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Jordan

Continuing our travels through the Middle East, our next stop was Jordan. We looked into the various ways we could get from Sharm el Sheikh to Aqaba and although flying was quicker and easier, we opted for challenging and cheap. This meant a one hour (very fast) taxi ride from Sharm to the Ferry Port in Nuweiba. The ferry then took approximately 4.5hours.

Aqaba is situated on the south coast of Jordan, where the motto is ‘Turn Sand to Gold’. The area has a rich history because it is thought that the first settlement could be dated back to 4000BC. Tourists can stay in luxurious beach resorts, but if you want to immerse yourself in history and culture, you can visit the small towns with their sandy shaped sculptures and arches. If you are thinking about visiting this ancient city, why not take a break from work or reading PartyCasino.it and read up on the fascinating 13th century Aqaba fort, built by the Mamluks, or the Aqaba Archaeological Museum. Experiencing the ancient ruins is like stepping back into the past.

 

Settling in for the 4 hour ferry ride...

Settling in for the 4 hour ferry ride...

A couple of notes on this ferry:

1. Take cash to pay for the tickets (cost per person is $35AUD) , credit cards are not accepted and there are not many ATM’s in Nuweiba.

2. Arrive with plenty of time to board the ferry as no one can speak English and so they push you around a little in terms of getting a security check on your bags in one place and getting your passport stamped in another. Plus they are not in a hurry to do any of this but if you slip the man a few Egyptian Pounds, the process may speed up a little.

Finally we arrive in Aqaba...

Finally we arrive in Aqaba...

We arrived in Aqaba quite late and checked into a rather dodgy hotel. There are plenty of things to do in Aqaba – scuba diving being a very popular activity for tourists, however seeing as we had just come from the beach, we didn’t stay in Aqaba but rather hired a car and hit the road for Petra.

We had a quick breakfast in Aqaba, Pete managed to share this lady's Shisha Pipe and then we were on the road...

We had a quick breakfast in Aqaba, Pete managed to share this lady's Shisha Pipe and then we were on the road...

The drive from Aqaba to Petra takes about 2 hours. We took a slight detour and headed for Wadi Rum. This is an area of incredible desert landscapes. Our quick visit there did not allow us to explore the entire area but with our own rental car we were able to get an idea of what it was about. If you want a detailed tour, then you car must be left at the main entrance and you will need to board one of the specific Desert Vehicles.

Inside the entrance of Wadi Rum...

Inside the entrance of Wadi Rum...

Wadi

Wadi Rum has a small town inside the entrance gates and then its a lot of desert...

Many people will spend a couple of days in Wadi Rum as its a fabulous place for camping (but we were a little camped out) as well as hiking and trekking.

From Wadi Rum we were back on the road to Petra and stopping along the way to take in some of the incredible sites.

Beware! There are plenty of camels in the distance, we never saw any on the road...

Beware! There are plenty of camels in the distance, we never saw any on the road...

A quick word on driving through Jordan – it is very easy! The roads signs are very clear and are detailed in both Arabic and English. Road conditions are also great.

We made it to Petra by about 5pm which did not give us a huge amount of time to explore this ancient city in daylight. Luckily it was a Monday and on this day as well as Wednesday and Thursday, you can take a candlelit tour from 8.30pm.

This main street reaches the entrance of Petra. This is the best place to find a hotel (of which there are a few) and also enjoy some of the delicious restaurants...

This main street reaches the entrance of Petra. This is the best place to find a hotel (of which there are a few) and also enjoy some of the delicious restaurants...

So to fill in some time, we drove to Little Petra (about 20 minutes away from the major site) where there are mini versions of Petra’s famous rock carved facades.

Little Petra is still impressive. There is no cost to enter this site either...

Little Petra is still impressive. There is no cost to enter this site either...

The Bedouin people serve tea to visitors of Little Petra...

The Bedouin people serve tea to visitors of Little Petra...

