This Country Is Emerging As Asia's Biggest Adventure Destination
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These Finger-Licking Dishes Prove That Jordan Wins At Food, Hands Down
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The Lowest Point On Earth Should Be At The Top Of Every Traveller's Bucket List
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Top Places To Visit 10 Spots
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city's much older past.Due to the city's modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan's population is concentrated in the Amman area. The Jordan Archaeological Museum is located in the Amman Citadel of Amman, Jordan. Built in 1951, it presents artifacts from archaeological sites in Jordan, dating from prehistoric times to the 15th centuryRead More
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city's much older past.Due to the city's modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan's population is concentrated in the Amman area. The Jordan Archaeological Museum is located in the Amman Citadel of Amman, Jordan. Built in 1951, it presents artifacts from archaeological sites in Jordan, dating from prehistoric times to the 15th century
Amman is the capital city of Jordan and as per some old biblical dictionary it means a city perched atop 7 Hills. As I drove from the airport to my hostel in downtown, this fact became apparent as I came across several viewpoints which offered a panoramic view of the entire city. My stay was booked at The Boutique Hostel (nothing Boutique about it though) in downtown Amman. It was a small house managed by a helpful but shrewd Palestinian owner. The itinerary for the day was to visit the Roman Theater and the Citadel. Both nestled inside the city limits. I got my directions from the hostel manager and decided to walk (walking is the best way to explore any city).The entire downtown Amman is filled with shops that sell everything, from classy leather jackets and boots to the boring electronics to the much hyped dead sea cosmetics. People are warm and friendly. Infact, I was approached by many of them as they instantly recognized the traveler with a camera and the fact that he also looked Indian. Questions pertaining to Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai, Delhi were asked and offers made to buy discounted products from their shops. I only asked further directions to the Roman Theater.Unfortunately, the Roman Theater was closed due to severe flooding that had taken place due to torrential rains (something that is least expected in a desert) and I also came to know that the next place I planned to visit was supposed to be closed for the day in the next 15 minutes. I immediately rushed to my next destination, not wanting to miss out and have nothing to speak about my first day as a solo traveler. Upon my arrival at the Citadel, several tour guides offered an extra hour of sight-seeing beyond the closing time so that I could see the entire place, for an extra 20 JD. Well, it was totally worth it. The majestic sun was calling it a day, the city was turning into a burning red rose and I was on top of one of the 7 hills of Amman surrounded by history and roman architecture.I walked back to my hostel (atleast 4-5 kms) and upon my return, I got to meet my room mates – an Indian, a friendly Taiwenese man and an aloof Japenese teenager. Pranav had arrived two days back in Amman and was still to explore the many tourist destinations of Jordan. Being Indians, we bonded quickly and even faster we made plans about the places to visit for the next day. Pranav and me had booked a tour guide who would pick up from our hostel and take us through the King’s Highway to visit the Moses Burial Ground, the Dead Sea, Panorama and the Ma’in Hot Springs. King’s Highway is the one of the oldest trade routes in the middle east, offering scenic spots of the entire country side of Jordan and connecting all the major tourist spots. Its runs like a snake carved through mountains and has no speed limits. Going up and down the hills, it offers some great sights for photography.
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.
A mman Citadel. Perched on top of Amman, Jordan's capital city, the Citadel (or Jabal al Qala'a) is one of the most unmissable sights featuring the ruins of bygone Roman settlements and fortresses. Pose for a snap between towering columns of Hercules's Temple while admiring the panoramic view of old and new Amman from the hilltop.
Touching down in its largest city, Amman, I brace myself for chaos that characterizes most middle-eastern cities. What greets me instead is surprisingly serene, more arid one might say; the wind. Amman is as much a place for sleepy sand lined boulevards, scenic mountain top homes and spectacular palatial mansions as its old world charm. It is also home to international hospitality projects and top of the line lodgings, which are geared to keep even the most discerning of travellers easily in their comfort zone.A rather effective example was the Regency Amman where I checked in, which struck me by its ability to rework tradition into something innately fresh. Diving straight into the city, my excursion took me to the town of Jerash which is about 48 kilometres from Amman. Stopping over to satiate my taste-buds with authentic Jordanian cuisine from the much recommended “Lebanese House” restaurant, I find my way over the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, to find myself face to face with real life roman warriors and gladiators at the Roman theatre inside the well preserved city. Three hours discovering the magnificent city as it was, tired, I return to my hotel room on the eleventh floor, to relax and polish myself for a dinner rendezvous at Levant restaurant located at Jabal Amman which served us excellent but humongous Arabic gourmet foods.
