Blogs from Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » South May 10th 2019

Jordan! Is it possible to offer a caption that describes the nation? No. The experiences we've encountered are just too diverse. We arrived late in the day to be confronted with a queue awaiting Visa payment (A$80 per perso!! - then again, that was better than the A$176 pp in Oman), and so didn't depart the airport as quickly as we'd hoped. The driver (prearranged to get us to our hotel indicated it was a 40 minute trip - it took a little over 2 hours. Apparently, everyone needed to be on the road to get last minute shopping for Ramadan beginning the next day! After checking in and finding a beer (we were parched!!), we sought dinner. Sadly the hotel options were undesirable so asked if there were any restaurants nearby. "Yes, Sir, left outside ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba April 2nd 2019

April 1st Aqaba After 3 sea days its nice to get feet back on terra firma. We came to Jordan and in particular Petra in 2014 (you’ll have to go back and read the blog) and it is still the main tourist attraction when you come to Jordan. As you arrive at the berth, you have four countries visible from the ship. Egypt is on your port side (left), Israel to the front, Jordan on the starboard (right) and behind you is Saudi Arabia. Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan and the largest and most populous city on the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy , through the vibrant trade and tourism sectors. It is Jordans winter resort on the Red Sea and as we ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 21st 2019

We arrived at Petra with apprehension that it would rain. The walk in from the entry gate took us past many Nabatean monuments built more than 2000 years ago. The Nabateans buried theIr dead in intricate tombs that were cut out of the mountainsides. Petra came under lots of other influences including Roman and Byzantine before being deserted following an earthquake and changing trade routes. The Siq, the narrow gorge that leads visitors into Petra, resulted from a natural splitting of the mountain. Originally there was a triumphal arch spanning the entrance to it. We walked along the cobblestone paths dodging horse drawn carriages, camels and donkeys and many other tourists. The entrance to the Treasury reveals Petra’s most impressive facade. It is 40 metres high and decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes and figure. It is ... read more
Ride rather than walk
The Siq
Gutters for water

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum March 19th 2019

Our next adventure was an overnight stay at Wadi Rum In a stunning desert. We stayed in a Bedouin style camp. They are dotted everywhere including one that has pods looking like round space ships. The film , The Martian, was filmed at Wadi Rum. Our tents had an ensuite and tiled floors which made them very comfortable. Also wifi. We had a ride in jeeps out to the sand dunes to see a number of ancient carved inscriptions and pictures. We then went to see the carvings paying tribute to Lawrence and King Abdullah. We waited then for the sun to set before getting on our camels to ride back to camp.Lots of laughter involved. We had a lovely dinner of lamb which was cooked in a pit in the ground. Unfortunately the weather changed ... read more
A Bedouin camp based on space
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Our camp

Middle East » Jordan » West » Dead Sea March 17th 2019

An extremely cold and windy day. We left our hotel for the journey to the Dead Sea. Along the way we took photos of the snow on the side of the road. We stopped at Shobak Castle built during the crusades in 1115 built on a conical mountain overlooking the caravan and pilgrimage routes. This allowed King Baldwin, Jerusalem’s first titled king to control the areas commerce. It is a huge site which was surrounded by agricultural land to feed the people of the site. It was blowing so hard the we were almost blown off the castle top. We stopped for a photo op of the smallest hotel in the world - a VW bug fitted out with cushions and blankets on the side of the road. We reached our hotel at the Dead Sea ... read more
Me floating in Dead Sea
Cathy and Kevin
Flat seas the next morning but we were leaving

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra February 1st 2019

Explore Jordan holidays and discover the best time and places to visit. · A safe haven in a region of conflict, Jordan has delighted visitors for centuries with its Because Jordan is still an emerging destination, travelling here is bound to stir up a few questions. But fear not, you've got you covered! Jordan travel guide, including map of Jordan, top Jordan experiences, tips for Jordan travel, when to visit Jordan and Jordan tips. Whether you plan to visit the countryside, float in the Dead Sea or explore Amman, here's your guide to the best time to visit Jordan Book unique trips to Jordan, customized to your needs, with the help of our network of reliable local travel specialists.The opportunity to travel to Jordan is something that you should seize. Read this guide to find out ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North December 8th 2018

Day 18: 'Dougie at the Mosque' is how I shall remember today. While a quick tour of Doha was good (and eerily quiet of tourist's), and having company (Kaitlyn) helps majorly with logistics, I think my 40 minutes with 'Dougie the converted' will resonate for years. Entered the national mosque to be met with dismissive Arabians who said I cannot enter due to my shorts being 2cm too high - a lower waistband in it by my reckoning. Then my Lord and saviour, Dougie from Surrey, comes out and says he'd take on the burden of potential backlash from elders. Thick British accent, grey-browny hair to the top of shoulders and strawy beard (no moustache though). Surprisingly colloquial chat, but great to learn about the place. Then the speakers roared into action and the chat was ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba December 4th 2018

We are looking back at a few great weeks although it took a bit of effort from our side to fall in love with Jordan and the Jordanians. Maybe it's because we could let our guards down completely for such a long time in Iran that now suddenly we feel we are the subject of scams and tourist traps or at least not always very friendly attempts of the locals working with tourists to get more of our money without delivering any service, product or value at all. Suddenly we are the target of an army of men trying to sell us something we don't want for too high a price. If we don't specifically ask on beforehand about the exact price we know for sure we will end up in an argument about a suddenly ... read more
Amman
Amman
Amman

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman October 21st 2018

So, back on the bus it was. You know, that once a day bus from Petra back to Amman? Well, there's certainly enough business to run a more frequent service because as well as those of us with booked seats and tickets there was a significant number of other people who were on 'standby', ready to fill any empty seats. What a scrum! And, yes, I do realise that queuing is not a concept that is understood or adopted everywhere but I do think the concept of fair play is, or should be. As soon as I realised that those on standby were just pushing to the front and sitting in any vacant seat, despite a chappie on the bus trying to get everyone into their rightful place, I stuck out every protruding bone I had ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum October 19th 2018

We'd checked out options for trips to Wadi Rum from Petra from home before we started our travels and they all came in at lots of silly $US prices. And I mean really, really silly prices. Surely it could be done cheaper once we were there? And indeed it could. Our wonderful hotel Mr Fixerman had it all sorted for us within minutes, though it all seemed a bit random - give the bus man so much, the jeep man this much and the taxi man that much and not a dinar more! OK then .... So, another early get-up (I was getting a bit fed up of these now but Steve had warned me the first few weeks of our travels would be a bit 'full on') and a 4.15 am alarm had us ready ... read more




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