Lost in History : Memorable Jordan

1st May 2015
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 1/12 by Bhawna Garg
view of the treasury
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 2/12 by Bhawna Garg
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 3/12 by Bhawna Garg
the famous oval
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 4/12 by Bhawna Garg
roman theatre
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 5/12 by Bhawna Garg
the beautiful architecture
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 6/12 by Bhawna Garg
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 7/12 by Bhawna Garg
soaking the view
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 8/12 by Bhawna Garg
the siq
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 9/12 by Bhawna Garg
crazyyy us !!!
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 10/12 by Bhawna Garg
the epic thing !!
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 11/12 by Bhawna Garg
beautiful cars
Photo of Lost in History : Memorable Jordan 12/12 by Bhawna Garg
way of life in desert

It was the most instantaneous trip ever planned with my partner . We just zeroed down on this beautiful country located in Middle East and made all the arrangements in under 2 weeks .

Jordan is a culturally rich place with beautiful traditions , lot of cultural value , yet modern and so beautiful . The most important feature of the country is the historical importance it comes up with . The monuments are well preserved , beautiful and people are so cordial and lovely.

The trip was planned to cover the city of Amman ( the capital city also known as city of seven hills ) , Petra ( the city of new seven wonder of the world / UNESCO heritage site ) , wadi rum ( desert paradise ) and Dead Sea ( which is not a sea ) .

The trip covers almost all the attractions the places mentioned had to offer but there is so much to explore in Jordan that you will be always left asking for more .

Visa : the visa is available on arrival for Indians . The visa cost around 40 JD( around Rs 4000) each. They only accept Jordan Dinar as the currency for the visa. You Can get the same from The ATM counter or exchange bureau opposite to the visa counter. The only pre requisite by the visa officer there is that you have your return air ticket / hotel bookings and also 1000 USD in cash for each person .

Tickets : return air tickets for two will cost around Rs 60k . The airlines offering one stop service are air Arabia / gulf air / emirates / Qatar airways . The flight time is around 8-10 hours depending on the flight selected .

If you are looking for an personalized tours , there are lot of tour operator which provide you with car / driver and also make arrangements for the sight seeing . You can research as per your requirements .

Day 1 : We arrived in the city of Amman at the queen Alia airport . The airport is modern and well built .In Amman we opted for Le Meridien ,the hotel is located on a street which is not very far from the maddening rush of the downtown . After a brief rest on the first day , we drived north to Jerash, the best preserved Roman provincial city in the Middle East. While touring the City of Jersah it is good of you hire s good guide , the guide will take you through the ancient city with lot of facts and things which you will never know on your own . Be ready to question him back for the things you see, the guides are knowledgeable and very much ready to share it with the tourist . There will be lot of walk involved and the place is dusty. Wear the most comfortable shoes and clothes . The tour will take around 2 - 3 hours and you get to see Hadrian’s Arch , Hippodrome, Temple of Zeus, Roman theaters, Temple of Artemis, colonnaded streets, public baths, forum and market place be ready to be taken aback with the beauty and history of the place.

Day 2 : . After catching up on early breakfast we headed out the beautiful citadel the oldest site of civilization in Jordan’s capital city. Sitting on the top of the highest of the original 7 hills of Amman,you can admire how the city has been build all around the oldest building and is quite a site to see . We also saw ruins from several different empires – an Umayyad Palace and Reception Hall, Byzantine Church, Mosque, Temple of Hercules and a Roman Cistern. There was a small Archaeological Museum which displays artifacts dating back to 6,000 BC. The citadel needs at least 2 hours to be explored , guides are available at the site but we didn't opted for any . The place has some beautiful and old structures. After this we had a little sneak peak at the local town and we ate the local falafel sandwich at the very famous Hashim and then we left for the Eastern Desert over basalt plains to visit 3 of the “Desert” Castles – Azraq Castle, Qasr Amra and Al-Kharaneh. Displaying beautiful examples of both early Islamic art and architecture, these buildings stand testament to a fascinating era in the country's rich history. On our way back to hotel we visited the Royal automobile museum , it has on display some world most beautiful , unique and historical cars .Don’t miss the museum on your visit , it’s a must do.

