Blogs from West, Jordan, Middle East - page 5

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Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba March 5th 2011

Our trip to Jordan was even better than expected. The openness and friendliness of the Jordanians was undoubtedly the highlight of the journey. Everyone just wanted to tell us…. Welcome to Jordan. If I got a Dinar/Euro for every time we were welcomed, the trip would have been for free, such was the hospitality of the Jordanians. We were never conned or felt that we were being ripped off and it took us a while to realise that tourism is slightly different here in Jordan. It is like there has been a collective decision by the people to recognise the importance of tourism to their economy and everyone has consciously decided to take part. Lesson No.1 for English class in schools must surely be the word Welcome. I had read somewhere that Jordan had decided to ... read more
Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport
After only 2mins in the room

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea February 15th 2011

After having a late night yesterday Gary and I werent too fussed about heading out too early si we chilled for most of the morning chatting about music and our many other common interests, Gary cooked out ommellettes fit for a king (Abdellah II to be precise) and then we headed down to the huge Fitness First gym were Gary gave me a bit if a tour. Then we hooked up with Rana and set off to today's destinations, mount Nebo and Tve famous Dead Sea. It only took about an hour from Amman to drive to Mount Nebo and the road finished takes you most of the way so it's a doodle to get up to the top. Mount Nebo is traditionally believed to be the place where Moses died since the 4th century. He ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea December 26th 2010

For the next few days, our base is in Amman, a blog about it will come next. Our next little stop is the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth as they say. We hire a taxi from Amman. The main Jordanian strip on the Dead Sea is a mere 50km from Amman, and a return taxi is only 30JD, or around 42usd. The Dead Sea is said to be disappearing soon due mainly to pollution issues, aka over usage of water in the region. The only easy "tourist" access you have to the Dead Sea is either from a hotel or one of the "beaches". The place is also under high surveillance, as you have Palestine just on the other side of the water...and we all know the sad situation going down there. Our pick ... read more
this position is more fun...
Dead Sea
Amman Beach

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea December 23rd 2010

« Back » on the road after a few weeks break in France and on for a new humanitarian mission, after one year in North Korea, I have now moved to Baghdad, Iraq! Middle East is now my second home so do expect a lot of blogs from that part of the world ! The first one of this series is dedicated to the Dead Sea in Jordan … Mud, Salt & Sea ! Long week end in Amman before starting my mission, explored already many sites in the capital city and felt like going for a little “escape” from the crowd so when my colleagues mentioned that by the dead sea the temperature would be about 7 degrees warmer than Amman although only at 45mn drive from the capital I made my mind immediately! The ... read more
Chill out time
Gold and more gold !
Very relaxed...

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak November 15th 2010

Karak Castle was built by the marauding crusaders in 1142 and was once commanded by a sadistic French guy in non-oxidized armour named Renauld de Chatillon who took great delight in throwing his victims off the ramparts. He placed wooden boxes around their heads to make sure his torture victims didn't knock their heads and get unconscious before they hit bottom. Saladin's forces took the Castle in 1183 after an epic siege. ... read more
View from Karak Castle
W.. and E.. admiring view from Karak Castle
Karak Castle

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak November 15th 2010

The King's highway is one of the three North-South arteries of Jordan. The others are the Dead Sea highway to the West and the Desert Highway to the East. The Desert highway is a modern freeway that is quite busy, but both the Dead Sea and King's highways are twisted scenic roads with some spectacular views. We travelled the King's highway South from Madaba to Karak Castle. It crosses Wadi Mujib, which is Jordan's very own Grand Canyon. We stopped for Bedouin Tea at the top of the valley, before descending down hair pin turns into the Wadi and then back up across the other side.... read more
Bedouin Tea stall at Wadi Mujib
Bedouin Tea stall at Wadi Mujib
Bedouin Tea stall at Wadi Mujib

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba November 14th 2010

Madaba was our base for travel to the North and West, since it is closer to the Amman airport than Amman, and it is nice an centrally located. It's also a nice walking town. Most tourists come to Madaba to see the mosaic floor depicting the holy lands including the Dead Sea and the Jordan river at the St. George's Greek Orthodox church. The church was re-discovered in the ruins of the old town of Madaba and goes back to Byzantine times. The mosaic floor was preserved due to all the rubble on top of it.... read more
Madaba Town Centre
Madaba Turkish Baths
Madaba Church

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea November 14th 2010

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 400m below sea level with a salinity level of 31%. Well OK, the Marianas Trench in the South China Sea off the Philippines is the lowest point on the surface of the earth. So to be technical, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth that's on land. And technically it's not a sea either, but a lake that is 9 times saltier than a real sea. The salt content is because there is no exit for water from the lake except by evaporation. So the minerals and salts dissolved in the water stay behind when the water evaporates. Due to the salinity, it is devoid of fish, but not completely empty of life. It turns out there are vast quantities of salt loving microbes ... read more
Amman Beach on Dead Sea
W.. floating on Dead Sea
E.. floating on Dead Sea

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea November 14th 2010

There are many hot springs around the Dead Sea area, and the hot spring water falls at Hammamat Ma'in, just off the Dead Sea highway are truly spectacular. They were a great way of washing the last of the itchy and scratchy Dead Sea salts off before going back to our hotel. Certainly better than the cold pool that waited for us at our hotel. ... read more
Hammamat Ma'in Hot Springs
Hammamat Ma'in Hot Springs
Hammamat Ma'in Hot Springs

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea November 14th 2010

Bethany Beyond the Jordan is where Jesus was dunked in the Jordan river by John the Baptist in a symbolic cleansing ceremony. The suspected original baptism site has been dug up, since the river has now moved a little further to the west to form the border between Jordan and the West Bank (ceded to a Palestinian State by King Hussein). Of course, the Israelis are unlikely to give up access to the water, as the current fight is more about water rights than even land. The Jordanian signs repeatedly emphasize the Bible quotes saying Jesus was dipped on the East bank of the Jordan river. On the West bank meanwhile, there were people conducting dunking ceremonies into the now filthy waters of the Jordan creek - just a trickle so it's hard to call it ... read more
Jordan River
West Bank of Jordan River
Jordan River




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