Photographer's Note

I dedicate my first post of Jordan and my first picture of 2009, to Zeynep, since today it's her first anniversary in TE :)

I wish these railway tracks can lead you well through 2009 with health and joy; find your hopes like birds on a spring branch, happiness like a warm summer sun, magic like the rising mists of autumn. And best of all, love; love enough for a thousand Christmases.

Happy 2009 for everyone.


WS1 - alternative in b&w.

WS2 - a complementar picture showing a van passing by, escaping from the mist and sandstorm in the background.


Taken in Wadi Rum, about an hour before sunset. I drove about 20min from the Visitor's Center of the protected area of the Park and found this railway line - for years it was devoted only to phosphate trains shuttling between desert mines and Aqaba port and lately it was upgraded to take tourist passenger services, from Aqaba direct to Rum. However, I think this particulary part of the railway is off duty now since it's on the opposite direction to Rum and Aqaba. It was not easy to take the shot because there was a strong wind blowing all the time and I was being whipped by sand. 15min later I couldn't see anything due to a wind storm. The mist in the background is due to the sand in the air.

WADI RUM (From Rough Guide to Jordan book):

One of the most spectacular natural environments in the Middle East, the desert scenery of WADI RUM (pronounced to rhyme with "dumb", not "doom") is a major highlight of a visit to Jordan. The wadi itself is one of a sequence of parallel faults forming valleys in the sandy desert south of the Shara mountains. They are oriented almost perfectly north south, shaped and characterized by giant granite, basalt and sandstone mountains rising up to 800m sheer from the desert floor. The rocky landscape has been weathered over the millennia into bulbous domes and weird ridges and textures that look like nothing so much as molten candle-wax, but it's the sheer bulk of these mountains that awes some with vertical, smooth flanks, others scarred and distorted, seemingly dripping and melting under the burning sun. The intervening level corridors of soft red sand only add to the image of the mountains as monumental islands in a dry sea. Split through by networks of canyons and ravines, spanned by naturally formed rock bridges and watered by hidden springs, the mountains offer opportunities galore for scrambling and rock-climbing, where you could walk for hours or days without seeing another soul.
The sunsets are extraordinary; evening coolness after the heat of the day is blissful; the clarity of the desert air helps produce a starry sky of stunning beauty; and the tranquillity of the pitch-dark desert night is simply magical. It's an unforgettable experience.

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Additional Photos by Ricardo Lopes (riclopes) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6857 W: 151 N: 10359] (35577)
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