We went to see one last kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan which was located on the Jordan border. The main source of income is a plastics engineering factory. The kibbutz also grows bananas, avocado and watermelons, and has a herd of dairy cows. After visiting the kibbutz, we crossed the Sheikh Hussein border to enter in Jordan. After 2.5 hours of drive in the countryside, we reached Amman. We went to the Rainbow Street in the evening which is always buzzing with restaurants, cafes and pubs. Day 10Mumbai, IndiaBack home.
I reached Amman at around 8:30 pm and Hassan (my couchsurfing host in Amman) waited to pick me up from the bus station. He had promised to show a bit around the city for 4 hours I had before heading to the airport. Hassan was a a young and bright engineering student who also spoke fluent German. He drove me to many beautiful places. We had good coffee, dinner and a sisha too in such less time. Amman was so different from the rest of Jordan. Hassan had warned me that Sishas are very strong in Jordan to which I didn't listen! Soon after, it kicked in and I wish I had listened to him. Don't do it before your flight if you are not used to such strong nicotine.????
1. Amman Walks – While Amman (Central Jordan) is usually treated as just a jumping off base to explore Jordan, this lovely ME city is a treasure house of historical wealth. It makes sense to dedicate 2 days to Amman to explore its interesting sights, winding hills, street art and bustling mix of exotic and cosmopolitan local life. Do visit the Jordan Archaeological Museum in Amman to see its star exhibits-the 4 Iron Age coffins and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
From Aqaba, we again set off on an amazing jeep tour into the Wadi Rum desert. And as we reached Petra, we knew it was the perfect place for a history-lover like me. As a young boy, I often imitated the adventures of Indiana Jones and now I was breathing amongst the walls that had once stood for the Last Crusade! So without further adieu, we delved our curious and excited foot steps into the carved pink sandstone and soon made our grand entrance, through the winding canyon of Siq, finally to the legendary Al Khazneh (The Treasury). Walking past the stone-resurrected tombs and narrow gorges amidst the rocks that have withheld a metamorphosis with the passage of time. And finally we got lucky for our first glimpse!Marked in every corner by its history of Bedouin culture, yet it reeks of the once effluent Pharaoh's lavish interests. So as we headed out, content with ourselves of the historical essence our trip had brought on, we realised it was just impossible to stay in Petra for just a day. To get the feel of the ruins that shaped history, we decided we'll stay on and explore more. So in the coming days came the Roman Theater and the Royal Tombs and the magnificent show that we are glad we didn't miss- Petra by Night. And with the visit to the Mountain of Aaron, our trip came to an end.Read More
From Aqaba, we again set off on an amazing jeep tour into the Wadi Rum desert. And as we reached Petra, we knew it was the perfect place for a history-lover like me. As a young boy, I often imitated the adventures of Indiana Jones and now I was breathing amongst the walls that had once stood for the Last Crusade! So without further adieu, we delved our curious and excited foot steps into the carved pink sandstone and soon made our grand entrance, through the winding canyon of Siq, finally to the legendary Al Khazneh (The Treasury). Walking past the stone-resurrected tombs and narrow gorges amidst the rocks that have withheld a metamorphosis with the passage of time. And finally we got lucky for our first glimpse!Marked in every corner by its history of Bedouin culture, yet it reeks of the once effluent Pharaoh's lavish interests. So as we headed out, content with ourselves of the historical essence our trip had brought on, we realised it was just impossible to stay in Petra for just a day. To get the feel of the ruins that shaped history, we decided we'll stay on and explore more. So in the coming days came the Roman Theater and the Royal Tombs and the magnificent show that we are glad we didn't miss- Petra by Night. And with the visit to the Mountain of Aaron, our trip came to an end.
Day 4 started (again) with a tight schedule. After having a quick breakfast at our campsite, we set out for Aqaba (20 JD for the taxi), which was 30 minutes away. First thing we did was to reserve a seat in a bus to Amman (20 JD pp).The idea of coming down to Aqaba was to take a dip in the Read Sea, and after a lot of thought we ended up snorkeling. It was a lot of fun (as it was uninstructed) and a little painful (as I couldn't keep away for corals).We wrapped up quickly to make sure we don't miss the 4 pm bus and by night we had reached the last leg of our trip - Amman.Read More
Day 4 started (again) with a tight schedule. After having a quick breakfast at our campsite, we set out for Aqaba (20 JD for the taxi), which was 30 minutes away. First thing we did was to reserve a seat in a bus to Amman (20 JD pp).The idea of coming down to Aqaba was to take a dip in the Read Sea, and after a lot of thought we ended up snorkeling. It was a lot of fun (as it was uninstructed) and a little painful (as I couldn't keep away for corals).We wrapped up quickly to make sure we don't miss the 4 pm bus and by night we had reached the last leg of our trip - Amman.
