Blogs from Jordan, Middle East - page 7


Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum May 5th 2013

After leaving the imposing site of Petra, we got back on our bus and traveled to Wadi-Rum. It is a journey to another world. A desert of breathtaking scenery with uniquely shaped massive mountains. It is a silent, empty place, timeless and starkly beautiful…albeit quite a dusty trip. After entering the visitor’s center, we climbed onto 4x4’s to explore Wadi-Rum. Our first glimpse of the Wadi (the Arabic word for valley), we saw the towering “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”. It is a mountain at the entrance to the Wadi which was the inspiration for T.E. Lawrence’s book of the same name. During WWI, Wadi-Rum was the headquarters for Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein and T.E. Lawrence in their fight for the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. It was this setting that inspired the film, “Lawrence of ... read more
T and T in Wadi-Rum
Wadi-Rum is a protected area
Visitors Center

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra May 5th 2013

The first day of our "Gateways to Antiquities" cruise happened to be one of the most interesting days of the entire vacation! We left the port of Safaga, Egypt the night before and we docked in Aqaba, Jordan early in the morning. After breakfast, we leisurely got onto buses for a scenic drive up to Petra (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The port of Aqaba was interesting as the country of Jordan was to the northeast, the country of Saudi Arabia was due east, the country of Israel with it's tiny resort town of Elat was to the Northwest, and the country of Egypt, (The Sinai Peninsula) was due west. We could see them all at the same time cruising into port. Nothing had prepared us for this amazing place of Petra! We had seen pictures ... read more
The mountains and valleys on the way to Petra
Our guide and one of his friends

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra May 3rd 2013

My main reason for visiting Jordan - other than living out my “Lawrence of Arabia” fantasy – was to visit Petra. Petra is an incredible Nabatean city carved out of the cliffs, dating back to the first century BCE. There are still Bedouin who live in the caves of Petra, making this a city that has been inhabited for at least 2,500 years. To that end, I had arranged with my hotel to hire a taxi for the day to take me the 128 kilometers from Aqaba to Petra. The hotel manager assured me that this was a driver he trusted; the driver would wait for me while I explored Petra and drive me back. The fee was JD85 (about US $120) which was steep, but it was certain, unlike the buses. My driver, Naef, spoke ... read more
baby camel
camel love
Naef and Bedouin

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum May 2nd 2013

Its difficult to go back and write about my previous travels when I am still on the road, especially when the countries are so different. However, I know if I procrastinate until I am home I will forget even more detail than I have already and might even decide I'm too caught up with life to sit down and write. We were only in Jordan for five or six days. It went by way too fast. We arrived at the port in Aqaba late at night so were given most of the next morning free. My mom and I decided to go for a walk around and stretch our legs a bit after being confined in a seat for so long the previous day. After Egypt, Jordan seemed quiet and peaceful. I'm sure there was still ... read more
little petra 2
little petra
wadi rum

Middle East » Jordan » East May 2nd 2013

Resumo: Queria muito trabalhar!; Aqui, não me sinto em 'casa'; Vou seguir o meu 'feeling'. Estou bem. Estava com a sensação de "viajar" por quase 2 meses, mas não. Na verdade estou sem voluntariar há 1 mês e meio. Desde que descobri que Namíbia não era o meu lugar, o vento me trouxe aqui, Oriente Médio. No Egito senti que eu poderia fazer algo por lá, mas fiquei meio obcecada em trabalhar em um projeto de Permacultura na Jordânia. Assim cruzei rapidamente o Egito e Petra (Jordânia) para chegar aqui em Mazraa, do ladinho do Mar Morto. Logo no primeiro dia descobri que na verdade aqui não era exatamente o lugar que eu procurava, mas Ok. O projeto era bacana. Trabalhar com 'GreyWater' (água que sai do banho, da máquina de lavar, da pia do banheiro, ... read more
My smallest friend
Barbecue & Tea
Working @ School


Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba May 1st 2013

I was a young teenager when I first saw the movie “Lawrence of Arabia,” and fell immediately in love with Peter O’Toole as only a teenage girl can. In fact, if you mention “Lawrence of Arabia” to any woman of a certain age, she will get a spark in her eye and sigh, “Yes, Peter O’Toole.” Here was a man, handsome, courageous and strong; you just knew his swash wouldn’t buckle even under the harshest conditions. There is a moment in the movie when Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) and Sherif Ali (Omar Sherif) peer over the edge of a cliff and Lawrence proclaims “Aqaba!” I vowed that someday I, too, would see Aqaba. Aqaba today is a dusty, flyblown, rather dirty town. It’s a shame, really. Aqaba is on the Red Sea, and scuba divers come from ... read more
double parked
al-Sharif Hussein bin Ali Mosque
Queen Noor center

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba April 26th 2013

Aqaba is Jordan’s only access to the sea and is built at the end of a narrow fjord-like waterway surrounded by mountains on all sides. Israel is only across a dividing irrigation/stream and shares beach frontage with Aqaba. You can easily see development in Israel, but we do not know what the name of the community is. Saudi Arabia is just southeast over the mountains about 15 miles away and Egyptian shores can be seen across this waterway. Aqaba has had many rulers from the Edomites to the Romans to the Crusaders and lastly to the Hashemites. T. E. Lawrence, along with Arab forces, battled the Ottomans for control of Aqaba in 1917 and with his success, become known to all as, Lawrence of Arabia. The big attraction for our shipmates, was the nearby ancient, carved ... read more
1304-303 Ancient Aqaba circa 350 AD
1304-304 Early arches--perhaps more of the ancient city under the new (1)
1304-305 Al-Sharif Hussen Bin Ali Mosque

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 20th 2013

J: Jordan is an island of stability in an otherwise fairly hostile part of the world. It is bordered by Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian occupied West Bank, yet we found Jordan to be a friendly and open country, and we soon lost count of the number of locals saying 'Welcome to Jordan!' We arrived in Amman and spent our first day visiting the famous sights. The most celebrated of all, the Roman Theatre is an amphitheatre built on the side of a valley in Jesus' time. It was closed when we went but we could see the whole grand structure from outside anyway. Next we made our way up to the Citadel but with the light fading and Holly's broken toe aching we turned around before we got there. We had heard ... read more
Aqaba resort
Aqaba beach
Sunken tank

Middle East » Jordan » South March 15th 2013

Aqaba was a beachy holiday spot compared to the rest of Jordan. I ended up spending two nights there, and was intending to stay longer but (and normally this wouldn't deter me) I was so annoyed by the mosquitoes in my room at night time, I decided I would either move to a hotel closer into town (my hotel was further out, overlooking the South Beach) or go somewhere else. Because I am headed for Egypt soon, I thought it would be easier to just stay in Aqaba and catch the Jett bus on Friday back to Amman - about a five-hour drive. Then I started thinking about Wadi Rum again, and how it would be wonderful to camp in the desert. I couldn't make up my mind, so I spent my full day in Aqaba ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South March 12th 2013

I've been lazy with this blog, but I'll blame part of that on being in some places that have felt remote (and beautiful!). So after four nights in Amman, seeing the old mosaics in the town of Madaba and floating/covering myself in mud at the Dead Sea, I was lucky enough to find two Italian guys from the hostel who were travelling to Petra the next day. I shared a car with them (they were such gentlemen, and running off to buy coffee at every spare moment - though I joined them for a cappucino back in Madaba!). However, the car went past the beautiful Dana Nature Reserve, where I asked them to drop me off. It is about an hour from Petra, and has an old, small stone village situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking ... read more

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