A nice spot for a photo...just stunning scenery all around...

A nice spot for a photo...just stunning scenery all around...

The rock facades of Little Petra are still very impressive and you can walk inside to get a glimpse of some beautiful floral artworks...

The rock facades of Little Petra are still very impressive and you can walk inside to get a glimpse of some beautiful floral artworks...

The Petra Tour by night was a real highlight. The walk down to The Treasury was about 1 kilometre however the gorge was lit the entire way by candlelight in brown paper bags. The effect was brilliant.

A beautiful walk through rock formations and a gorge through to The Treasury...

A beautiful walk through rock formations and a gorge through to The Treasury...

Arriving at the Treasury, we were seated and served Tea while a local Jordanian entertained us with Arabic music. If you have the time, we would recommend walking through Petra during the day and at night. Unfortunately for us we were short on time, so it was just the night tour for us.

Everyone gathered at the Treasury to listen to Jordanian music and drink tea - incredible experience...

Everyone gathered at the Treasury to listen to Jordanian music and drink tea - incredible experience...

Jordanian performer playing the flute...

Jordanian performer playing the flute...

This incredible moon also lit the path to and from the ancient city...

This incredible moon also lit the path to and from the ancient city...

This fabulous bar sits at the entrance of Petra's Ancient City. The bar is built into the rocks and there is a hotel next door. After our walk through Petra, a small band was entertaining guests and you could enjoy another spectacular view of Petra...

This fabulous bar sits at the entrance of Petra's Ancient City. The bar is built into the rocks and there is a hotel next door. After our walk through Petra, a small band was entertaining guests and you could enjoy another spectacular view of Petra...

If you are looking for something else to do in Petra,

If you are looking for something else to do in Petra, you could visit Petra Kitchen and take a cooking class - you then get to enjoy your meal with a glass of wine. While we didn't have time, the people we met this night said it was well worth it...

From Petra we were making our way to Amman via the Dead Sea. This was one thing we both thought we should do.. Swim in the Dead Sea. So we drove through some incredible scenery and stopped off just before Amman for a quick dip.

Just one of the cute road side stops...

Just one of the cute road side stops...

Finally we see the Dead Sea. We tried to look for a spa treatment where you can get a dead sea salt scrub but after following misleading signs for an hour, we gave up. The salt scrub can be bought in packets too from many tourist shops and supermarkets in Jordan...

Finally we see the Dead Sea. We tried to look for a spa treatment where you can get a dead sea salt scrub but after following misleading signs for an hour, we gave up. The salt scrub can be bought in packets too from many tourist shops and supermarkets in Jordan...

Floating has never been so easy, you practically sit out of the water...

Floating has never been so easy, you practically sit out of the water...

We can suggest you grab a shower as soon as you leave this water. We were in a rush to return our car and cross the border into Israel so we had a 3 hour transfer covered in this thick salt paste - Very Uncomfortable...

We can suggest you grab a shower as soon as you leave this water. We were in a rush to return our car and cross the border into Israel so we had a 3 hour transfer covered in this thick salt paste - Very Uncomfortable...

Although we only had 2 full days in Jordan, we found the people to be extremely friendly, the landscape to be diverse and incredibly beautiful and a place that is steeped in history  – we did a quick drive by the Baptism Site of Jesus but you really need half a day to take the complete tour here. If we’d had an extra day we would have done this but our next stop was Jerusalem so we figured we would get to see a few other famous ‘Jesus’ sites.

In case you are wondering, the guy in the middle is the King Abdullah II of Jordan...

In case you are wondering, the guy in the middle is the King Abdullah II of Jordan...

For a few more pics, see our gallery:

  • Bronwynkett

    Yet again another great blog and pics, such a shame though that you only had two days in Jordan and didn't get to see Petra in the daylight the most fantastic place ever, Jordan is one of the best middle eastern countries I've been to so much diversity with things to see and do, maybe your get to see the rest of it on a another trip ah, safe travels x

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