It is the city on the shores of Mediterranean Sea. It borders Saudi Arabia on one side and Israel on the other. And if you take a boat ride in the sea 10 mins, into that one can easily see Egypt. It is famous for shopping and beaches. Temperature here in general is 5-7 degrees higher than Amman. It city has beautiful corals underneath its water one can enjoy Glass bottom ride, snorkeling, scuba diving etc.
So as we drove out of Amman, past the Wadi Rum, we headed for the Gulf of Aqaba. Splendid view was an understatement. And what followed was the amazing tour of the Aqaba Castle and Museum. Stepping on the cobbled streets, we were surrounded by the age-old ruins of Aqaba. With Arabic culture and its profound history singing to us stories of its past from every corner, every step took us back to the Byzantine Empire and the Sultanate reigns. Another essence of history was stored at the sight of Ayla, where we were fortunate to visit ancient churches and medieval city walls that have stood with the passage of time. By the end of our visit, we spent a more leisure time basking in the sun at Barracuda Beach and enjoying the privilege of water sports, which made for a truly fun-filled experience. And to count it all off, we went sailing on a half-day trip on a cruise across the Guld of Aqaba, as we snorkelled by the setting sun on the sea and relished middle eastern barbecued delights.
After visiting the church at Mount Nebo I headed towards the ancient town of Madaba. Madaba is the city know for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. I chose to visit St George's Church &amp; the floor has a mosaic map of the holy land, been protected in bits and pieces.Before viewing the map, take a look at the full-size replica in the ticket office, making it easier to spot the details that you want to focus on in the church. There is a beautiful market around the church shops selling souvenirs of all shapes and sizes.Read More
After visiting the church at Mount Nebo I headed towards the ancient town of Madaba. Madaba is the city know for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. I chose to visit St George's Church &amp; the floor has a mosaic map of the holy land, been protected in bits and pieces.Before viewing the map, take a look at the full-size replica in the ticket office, making it easier to spot the details that you want to focus on in the church. There is a beautiful market around the church shops selling souvenirs of all shapes and sizes.
After being astounded with this artwork I reached my first stop nearby Mount Sinai, St. Catherine's Monastery; where Moses received the 10 Commandments. I spent a long time scrutinizing religious artifacts at the Monastery but soon it was time to take to the road again. Hitting the road the Bedouin way I found myself marveled at the beauty of the striking silhouette of the fortified town and castle of Kerak.
M adaba. Dubbed as the "City of Mosaics", Madaba enchants visitors with top class mosaic artworks using various materials- yes, even shells of ostrich eggs! Camel bones and colorful stones are intricately assembled on a canvas depicting places, things, religious figures, popular artists, even common people like drunkards and prostitutes.
Understanding that the legacy of Jordan is more than deserts and mountains, I head the next morning to a tour of the city and towards my onwards journey into the biblical heartland of Madaba. It is here that the fabled ‘Madaba Map’ carved in mosaic is depicted, which dating back to the 6th century AD is the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. Heading onto the ‘King’s Highway’, the 335 kilometer long oldest continuously used road in the world, lined on both sides by prehistoric villages from the Stone Age, biblical towns from the kingdoms of Ammon, Moab and Edom, Crusader castles and much more, I make my way to the top of Mount Nebo, from where Moses saw the holy land of Jerusalem and bid farewell to the material world.
Madaba | Mount NeboWe immediately departed for Madaba which is 30 kms South-West of Amman. Mosaic works are main tourist attraction in Madaba. One can find mosaic works on the floors of buildings and churches. Madaba has a population of around 60,000. We had our lunch and proceeded towards Mt. Nebo. Mt. Nebo is a place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. You can see panoramic view of the holy land from the summit. On a clear day, you can see as far as Jerusalem from the top. After spending some time on Mt. Nebo we departed for Petra, which is 3 hours drive from there.
Wadi Rum Village
Wadi Rum, Nature reserve is by far one of the greatest desert experiences I have ever had (Baring Jaisalmer, because Rajasthani for life *wink wink*). Described by Lawrence of Arabia as "Vast and echoing" Wadi Rum is an outstanding desert landscape. This remarkable landscape is a protected area, it covers over 700 sq. km. One can spend days and weeks exploring it. Wadi Rum is home to the Bedouins, a tribe known for their hospitality, craftsmanship and sweet tea. A lot of them earn their living via tourism in this area. My experience with them has been exquisite. A Large part of the desert is covered by red sand dunes, canyons, mountains and white sand. The fauna includes Syrian Wolf, Nubian Ibex and striped Hyena.
