A Jordan adventure

Posted on May 7, 2015

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Jordan has been high on my list of places to go for a long time. When an opportunity came up to go to a wedding there a few days after a scheduled visit to Egypt, I jumped on the opportunity. The journey was nothing short of epic, but an adventure none the less. 

With only a few days we were on a whirlwind. Arriving at night we went straight to the village of Wadi Rum to eat dinner with our host Ali, before being driven out to stay in the bedouin tents, now there solely for visitors. I love arriving at night, especially somewhere that you know is majestic and will be entirely different in the day. We were the only guests that night and after a 30minute 4-wheel drive felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere. It was clear and the weather was good so we opted to sleep under the stars. 

IMG_0713I woke in the middle of the night, bathed in moonlight and could see the huge rock formations around us for the first time. It was beyond incredible. I was awake for ages, aghast at the stars and the landscape around us. 

DSCF6572 2In the morning my boyfriend had woken, taking his camera to record the sunrise. We drunk in our surroundings, exploring sandiness (where we  found paw prints of some kind of wild fox or dog that has been eyeing us up in the night), and the vast rock formations. After breakfast we were taken on a short tour to arches, canyons and more. Our guide was sweet but not informative (this became a trend) and I think we could have learned a lot more with the right person. We read up beforehand and knew that this used to be a valley flooded by water. The only word we found to describe this magical place was ‘majestic’ – it’s the only word that will do.  

Taking another taxi we drove the three hours to Petra. Again taking a guide as we wanted to get as much as we could out the experience – expensive at £50 a pop, but so were the tickets – we were treated to vast amounts of information by way of dates, families, ownership, for just over an hour until we reached the famed ‘Treasury’. Not that it was a treasury at all, but more likely a tomb for the queen (long story which a guide will take you through). Whichever you look at it, built as early as 312 BC, you can see why Petra is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

IMG_0299Walking around the corner I think this was the first time we had really understood the scale of Petra as a town. People took a week or more to explore. We had a mere afternoon. Why oh why had the guide taken so log to give us the minute details on the walk down to the Treasury when  brisk walk would have given us the opportunity to see SO much more? mentally debating this, a little frustrated, we were asked if we wanted a ride around on a camel, by a boy, no more than 6 years old, with a cigarette hanging out his mouth! Being too stunned to really take in all that was wrong here, we burst out laughing at the briny of the contrast we were seeing. If you go, plan it better than we did and send a night there – it’s worth it.  

By this time we hadn’t showered for two days, or had the luxury of ‘real’ toilets, and I was ready to get back to a little luxury. A three hour taxi ride and we were there. Luxury next to the Dead Sea no less.

We stayed at the Marriott Dead Sea, which was a lot more upmarket than other Marriotts I’d stayed in. It’s a large hotel so not normally one I’d pick for a holiday but a wonderful location for the wedding. The next day we were to attained one part of the five day wedding celebrations of a Jordanian friend. We had absolutely no idea what was happening, and still not entirely sure. There was a huge amount of clapping and dancing, a vast buffet of food that was quickly demolished then cleared away, more clapping and dancing, and very little drinking. The bride had struggled with how to balance the usually ‘dry’ Jordanian culture, with that of her British husband whose friends and family were accustomed to vast amounts of booze at a wedding. The answer was a secret bar, of course! We were much happier once we’d found this and the wedding was a lot of fun and we were slightly blown away by the scale of the event, which included a full blown 3 men camera crew and stage with full lighting. Glitzy all around.

IMG_0800The morning after, with just a slight hangover, we popped down to the shore of the Dead Sea to soothe ourselves with mud and float. It is absolutely divine.  

Our last day in Jordan was finally spent entirely in this way. We treated ourselves to a spectacular night at the Six Senses Hotel & Spa at Ma’In. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is one of the most divine places I have stayed. The warm Jordanian hospitality paired with natural springs and Six Senses Luxury – heaven on earth. 

A short trip but one I am so pleased I took. I’ll certainly be back.

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