Blogs from West, Jordan, Middle East - page 8


Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea January 1st 2009

Scott and I headed out of London after a busy 2008. We were heading for Jordan on an 8 day whirl-wind tour; a few days of culture, a few hiking, a few by the sea and of course a visit to Petra. We arrived late Christmas Eve into Amman, we were lucky enough to finish the bottle of red wine on the plane, not sure anyone else was really drinking! Our ‘hotel’ was in down town Amman, right in the thick of things. We awoke to a raining grey Christmas Eve and set off on a walking tour around the city. Down town was gritty, we went past the souks, mosques, fruit & veg markets, along to the Roman theatre, and after a bit of lunch up to the Citadel for wonderful views across the city. ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » West December 24th 2008

410m below sea level is where we’re going- the lowest point and the saltiest sea on earth. At eight times saltier than the ocean it’s uninhabitable thus giving it its name…the Dead Sea. We’re told as we depart Amman that the temperature typically rises by 1 degree for every 150m of decent so we’re looking forward to a swim and some relief from the cool temperatures of Amman. As we round a bend in the road we get our first glimpse of the Dead Sea which, given the windy conditions, looks more like a choppy lake than a sea. Our guide tells us in amazement that it’s usually dead calm (pun intended) and she has never seen it like this before. We pull off the highway into a flash looking resort and we’re really keen to ... read more
Dead Sea Resort
Karak Castle
Lot's Wife

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea December 9th 2008

We started early (again) to catch a bus to Madaba, a small town that boasted lots of mosaics, including a fairly well preserved map of the Holy Land that dated to the sixth century. Keeping with the Biblical theme we continued to Mount Nebo where Moses had stood to view the surrounding lands. The view was a bit hazy, and we decided that Moses had been quite silly to accept all those lands if they were as barren then as they are now. After this we carried on to the Dead Sea, descending to 400m below sea level to sample the waters at a 5-star resort. Unusually it was rather wavy, so we had to be quite careful not to get water in our eyes or mouths (like pretty much everyone I failed and found (a) ... read more
Dead Sea

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba November 5th 2008

The flight over to Jordan was a pleasant way to while away the hour or so, although it's the only flight I've been on that's had a bouncer at the door as you got on the plane. I'm guessing that they take security a little serious in this part of the world as this miniature man mountain got on the plane and sat down beside me at the last moment, after the seatbelt light was switched off he vanished down the back of the plane only to return when he strolled up the aisle sussing everyone out. Come time to land and he was down the back of the plane somewhere with the crew. Being the adventurous sort that I am I had a driver waiting at the airport waiting to take me to Madaba to ... read more
A mosaic
The mosaic in St George church
The theatre at Umm Qais

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea October 26th 2008

The Dead Sea Eco Reserve This past Friday I headed out on the Dead Sea highway about 130 km south of Amman to Wadi Mujib and the Dead Sea Eco-Lodge. If you don't care about polished floors and international 5-star service of the Dead Sea hotels, I would say that the Dead Sea Eco-Lodge is hands down the best way to visit the Dead Sea. The Eco-Reserve is part of the RSCN (Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature), which is a government funded NGO that has small nature lodges throughout Jordan. As a student or non-national with permanent resident status, you receive a discount of up to 25% on lodging for the night, which includes breakfast in the morning. The staff is friendly and the rooms are simple but very clean with nice linens and ... read more
Dead Sea Shoreline
Mike coming back from the Sea
Hammock in the Mist

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba September 18th 2008

...doesn't look so promising from the air. Dry, and very hot. After landing at the airport (I only slept for about 45 minutes all night), we drove to the town of Madaba. Here we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at a mostly empty restaurant. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. Imagine a day of 104 degrees, and you can't even have a sip of water! We then traveled to Mount Nebo. I stood in the very spot where Moses looked across the Jordan River into the Promised Land before he died. The city of Jericho is visible straight ahead, and the Dead Sea is off to the left.... read more
Following Moses
It Must Have Been Much Greener Back Then...

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea September 12th 2008

Heute ging es zurück von Petra nach Amman mit einem kleinen Abstecher ueber das Tote Meer. Ausgeschlafen, den gestrigen Tag noch in den Waden spuerend machten wir uns auf den Weg. Mit viel Aussicht nach unten ging es weiter ueber den Kings Way und irgendwann Richtung Totes Meer. Dort angekommen hangelten wir uns einen steinigen Hang mit zig Wasserflaschen unter den Armen hinunter, um den Eintritt in die oeffentlich Baeder zu sparen. Schnell um gezogen und dann ab ins kuehle Nass. Aber was war das??? Das Wasser war lau warm und Step und ich hatten dann den Effekt von 30%igem Salzwasser, dann doch nicht so stark erwartet. Gerade als man rein springen wollte, schnippste man auch wieder zurueck und trieb hoffungslos oben. Naja fuer Nicht- und Rueckenschwimmer. Auf dem Bauch schwimmen ging gar nicht, da ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea September 5th 2008

I went to the dead sea this morning (7:30AM) with a couple other kids from my group. It was a blast! We caught a cab from Amman to the Dead Sea, only 20JD one way. Not to bad considering we just flagged down a cab (the buses don't run during Ramadan). We went to a hotel called the Dead Sea Spa for the day. 15JD to use their pool, changing rooms, and private beach. It was GREAT! the pool had a sweet water slide, and we spent pretty much the entire day going in and out of the pool, considering it was around 120 degrees Fahrenheit! The Sea itself was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. Well, perhaps cool isn't the right word because it was so HOT! it wasn't so bad early ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba September 5th 2008

1 Sep - Ramadan starts. Officially on my own now...ho hum. I gave Nafis my mobile number so he keeps calling. Finally, I pick up and agree that he can drive me to Madaba. Found a great, cheap wee hotel online. Nafis has difficulty finding it but eventually, we find it and he drops me off. After various conversations that he thinks of me as his sister, if I have any problems I call him and that I should find a husband when I get home. What a guy! 2 - 5 September - v relaxing week just chilling out in this great, family run hotel. Read loads, email, get the blog up to date, sort through my photos (even manage to get them onto disk!), eat two nights in the hotel on their terrace and ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba September 5th 2008

26 Aug - feeling back to normal today. We start our journey south through Jordan. First stop, Madaba - the City of Mosaics. I instantly get a good vibe about this town and definitely think I'll come back here next week when the tour finishes and I have 5 days on my own in Jordan. It's laid back, not too touristy, friendly and mostly Christian. Mosaic rules in this area, culminating in the oldest Mosaic map - the Great Map of Palestine from the 6th century, which is housed within a cute, wee Greek Orthodox church. We then head just 15 mins west of Madaba to Mount Nebo, where Moses was shown the Holy Land and is believed to be buried. It is completely breathtaking and beyond belief to look out over Israel, Jericho, Jerusalem and ... read more

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