Blogs from Jordan, Middle East

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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

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

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

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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 February 19th 2014

Hilary's Account of our January 2014 trip to Jordan, beginning with Amman (Tom's account is at the end). Note: 215 photos in all, so please scroll down at the bottom of page. And do leave a comment if you're so inclined. Hilary did most of the planning of the trip on the Web, reserving our flights from Paris to Aqaba and back to Paris via Amman on Royal Jordanian Airlines and our hotels through Booking.com. Trip advisor, the “Lonely Planet” and the French “Le Routard” gave helpful advice and came in very handy, but she really made a poor choice of a hotel for the first night in Amman. Billed as an “aparthotel” in a residential area on the Booking.com site, the place turned out to be a real fleabag in a working class area of ... read more
Amman: Tom at Roman Amphitheater
Amman: Hilary + Tom at Roman Amphitheater
Amman: boys at Roman amphitheater

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman February 15th 2014

Jordan – the rest. 12th february Yesterday we had a nice lie in as didn’t have to leave until 10am. Packed our cases and also had to make sure we had our day pack with suitable things in as we were going to stay for a night in Wadi Rum desert! So had to take lots of layers and our alcohol! 1st stop was this Bakery around the corner from our hotel in Wadi Masa (Silk road hotel). This bakery was incredible. They were making flat(pitta) bread by hand and there were so many delights, boths sweet and savory. I then nipped into a small shop for water and tried to pay with a 10 dinnar note – they don’t tend to hold much change and prefer dealing in 5 or 1 dinnar notes and change ... read more
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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




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