feed some monkeys near the boat. We were not allowed to jump on the beach as they me be unpredictable and if they bite you, you can get infected. However, witnessing one of them eating the bananas we were throwing from the boat, was a great experience.

Monkey Beach, Thailand, 2019
Monkey Beach, Thailand, 2019

The last stop was on the Phi Phi Don Island, where we had lunch and I had the most delicious potatoes with some red sweet sauce. We had almost 2 hours to visit the island, which I did and I had the chance to discover the mighty forests and especially the mangroves. For one that was crazy about world geography, it was great seeing them and adding another “checked” to the list of my dreams as a child. I had a good walk on the Island discovering new things, and after that I returned to the boat.

Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand, 2019
Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand, 2019
Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand, 2019
Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand, 2019
Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand, 2019

Another hour of “flying” on the water and my day ended gloriously with some dreams coming true and some mind blockages overcome.

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, 2019

Morale of the day: beyond the thinkable is the unthinkable. Take a step towards it and your deepest fear will become your greatest success!

To be continued…  

Maya Bay, Thailand, 2019