Day 3 : Taking the Kings’ Highway, an ancient caravan and pilgrimage route, we traveled to Mt Nebo where God permitted Moses a glimpse of the Promised Land before died. Moses is believed to be buried nearby however his tomb has never been identified. Just 10 minutes down the Highway is Madaba, famous for the mosaic map of the Holy Lands, discovered in the 6th Century St George Church during renovations. Heading south towards Petra, we passed through magnificent Wadi Mujib canyon. The canyon cuts through the mountains down to the Dead Sea and is a popular location for hikers. Continue through Kerak, passing Dana Nature Reserve to reach the ruins of Shobak Castle. The Crusader Castle was built by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem and it is here that Richard the Lion Heart was defeated by Saladin. Further down the Highway we reached Petra also known as wadi musa . The street near the main attraction has lot of hotels and restaurants . You can choose any according to your budget. I suggest living near to the attraction so as to start early in the morning . As there is lot of walking involved while exploring the beautiful treasury.

Day 4 : Be ready to explore the new seven wonder of world as early as possible in the morning . The attraction opens up at 6 in the morning. The entrance fee to the attraction is 50Jd each and it is good if you hire a guide because then only you can be familiarized with the beautiful architecture built by the Nabetians . There is walk of around 2 km to the breathtakingly beautiful treasury. Continue along the Street of Facades, past the Roman Theater to the Royal Tombs. See the Byzantine Church, Blue Church, colonnaded street, Great Temple, Temple of the Winged Lions, Qasr al-Bint and museum. The guided tour are up to this point only . But there are still many more things to be explored . Many of them involve lot of climbing through the uneven stairs . We choose to climb the 800+ steps to the Monastery . The other rolls Ds which can be explored are the High Place of Sacrifice. Please wear comfortable shoes as you will easily walk around 10 km and also carry water with you .Although there are many shops inside the main building but they are insanely priced. As it gets really hot by 11 . We left at around 7:30 and we were to hotel by 4. We wanted to try other things like Petra by Kitchen or the Petra by night but we were way too tired to try anything . We just decided to go for a Turkish bath , a very different experience it costed around 15JD and was worth it . Made us feel fresh and light .

Day 5 : We took it light on the day and slept till we were up by on our own . We visited Little Petra (al-Bayda) which is around 5 km from the main Petra . On these once-fertile plains, the large caravans (with up to 1,000 camels) used to assemble/rest before entering Petra or beginning their treks to the Far East, Egypt or Damascus. Little Petra provided accommodation and eateries for the came leers and merchants. After visiting the little Petra we took the Kings’ Highway and travel south to the desert of Wadi Rum. The desert is huge and has a different terrain unlike Sahara desert which is all about sand and sand dune . Wadi Rum is more about rugged mountains and canyons . Lot of camps are available for stay we opted for sun city camp . It was nothing less than a luxury camp . We went for a 2 hr 4wD into the desert and enjoyed it to the core . After returning from the safari we relaxed a bit with some mint tea and Hubbly bubbly ( read sheesha ) . The atmosphere by evening is breathtaking . There is option to take a camel ride to watch the beautiful sun go down or may be in morning for the sunrise. It's one of a kind experience and you will surely remember it for a long time . The sun city camp served nice buffet dinner with all the local specialties . Do take time to spend some time under the stars , the sky looks beautiful when covered with them as you can easily spot thousand of them .

Day 6 : we made an early start on the day as Dead Sea is around 4 hours by drive from the desert . We drove through the seaside resort of Aqaba and the Red Sea before heading north on the Dead Sea Highway along the Rift Valley. The Dead Sea, at 420m below sea level is the lowest point on earth and about 10oC warmer than surrounding areas. The therapeutic waters of the Sea– the largest natural spa in the world - are 7 times saltier than regular sea water are so buoyant that it is impossible to sink. We stayed in the beautiful crown plaza , the hotel is one of the resort I have been too . There are umpteen things to do and Dead Sea in itself is an epic experience .

Day 7 : Drive to airport is for around 1 hour as we had an mid day flight , we decided to have quick self spa ( soaking your body in black mud and then a quick dip in the Dead Sea ) at the Dead Sea .

Tips :

1 . For all the females travelling to any Middle East country : please carry modest clothes . Although lot of places are fairly modern , but still a female wearing any short clothes exposing legs / shoulder / breast line is still considered a taboo . Carry some light jackets / stoles as a cover up and respect the tradition there . You can try breezy maxi dresses / maxi skirts / palazzos.

2. While calculating your expenses , Apart from regular hotels / flight ticket / food expense also consider the entry fee to the attractions . As Jordan has entry fee to mostly all the attractions .

3. We enjoyed the personal vehicle for the tour as it offers more flexibility in terms of experience. While deciding on the tour operator please make sure what all is covered and then quote & compare the price accordingly . We decided on go Jordan as the price was good and it was all inclusive for the private guide and also the entry tickets .

Beautiful City with lot of historical importance