Wadi Rum is an expansive red desert where The Martian was shot to replicate Mars. Far away from the hustle bustle of city, it promised me a chance to look at a starry sky and see some shooting stars. Over here, I found my tour companions were an american dude, a Brazilian chick and a Brazilian hippie dude. We did not need many introductions, we were just travelers. It did not count where we came from, what we did. We were just people lost in the moment, ready to explore the desert and see what it had to offer. Our tour guide took us to different view points which involved a lot of hiking. All of us had a simple Bedouin lunch and I personally waited for the night. By late afternoon we had reached the camps where we were supposed to spend the rest of the night. I was fidgety waiting for it to be dark.By now, I had already told my Brazilian hippie friend about the hashish and we decided to roll two thick joints mixed with tobacco. The Bedouins laid out the dinner and set up a bonfire for us to keep warm in an otherwise cold night. We were joined by people from other nearby camps for the dinner and all of us sang and danced together. I took an early break from the drama as it was something else that I seeked. “A Million Stars”.I stepped out of the camp and walked far away into the darkness, with my held up high, trying to spot the stars. And the dream came true. However cold it might have been, I did not need anything to keep me warm as I was covered by a blanket of million stars (it might have been just an edge of the milky way, but for me it was the path to infinity). Quickly, me and Pedro set up my camera and took some snaps of the milky way. We lit up the the joints we had rolled and like two perfect hippies, we trolled over all the nuances of working a dead end job and how traveling was the holy grail. Pedro showed me how to spot the shooting stars and from there on I was able to spot one every 5 mins. We spoke at great lengths about traveling across S. America and Astronomy. I was still unhappy about the photos we had taken earlier of the stars and I decided to stay a little longer in the cold taking somewhat perfect photos of the milky way. (Pardon me, but I know I have a long way to go before I master night sky photography.)I sat there alone for about 2 hours in the cold, my feet were numb, I couldn’t feel my nose and hands, and I was just wearing a jacket in almost close to zero temperature. Took as many photos as I could and decided to call it a night. Now, only one last thing that remained was to meet an old colleague friend from Jordan.I arrived back in Amman the following day in the evening and decided to take in much needed rest after spending the last night in extreme colds. Pedro and me decided to visit the much famous cafe culture of Amman during the night. First we decided to buy some souvenirs to take back home.The entire downtown has small cafes placed in every nook and corner which serve sheesha, tea and snacks. I visited the Hashem Restaurant (oldest restaurant in Amman) first to try out some local dishes like the Falafel, Pita bread and Hummus. Pedro and me together later went to a nearby cafe to try the lemon mint sheesha and lemon mint cooler. We dined on authentic dinner food like shish tawouk (chicken kebabs), chicken kofta and mensaf (mutton rice).Near to midnight, my old colleague friend from Jordan, Hasan Qandil, joined me in downtown and we spoke about the old days talking about Schlumberger, India and Jordan. He took me to this super famous dessert join where we tried Kanafeh (most Jordanian desserts look similar to the Indian Desserts and i had noticed this particular joint had 10-20 people waiting in que every evening). Kanafeh is like the Indian halwa with a lot of cheese and melted sugary syrup. FOOD ORGASM!All in all, though the Jordanian people did not impress me, I fell in love with the Jordanian food. This was the end of one week of adventure, a trip of a lifetime (of course I am never traveling to Jordan again) and the first solo traveling-wala-trip.The first day I remember calling my mom and telling her how I wished I was traveling with friends and how that would have helped me have fun on my vacation. But, 5 days later I knew I had more fun traveling alone, visited way more places, soaked in way more culture and history, tried new delicacies, all while making new travel friends (aka Living the Hippie Traveler’s Life).And, wait it gets better, the next stop was at Indonesia in Gili Trawangan (Gili Tralalala .. it makes you lazy enough not to say the whole name) and that was going to be one hell of a party and I was gearing up for another adventure.This post was originally published on 'The Indian Abroad'.
A visit to Wadi Rum is definitely a must on the list as the view is mesmerizing. It is a 2 - 3 hour drive around the valley; choosing an open jeep for the safari was a brilliant idea. Some of the red rocks are covered with art and scriptures crafted by Nabateans centuries ago. You can stay over in one of the camps where you get to witness the cultural aspects of Bedouins, the music & the amazing local food all under the beautiful star-studded sky.
