“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Jordan was the first Middle Eastern country that I ever visited and it made me want to revisit the Middle East again and again. I’m still not done; I have a yearning to see Oman and many other Middle Eastern states, when it is safe to do so.
The most remarkable thing about Jordan, for me, was the people. The people in Jordan are some of the friendliest and most inspiring people I’ve ever met. Whether you visit the various Jordanian sites I’m going to discuss in this blog post or not, make sure to have a conversation with a Jordanian – you’ll love it!
Other than conversation… here is an IF list of 5 Jaw-dropping things to do in Jordan
Also known as ‘The Lost City’, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. And I can safely say, I left my heart in Petra. Meandering down towards the narrow passage to the Treasury was one of the most magical moments of my trip. I didn’t know what to expect and what I was greeted by was spectacular.
I got to take a camel ride around the area in front of the Treasury and pretend I was Indiana Jones for a minute! Petra is also featured in a Transformers movie (tid bit!). Some people opt not to climb the 800 odd steps to the Monastery that is elevated 220m above the rest of Petra, but my advice to you, is to do it; No matter what. No matter how hot it is, no matter how crowded it is, no matter how much you don’t want to, you’re really missing out if you don’t. Obviously make sure to keep drinking water (you are in the desert!) or if you’re injured or elderly, you can get donkey rides to the top. I walked with a guide called Rok, a Bedouin man my mother and I befriended, and his friend Abdullah. They told us all of the fun facts there are to know about Petra on the way up and even had a cup of Jordanian Tea with us at the top (albeit with 10 sugars!). It was a once in a lifetime experience and if you think the Treasury is impressive, you’ll be blown away by the Monastry, I know I was.
Wadi Rum, wadi rum, wadi rum… this place! It’s indescribable. But allow me do a shoddy job of describing it and then I’m just going to put in lots of pictures because I cannot do it justice. It’s like the Grand Canyon but better! (I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, but I was told). We stayed in the city of Aqaba (which is about 1hr drive from Wadi Rum) and we got up bright and early to drive there and we took the sunrise hot air balloon ride over the desert. I’ve never been so in awe at any stage in my life. I was ecstatic to be doing a hot air balloon ride on its own, but in this location. How lucky am I?! I would highly recommend seeing Wadi Rum in the same way, but if not you can get camel tours, jeep tours and you can go hiking there. It’s vast, so you only get to see bits and pieces of it at any one time.
Of course the desert plays tricks on you and I (being the genius I am) thought I’d be able to run from where we were standing to the closest giant rock… I was wrong! I ran and ran and ran, and I didn’t make it any closer to the rock. When I stopped running, the rock had not gotten any closer and my mum had shrunk!
Anyway, enough of my blabbing, allow these photos do the talking:
The Dead Sea
Considering its one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the world, it would be a shame to miss it. Once you’re in Jordan it’s easy to access the wondrous water that Jesus claims to have walked on. If you’re planning on going, why not give my Dead Sea Guide a read.
Amman is an incredible city built on 7 hills. It’s the capitol of Jordan with over 4 million people populating it. Amman is where I had my base while I travelled all over the country seeing all of the aforementioned sites. In Amman, my two favourite things were the Turkish Hammam and Wild Café where they serve beautiful Arabic food (aka. delicious hummus) but they also have the best view of the entire city of Amman from their terrace.
Abdali market is fabulous too, the only reason it wasn’t one of my favourite places in the city is because I couldn’t buy everything there and stuff it all in my suitcase to bring back with me to Ireland.
In Amman, you are only an hour from the city of Jerash. The Greek ruins at Jerash are often referred to as the ‘Pompeii of the Middle East’ – although never covered by volcanic ash – it does have similarities, such as the size of the excavation undertaken at Jerash and the extent of the preservation there.
There are many other parts of the beautiful country of Jordan that i would like to share with you, however, this blog post is already colossal, so I’ll keep that information to myself and maybe one day I’ll do a part two.