A very good friend of mine had lived in Aqaba as an expat, she had raved about Jordan to me many times. Having lived in the middle East for nearly 40 years she had said of all the places she had lived Jordan was the best. I now know why she said that. What an amazing spectacular place. We are so glad that we saw Madain Saleh first.
Once again Russell looked up the places to go and we booked our accommodation on booking.com. This time we invited some Australian friends to accompany us.
We decided to go for a walk to see the Roman ruins Amphitheater in downtown Old Amman which was close by to our hotel. Along the way we passed these pretty umbrellas on display in one of the streets.
The day before we arrived it had rained heavily which caused widespread flooding to many parts of Amman including parts of the Kings Hwy. The Amphitheater is right in the valley where five rivers join. It was flooded with water and all the streets were muddy. Backhoes were trying to scoop up the mud, while pumps were desperately trying to get rid of the muddy water. So we looked at it from the outside and walked around the muddy streets looking at shops and the people.
The locals were very friendly indeed welcoming us as we passed. Many of the locals had jackets and coats on. It was mild but not cold. The women wore beautiful long tailored coats over their Abayas. We found a great little restaurant/ bar that served alcohol just across from our accommodation, which was very convenient.
The next day armed with our trusty Garmin GPS with an Australian ladies voice called Matilda (who was great and did not get us lost) we set off to see the Citadel on top of the mountain. It was dark and cloudy adding a great atmosphere to the Citadel. Here side by side is Christian and Muslim heritage. Just as we entered inside the Museum it started raining. By the time we came out it had stopped. How lucky was that.
We then traveled along parts of the Kings Hwy to Wadi Musa near ‘Petra”. What a fantastic drive it was way up high in the mountains. The scenery was spectacular with many different types of rock formations. We stopped at a Shoab Castle that was on top of a hill with views all the way around it. The rocks nearby were full of caves and the structure of the rock was fascinating.
We went past the dead sea which has shrunk a lot over the years. You could see the salt factories and the salt pans.
Finally we arrived at our Hotel Sharah Mountains Hotel at Wadi Musa. We managed to find somewhere to have a quiet drink and nibbles.
That night we had a traditional Jordanian meal at the restaurant in the hotel which was delicious, made with chicken and special rice. The owner was a friendly, very funny man with a good sense of humor. The next day he made up a bag of food for each of us for our lunch to go to “Petra”.
One of the 7 wonders of the world.
Wow! Definitely not disappointed with “Petra” So much to see. You have to walk 4km’s in to get the tomb. Then a bit further to get to the temples and if you are game and fit enough the Monastery. The rocks are stunning with their colours and shapes. You can get donkey carriages back if you wish. They go quite fast and you hear them coming as the hooves clonk on the stones. We walked back, so were tired but happy at the end of the day.
The next day we drove to the Radisson Blu – Tala Bay Resort Aqaba. We went via “Little Petra” first which is like a mini version of Petra.
The following morning we drove to Wadi Rum where we booked a self drive tour. Which mean’t we followed a driver in our car. Much more comfortable than being on the back of a ute. The tour lasted about 5 hours. Would suggest that you take something to eat with you. We only had a cup of billy tea which was made by our guide on a sand dune. While we were there we saw some rock climbers abseiling down one of the sheer cliff faces. Wadi Rum covers a huge area with many tracks in all directions. Very specci.
The next day our friends left. We continued on, going to where John the Baptist batised Jesus at the Jordon river which is the border between Palestine and Jordan. It is a narrow section of water with a string and floats separating the two countries. The water is very muddy, yet people still get baptised there from Jordon and as far as Jeruselem 30 km’s away. Apparently 95% of the the Jordon river is used for agriculture these days. From here we traveled to Mt Nebo along the way to Madaba.
This is revered to be the final resting place of Moses. It is also the place where he was shown the promised land to which he would not be able to go. What a grand site it is. High up on the mountain it overlooks the valley.
We arrived at the Mosaic City Hotel. There are many shops selling beautiful traditionally made mosaics and modern techniques of mosaics. The town has a very old church with mosaic floors. They are really beautiful. When we went to see it there was no one else there. The guide took us around to the restored ruins where the mosaics were. He then sprayed them with water which made the colours vibrant and come alive. All the mosaics are made with local stones of all different colours.. Truly very stunning.
We went to Jerash to see the ancient Roman City which is reputed to be one of the best in the world. It is huge you need to spend at least 2 to 3 hours to see everything. The ruins are in excellent condition. The museum has an fascinating collection of artifacts. It has everything you would expect of a Roman City. Cathedrals,churches, temples, baths, theater, and beautiful gates.
Jordan certainly has a lot to offer. If you can go and see it I thoroughly recommend it. All of us had a wonderful time there.