Wadi Rum was the real reason that I always wanted to come to Jordan. Wadi Rum is really unmissable on any trip to Jordan. It is a big desert valley spreading 720 square kilometers on the South of Jordan and extends further to Saudi Arabia. Its often referred to as the Valley of the moon and have been successfully as the surface of Mars in big movies like The Red Planet, The Martian, Prometheus, The last days in Mars and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.Things not to forget while visiting Wadi Rum1. Sunscreen, scarf and jacket: No matter which time of the year you are in Wadi Rum, days get extremely hot, so please carry a sunscreen because there are no shops in Wadi Rum. Wrapping a scarf around your head os useful because its very dusty there. Finally, nights get extremely cold in the desert and you should have warm clothes to keep you warm.2. Keep cash with you: There are no ATMs in Wadi Rum (even not in the Bedouin village outside the desert), so don't forget your cash!3. Water, water and water: Yes, very very important! Please make sure you carry lot of water. You get dehydrated very early for obvious reasons when in a desert!Jeep Ride in Wadi Rum: It was a terrific start to the trip and once we entered the desert, it left me spell bound! I cannot describe in words how amazing the colors were and I have not seen a landscape like that before. I can say closest I could relate it to was the Grand Canyon I have been in Arizona, but again, nowhere close to it after all.
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 .
Wadi Rum. I made Whena proud when I successfully climbed a rock bridge at Wadi Rum despite the registered horror on my face. Before this trip, I kept mentioning to the girls that I wanted to see and climb the Burdah Rock bridge (perhaps 10x bigger than the cliff we climbed) but after the first terrifying hike, I zipped my lips about this topic. X GULF Air as a Flight Option to Jordan. Our connecting flight from Bahrain to Amman was delayed. S*It happens. This frustrating situation could have been eased had their staff been reassuring and courteous. Whena and Girlie reached their boiling point (so did I) when the agent at the counter refused to give us boarding passes after queuing for 30 minutes just because... well... we are Filipinos. The respectable-looking guy at the counter dismissed us as if we did not pay for our tickets. Y OLO: You Only Live Once. When you get the chance to travel, make the most of it. Max out your camera's memory card limit by taking photos that will bring back delightful memories. Share your adventures for your friends to experience vicariously or personally -someday.
Absorbing the Arabian tradition, I guide my fellow travellers to the sand dunes of Wadi Rum the next day to soak in the sunset on this great Jordanian valley. Cut into the sandstone and granite rocks in south Jordan at sixty kilometres to the east of Aqaba, is this large desert that is a movie celebrity in itself. Starring in movies like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Red Planet’ and more recently ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, the place is known as the haven of the ‘Bedouin’ tribe who inhabit the area with their goat-hair tents and top of the line sports utility vehicles. More amazing is the view from the top of Jebel um Adaami, the highest peak in Jordan that on clearer days accords a view of Red Sea and the border with Saudi Arabia.Sleep deprived and adrenaline soaked, we order a feast at Captain Cook’s desert camp before making our way to the harbour city of Aqaba. Over the following hours, I settle down at the Movenpik, Tala Bay that is as comfortable as it can be. Overlooking the Red Sea and the distant mountains of Israel on one side and Egypt on another, I feel exhausted and emotionally charged at the same time.My final day in Jordan is set up by the inviting breeze from the Red Sea and a dive into the numerous pools Movenpik offers. After a quick sumptuous breakfast served by a Egyptian maître d'hôtel, we head onto to the Aqaba diving centre which home to exquisite corals and sea reefs is regarded as one of the top diving destinations of the world. Three hours later, and a dive down the Red Sea to experience the maritime wonders it has to offer, I come out a different person.Absorbing the slow accent of the life and times of Jordan and relishing the sounds and smells of the culture, my knowledge and appreciation of this middle-eastern jewel augments multifold in these six days of bliss. And on the return flight back to the cacophony of my ‘normal’ life, the only question which crosses my mind is, “Why Not Jordan?”
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan | Eilat, IsraelWe started early from Petra as we wanted to reach Israel. It was decided to enter Israel via Aqaba border in Jordan, which was 2.5 hours drive from Petra. While going to Aqaba, there lies sprawling Wadi Rum desert. We went for desert safari in the 4x4 jeep which was worth the experience. The desert was vast and wide and endless. The natural beauty would make you awestruck. While going towards the border, we passed through the most barren region of the country. However, the road making its way through the barren land looked most beautiful under the sun.
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