Blogs from Jordan, Middle East


Middle East » Jordan July 8th 2017

Hi all We are back travelling again, currently recently arrived in Vilnius (the second 'i' is silent by the way) at the start of an organised week visiting 3 Baltic capitals - Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. Not an area we know much about but will be interesting to learn more over the coming days. But, by way of start for this blog - and as we have only been in Vilnius for a couple of hours - we felt we should just mention that in mid-May we had a long week in Jordan. We couldn't blog at the time as Jordan is on the newly established restricted list whereby our tablet is deemed to be too large a piece of electronics to go into the cabin and would have to go in hold luggage. But, as ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra May 5th 2017

Middle East and Mediterranean Marvels - Spring 2017 Time to head back to my favorite region of the world - to cavort in the sands of the Persian Gulf before beginning my next adventure – this time on the high Seas of the Arabian, the Red and the Mediterranean for the next few weeks. Today I leave for the airport at 8am, definitely a pleasant change from my usual zero-dark-thirty departure time; I even get to sleep in until daylight. The big blue chariot awaits outside and with my bag in the back, we are off to McCarran. Fast and efficient as always with the priority lane and I speed thru TSA security like a whirlwind – Delta sure pampers their elite flyers. First leg halfway around the globe is cross country to New York, and ... read more
desert sands
Grand Mosque at night
Grand Mosque Courtyard

Middle East » Jordan » South March 17th 2017

Having been fortunate enough to have visited most of the world's great tourist attractions over the years, Petra had risen right to the top of my 'bucket list'. My concern was whether the expectation had resulted in perhaps my 'lifting the bar' a bit too high. It hadn't! Petra was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. As predicted, the southern border crossing from Eilat in Israel to Aqaba in Jordan (the Wadi Araba crossing) was very pain free, and we were basically through both sides in around half an hour. The drive north to Petra took a couple of hours through pretty desolate country, except when we passed the outskirts of the famed Wadi Rum on our right-hand side, where huge sandstone and granite rocks suddenly sprung up out of the desert, with shapes ... read more
A section of the Siq
The Street of Facades
Salmon coloured stratified rock

Middle East » Jordan February 14th 2017

"Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. (Deuteronomy 32:49) Today we journeyed south of Amman to Madaba, Mount Nebo, the Dead Sea. Along our trek we climbed to mountain tops, prayed in ancient churches, learned the art of mosaics, had a traditional Jordanian meal at our guide's home, ventured into the hills to meet a Bedouin tribe, and saw even more of this amazing country.... read more
View from Mount Nebo
Mt Nebo - view of the Promised Land
Dead Sea from Mt Nebo

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman February 13th 2017

Jordan is a land rich in epic scenery, world heritage sites, and natural wonders. It is also a spiritual heartland; a land blessed with a rich religious history. It is a land that inspired prophets and formed the spiritual backdrop for God’s covenants. Over the next four days, we will visit sites where modern day miracles happened, trek along pilgrimage routes mentioned in the Old Testament, take in views of the Promised Land revealed to Moses, visit the site where John baptized Jesus, see where Elijah ascended into heaven on a Chariot of Fire, and stop to enjoy the tranquil scenery where Jacob wrestled with an angel. Remarkably, the landscape in Jordan has changed little in the last 2,000 years. Today we ventured north of Jordan’s capital to Anjara, Jerash, Tell Mar Elias & the Jabbok ... read more
Anjara - Our Lady of the Mountain Church
Miraculous Weeping Statue
Tall Mar Elias

Middle East » Jordan » East February 11th 2017

It's one thing to follow in His footsteps via the written word. It's quite another to LITERALLY follow in His footsteps...walk the Via Dolorosa; stand on Mount Olive, sail the Sea of Galilee, renewal of Baptism vows at the river Jordan. If you are like me, I remember the big picture of my religion; it's the details that can get fuzzy. This latest trip, that I am sharing with my daughter Katie, will help bring me closer and provide me with clarity. This is the story of my Pilgrimage to the Holy Land as it unfolds.... read more
Kingdom of Jordan
We have arrived

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra November 18th 2016

Petra - one of the Seven new wonders of the world On our transcruise from the Mediterranean Sea to the Middle East we had planned one stop in Aqaba, Jordan, after the crossing of the suez channel. Last time when I was on my other contract on aidastella we did not have time to stop in any port as we hadn't been planned for the Middle East tour in the first place. So I did not really realize what I had missed back then. Fortunately this time I was lucky. Not only did we have an overnight stop in Aqaba, but I got the great opportunity from my boss (thx again loreen) to go on the overnight tour in Petra with a hotel night and everything. I was so excited that day that I was in ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 22nd 2016

What a trip! Definitely a memorable hike! It started for me when Shai (Shai Bytner, a great tour guide) messaged me: “Hi Ben, would you like to join a group as rappelling guide to Wadi Fayed?” Well, duh! Of course I would! Despite the short notice, and despite the fact that I just got back from a hike to the Golan the evening before (see my blog: So I got home from the Golan, unpacked, repacked and Amichai (Amichai Spector brought all the group’s rappelling and cooking equipment directly to my car. Early the next morning Avi joined me and we started on our way towards Eilat. On the way we picked up Shai and then drove down to the Rabin border cross... read more
Sandstone crevasse
Fan-toed gecko

Middle East » Jordan » North » Jerash October 17th 2016

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain I'm writing this in the Cairo airport, waiting for our flight to Sharm el Sheikh. There's no wifi in the airport (at least no wifi that we can get to work) and there's no shops or anything in the area we are in, so it's good I have yesterday's blog entry to do. I'll post it when we get to the hotel in Dahab. Yesterday we left our hotel at 8:30 am for the drive to Jerash, about an hour away from Amman. The scenery from Amman to Jerash was ... read more
Jerash - Hadrian's Gate
Hadrian's Gate

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum October 17th 2016

After a rather uncomfortable night of sleep where I probably got no more than 4 hours of total sleep time, Kevin and I awoke and made our way over to a nearby rock to catch the sunrise. To our surprise, Sophie was already there with the same idea and the 3 of us enjoyed the peaceful calm of a desert sunrise. Today, we were to set out for a long day hike out into the Wadi Rum desert. We set out just after breakfast and already the morning had become quite warm. Heading out into the desert, it was pretty clear who would be leading the pack. Kevin, Ronan, Patrick, and myself lead the way while everyone else seemed to linger towards the back of the pack. This was one of the highlights for me during ... read more
Waiting For The Sunrise
Waiting For The Sunrise
Waiting For The Sunrise

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