Exotic sights in the Middle East (photo essay)

Jerusalem view

Exotic sights in the Middle East are at every turn when you come from the West. For this reason, to celebrate this week’s FriFotos theme “Exotic,” I wanted to present you a photo essay, including some of the exotic sights you can find in the Middle East. These were captured as I lived and traveled throughout the region back in college.

Unfortunately though, some of the photos were taken with a disposable camera and scanned, as my digital camera died prematurely. These were captured as I lived and traveled throughout the region back while I was getting a college degree online. Still, I hope you enjoy them!

exotic sights in the Middle East, Jerusalem camel

Me on a camel with Old Jerusalem in the background

exotic sights in the Middle East, transportation

quirky transportation in Aswan, Egypt (note the bumper sticker!)

exotic sights in the Middle East: Camel safari

camel safari to Ras Abu Gallum reserve, Sinai

microbus Luxor-Aswan

See the ceiling? Microbus from Luxor-Aswan. Fellow backpacker Nate & I were the only tourists!

Egyptian train

Seems like I’m fighting, but I’m simply rambling in Arabic, asking when the heck my train is gettin’ there ’cause it’s already half hour late…they just didn’t know

If there’s something I loved about the Middle East was the quirky modes of transportation: Camels, rusting trains that I am still unsure on how they keep working properly, funky motorized ”tricycles” (with Chicago Bulls bumper stickers, see photo above), non-motorized sailboats called feluccas. All fun to ride in, while fearing for your life — just like some roller coasters! :D

exotic sights in the Middle East, felucca

non-motorized traditional sailboats, called feluccas, are common in Egypt

felucca trip

you can sleep on a felucca, too! I took a 3 day/2 night trip in one down the Nile river. Unique experience!

Oh yah, felucca captains also put a flag of the traveler’s country alongside the Egyptian. They didn’t have a flag from my country + Puerto Rico is part of the USA anyway, so that was that! ;)

felucca trip photo

flag ceremony on the felucca’s steer

 Speaking of boats, here’s a Dahabeya: Luxurious version of the felucca

exotic sights in the Middle East, dahabeya

Dahabeya, sails rolled in, docked in Aswan, Egypt

The old, historic architecture, alleys, and markets where my favorite exotic sights in the Middle East. It is like traveling through time, like diving into a history book. I felt like a kid in Disneyworld when walking through those Arab streets!

Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

view from Desert Lodge in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Islamic Cairo

The streets of Islamic Cairo (Photo: Nicolas Smith)

Akko, Israel museum

Museum in Akko, Israel

Desert Lodge in Dakhla, Egypt

outside my room at the Desert Lodge in Dakhla, Egypt

Arab architecture

Arab architecture at sunset

Al Azhar park view

view from Al Azhar park

Dome of the Rock, Old Jerusalem

me dressed like a local at Dome of the Rock, Old Jerusalem

Jerusalem church

unique Jerusalem church

exotic sight in the Middle East, Nubian village

Blue Nubian village we stopped by during our felucca trip from Aswan-Luxor

Oh yah, another exotic sight in the Middle East was some of the clothes you could buy, like the awesome bright orange pants you see me wearing on some of these photos :D and the TEMPLES!

Egyptian temple

temple right by the Nile

Petra, Jordan

Petra!

Abu Simble temple

Abu Simble temple

Abu Simbel, Egypt

Ramses II, your ego is truly heavy

Another thing I adored in the Middle East was the decor, especially Beoduin style. I fell in love with the drapes, carpets and on-floor sitting!

Beoduin dining

Beoduin dining in Dahab

Mashraba - Dahab

dinning with some friends in Mashraba, Dahab

Red Sea Relax Resort

lounging at Red Sea Relax Resort, Dahab, Red Sea

Dahab, Egypt

Awesome decor

My favorite exotic sighting in the entire Middle East, though? A random, GORGEOUS turquoise beach found between Dahab and Taba. Drove by it on the morning of a crazy visa run to the Egyptian/Israeli border (Sinai peninsula). I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!

exotic beach in the Middle East

exotic beach in the middle of the desert!

Have you seen any of these exotic sights in the Middle East?

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