In November, I was able to fulfill a life-long dream and visit the awesome site of Petra in Jordan. I had chosen the season wisely, because, just as I hoped, very few tourists were around and I could walk along the narrow Siq, at the end of which the world famous ‘Treasury’ looms into view, without bumping into too many people or having to jump out of the way when some of the small carriages came by. They are available at the entrance for those who don’t prefer to explore the site on horseback or foot or those who can’t walk very well. Just one or two and that was no problem.
When I was nearing the end of the Siq, I noticed, that someone else had had the same idea. Whom should I encounter but a small group of people, in the midst of which Norway’s crown prince, his wife and kids were equally fascinated by the view. I stood back and watched. What a refreshing sight. Dressed casually like everybody else, there were no visible body guards around. No bulls in black suits and buttons in their ears, looking more important than the people they are supposed to protect. They didn’t even have a private tour guide, so obviously, they had done their home work and knew what they were looking at.
Even the Jordan police on horseback who patrol the site, ambled past and didn’t pay them any attention. Those tourists who were around were mostly American and wouldn’t have recognized them anyway. I enjoyed watching their three kids who were even more excited than their parents, hopping around and snapping away on their cameras. Which was the reason for an episode which made me laugh, and angry at the same time.
The oldest son, taking tons of pictures, happened to get in the way of a huge American woman. Who, immediately started to tell the kid off in no uncertain terms. Had she but known whom she was shouting at, she would have had quite a story to tell back in Ohio or wherever she was from. But, regardless to who the kid was, it was very nasty to tell an excited kid off in that way. Kids will be kids and she had ample time to take her shots when they had walked on, just as I did. Needless to say, that I didn’t take any shots of the royals either. I would have thought that in extremely bad taste. They were on a private holiday, enjoying themselves and doing their best to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Some royals get it just right!!