Blogs from Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman May 27th 2014

16 April 2014 Arriving in Jordan I thought the first exercise (after visa formalities and exiting the airport) would be a synch. The hostel, after all, provided its street name and two nearby landmarks with which to navigate. But, as is sometimes the way with a tourist finding their accommodation, things can go astray. The ride into the city was fine, my elderly driver abused other drivers who cut in front and had forgotten the bus he himself had cut off at the first roundabout soon after exiting the airport. We were nearing downtown Amman, clogged in traffic, hillsides clogged with concrete houses rising up in a cream mosaic. Random buildings that probably housed baquet halls lined the roads into the central city. And lines of businesses of similar industry, not competitions but rather cooperatives. And ... read more
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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

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Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak March 31st 2014

I had a good sleep after the day at Petra, so we went down early for breakfast at the El-Rashid Hotel. Again, this is budget, so the breakfast was very limited, but was not bad. I think they may make you an omelette upon request, but we just had bread and labneh, with tea/coffee. Then we took off. We decided to head down the road less travelled and made our way towards Little Petra. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn somewhere because the signs were not very forthcoming. We followed signs to Wadi Araba, but this is on the flatlands west of the mountains, which meant we took a windy mountain road that wound up ending in a gravel road with potholes. We were unsure how much further it was, so we turned back and found ... read more
Al Karak Castle
View to the Dead Sea from Al Karak
Al Karak Castle

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

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 » North » Amman March 28th 2014

I have lived in the Middle East for almost two years now, but coming to Jordan is the first time I feel like I dove headfirst into Arabic culture. From start to finish. First was the plane ride from Doha. I was seated near the back of the plane wear a Qatari man was traveling with his hooded falcon. A falcon!! Not in a cage! Just chillin... Apparently he was $26,000 and one of only five falcons that can catch a certain type of bird, so he was going on a hunting trip to Jordan. Then we arrived at Queen Alia International Airport - not too shabby. But it was funny to see that the many lines for Jordanians far exceed the three small lines for all other nationalities - this is one of the first ... read more
Arabic Dinner with Friends
Downtown Amman
Queen Alia International Airport

Middle East » Jordan March 17th 2014

My 66th Country - Jordan For those lazy readers I also made a video - 'Corn Flakes in Jordan' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nYZvlBjwvk I went to Jordan at this time as I didn't really have much money and I was limited due to travelling in the winter months. I flew into Amman and spent a week acclimatizing to the country, exploring the city and I also went on a couple of day long road trips to visit a dolmen field and the north east close to the Golan Heights area. I stayed in a hostel downtown and enjoyed mixing with salt of the earth people and trying all the foods on offer such as lambs brain and falafel. The city was interestingly built on 7 hills which allows you to get great views of the heavily built up area ... read more
Exploring Amman
Exploring Amman
Exploring Amman




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