Blogs from South, Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba May 24th 2014

While I hate the idea of myself in a bikini and have an odd fear of drowning, I have had a long time dream to experience the wonders of the sea. Aqaba and the Red Sea seemed the obvious possibility to try out my dream. Partly Jordan is a Muslim country and Aqaba is a rather conservative city where tiny bikinis are only the norm in the southern resorts. Thus, I could show off my very conservative bathing outfit. Partly, the Red sea is not muddy green and cold as the Baltic, but rather crystal blue and clear - not to mention warm, making me feel a little safer that Jörmungand or the Loch Ness Monster were not to grab me from below. Therefore, before going we had booked a tour on Layla One, where we ... read more
Cowboy Camel
Beach life
Doing the scary eyes - under water

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba April 26th 2014

25thApril Aqaba, Jordan After 5 days at sea we arrived in the Port of Aqaba, Jordan for what we think is one of the highlights of the cruise with a visit to the City of Petra, a spectacular attraction, abandoned and forgotten for centuries, a ‘Rose Red City half as old as time’. Aqaba is Jordan’s only seaport on the southernmost tip of the Red Sea; it is the countries winter resort because of its sandy beaches and coral reefs. It was 30 deg C when we arrived at just after 8.00 in the morning & people were flocking for the weekend from Amman. The deep water port was built by King Hussein to accommodate the imports the country needs but also to facilitate the export of its main commodity of phosphates. As we approached the ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra April 12th 2014

We were scheduled for an early pick-up and did out best to comply, but we had a hard time getting going. First, we couldn’t find the Petra tickets that we were supposed to have. After we gave up and left the hotel, it took about 15 minutes for us to realize that we’d forgotten our passports. When we got back to the hotel, they told us they’d found them within 2 minutes of our departure, but had no way to contact us. We had planned a hike to the Monastery, one of the major buildings in Petra for this day. Ali met us near the entrance to Petra and we boarded a beat-up four-wheel drive and headed off up the mountains. The four-wheel drive had several problems, the most significant being that the exhaust leaked into ... read more
In a cave at Petra
In-front-of-the-Monestery

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra April 11th 2014

We were picked up about 7:15 (actually the guide was there at 7:15, but Jack was dealing with camera stuff for a bit) and headed toward Petra picking up our guide, Ali, on the way. Petra is too incredible to try to describe in words, I’ll add when I can add pictures. My memories were that it was unlike anything I had ever seen and the place did not disappoint. Ali gave us background and helped us climb to places that we would not have seen without his knowledge and help. Since he has been a guide for 23 years he knows everyone. He also has special relationships with some of the vendors. Early on, he and the proprietor of a shop told me that if I wanted to support a charitable project set up by ... read more
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Jordanian-Border-Patrol-at-Petra
Burka-Lady

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 30th 2014

Today is the day. I'm so excited! I've been wanting to see Petra for ages and I was so ready to get this adventure started! We had a good breakfast at Bait Ali Camp, where they baked us bread, made me eggs, and allowed me to sip some good tea in peace. Then it was time to high tail it to Petra! We chugged our way up the big grade out of Wadi Rum area and into the hills, where we veered left for the road to Petra. Holy crap - I knew there were some mountains, but this road reminded me of the Santa Monica Mountains between the 101 and the Bu. And we were going 100 kph (Matt was driving...) There was a cool sign where there is an incline and a car heading ... read more
The treasury
Garden temple
The Monastery

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Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum March 29th 2014

Matt and I slept in a little and got a good breakfast at our hotel (Century Park). We were able to get on the road around 9am and headed south towards Wadi Rum. Yep. It was pretty much all desert on the way there - I drove the whole way and it was nice to have a road trip without too many crazies trying to kill me. We took the Desert Highway down, which was not in the best condition and had speedbumps that came seemingly out of nowhere. However, I became an expert in recognizing and expecting them - generally at the edges of town. Generally the ride was desert, but as you approach the Wadi Rum area, you come across a spectacular view of the valley below. We were a little lost when we ... read more
Wadi Rum
Bait Ali Camp
Choo-choo-train sign

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra February 11th 2014

*8th Feb – got to the airport from Dubai very swiftly as well as through check in and security, the man behind the desk assumed I was going back to London and looked very shocked when I said I was going on to Amman. All very smooth, got to the gate and met a Canadian couple going on a G Adventures tour too. They happened to be sitting in front of me on the plane. The view was great from start to finish. Saw Dubai from the air, including the Burj Khalifa, Burj al arab and the Palm. Was beautiful. Then as we got closer to Amman we flew over a desert, looked so so vast. Got to the Liwan Hotel, which is lovely so far , shared a taxi with the Canadians then checked in, ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra January 5th 2014

"I live in a neighbourhood so bad that you can get shot while getting shot." Chris Rock So lies Jordan, the quiet cul-de-sac of calm and serenity within the rough neighbourhood of the Middle East. It sits impassively trying to ignore the noisy neighbours it borders (Syria, Iraq, Israel and Egypt, plus Lebanon around the corner), plays peacemaker when tempers start to fray and accepts newcomers to the area when they try to escape their own streets. A country that straddles the holiest lands mentioned throughout the Bible and Quran that at every turn has a story about Moses, Jesus or Mohamed. A land that has seen Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, Nabateans, Romans, Islam and Ottomans all passing through leaving their mark. The result of all this is a small country that punches well above its weight ... read more
Dead Sea floating
Wadi Rum sunset
Good eating-Amman

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba December 31st 2013

I’ve met some great people through this blog, twitter and other social media outlets. One person in particular stands out as someone whom I feel especially lucky to have met, the talented creator behind For The Intolerants, JoAnna. JoAnna and I have a lot of similar interests, as do many travel bloggers; exploring exotic lands, sampling global cuisine, merging into bizarro cultures, but ultimately we share a unique idiosyncrasy, a sort of fervor for the Middle East. A keystone in my mission being to deflate nasty stereotypes revolving around the Arab world, I found it fitting when JoAnna approached me to w... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba December 19th 2013

Hello my fellow travelers! So, my time in Jordan has come to an end. This was an amazing trip, even though there were quite some things that we didn't manage to see. That's how it is though, there isn't enough time to see everything in the world I'm afraid. Still, I might return here one day and use Jordan as a base to visit the neighboring countries once the region has calmed down again and then I'll probably visit some of these places again as well as those I didn't visit this time around, there is a lot to see here such as the desert castles, the place where Jesus was baptized, Moses burial grounds and so on. After having returned home I did indeed find out that our Wadi Rum guide kinda skimped on us ... read more
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