A Travellerspoint blog

Jordan

Trip to Damascus


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The next day saw us in a private taxi to Jerash and then on to Damascus.

Jerash was huge, so many ruins to try and mention. It has a temple to Hadrian, a hippodrome, 2 theatres, one of which they had some musicians playing the bagpipes and drums. The music sounded really great from the top of the theatre, on to the rest of the site they had just under a dozen different churches and of course the main street lined with roman pillars called the colonnade. Seeing all of this took us at least 3 hours and both of us took the opportunity to make the most of the sun while we could and wear our singlets. Then on to Damascus but with what was supposed to be a little stop at the taxi drivers house for tea, which ended up turning into late lunch and a chance to meet the family and all the neighbours. His family were lovely and his wife in particular was very excited to have us as guests in her home. We were a strange sight to see in town thus all the neighbours coming over to meet us.

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After lunch and looking at their wedding photos we finally got going to Damascus where we caught a bus straight to Homs.

Posted by krissy 12:01 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

Amman

sunny
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We started our stay in Amman by doing our laundry, which was well over due and having a hot shower. Yes another early night for a weary traveller. The next day consisted of more sight seeing. We headed off to see the Citadel first by foot but got a little lost and ended up getting a taxi. The bugger about taxis in the Middle East is that most of them don’t speak English. We finally got there and looked around. It was also very lovely, after taking heaps of photos we walked down the hill and found the Roman Amphitheatre and the remains of the forum, then stopped at the King Hussein Mosque but weren’t able to go inside as it was almost prayer time, took a couple of photos from the outside and then headed back to the hotel. We decided to head to Damascus the next morning via Jerash so we stayed close to the hotel.

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Posted by krissy 08:10 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

Kings Highway

semi-overcast
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After being picked up at Wadi Rum by our taxi we realized that we hadn’t seen the Nebatean temple so we headed back to Wadi Village to have a quick squiz at the ruins.
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We then had a little problem with the first taxi drivers car so they sent another to meet us and the new taxi driver was great, he spoke English well and also helped us with our Arabic while we made our way up to see Karak Castle, which was a nice castle, to had beautiful views down the valley to the dead sea and beyond to Israel.
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Wow do they do rigorous passport control in this area. We had our passports checked about 6 times in less than an hour. We eventually got down to the Dead Sea and decided to have a swim. This was interesting, we were the only women that were wearing bikinis so we tried to get into the water as quickly as possible but the sea floor was crystallized salt which made for really hard entry. When we finally got in deep enough to swim we floated on top of the water, still revealing our white bodies we decided to do the whole dead sea mud thing and covered ourselves in it but when we took it off our faces we both naturally just stuck our faces in the water and, wow burning eyes ouch…. I had to have a lifeguard come out and help me back to the shore before I could even think about opening my eyes. Both Cat and I managed to get out safely and recovered while eating lunch at the restaurant.
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Then on to Mt Nebo, which has a connection to Moses but I can’t quiet remember at the moment as most of the places I have been in the last couple of weeks have had something to do with him. They have a beautiful little church up at the top, which has another fantastic view over the Dead Sea and Israel. Then it was on through Madaba city to Amman.Around_the..07_-_48.jpgAround_the..07_-_41.jpgAround_the..07_-_39.jpgAround_the..07_-_55.jpg

Posted by krissy 07:45 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

Wadi Rum

semi-overcast 20 °C
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The Spanish girls joined us for our trip to Wadi Rum, arrived in Wadi Rum about 10am and rattled around the desert in a rickety old 4WD. Erica and Steph only joined us for our first day and night in Wadi Rum, so both Cat and Erica where little monkeys and climbed anything and everything they could. We saw many things in Wadi Rum, so I will just mention a few of them. We saw the Seven sisters from the visitors centre and then started at the red Dune, we managed to climb to the top and the sand was so soft though it took us forever to climb it.
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Up to Lawrence's spring (being Lawrence of Arabia) which is a little disappointing as you cant see anything as it is a well up in the mountains that is piped down to watering trough's for the animals to drink from. Then on to see the Nebatean inscriptions on one of the mountain walls.
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Next Lawrence’s house, this was ruins of a small brick house that was more like a pile of rubble, that rest against a big rock but it had a fantastic view and the girls found it for climbing.
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Next was Um Fruth Arch or Bridge and Khazali Canyon and then off to the campsite where we had Bedouin tea and relaxed while dinner was prepared and cooked. Well dinner would have to have been the best Jordanian food I had had, after dinner we sat around the fire and our guides had a few friends drop in and they played some Bedouin music for us with a loot and some drums and had a little bit of a sing-a-long, which was really nice. As it had been a big day in the desert we decided to have an early night and as it was a lovely night out we opted to have the night out under the stars so we could catch sunrise without having to get out of bed. Unfortunately there were too many clouds to see the stars let alone the sunrise, but it was lovely none the less.
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After breakfast we headed out on some more adventures around Wadi Rum, this time with one of the other guides, Abdullah. Abdullah was a lovely guy but unfortunately grew affections for me very quickly, which some times made both Cat and I a little uncomfortable but overall he was very lovely and made the journey a little more interesting.
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We ended up seeing what they called the Chicken rock, and the Small Bridge, then on to have lunch at Burrah Canyon.
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Burrah Canyon Was fantastic, lunch of course was traditional Bedouin food. Canned tuna on their flat bread, which is like our pita bread, cucumber, tomato, followed by Bedouin tea. Unfortunately a sand storm blew up while we were having lunch, which made for and interesting trip back to the campsite especially stopping every 500 meters for a while to collect firewood. Oh well I suppose it completes the desert experience.
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Posted by krissy 09:48 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

Petra

sunny 17 °C
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We bumped into some lovely Americans on the bus to Neweiba to catch the ferry to Aqaba and then some Spanish ladies in the fantastically clean departure lounge at Neweiba, now that was a joke. It is absolutely disgusting. Anyway we were all traveling in the same direction so we got a couple of taxis and off we went. As it was getting dark quiet quickly and Cat and I wanted to see the Aqaba Fortress/castle our taxi driver took us to take some photos before heading to Petra. After arriving at Wadi Musa, which is the town area that is right near Petra that we needed to stay at, we organized our room, got some dinner and called it a night.

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Up early for our first day in Petra. We organized a guide through the hotel, they dropped us off at the main gate and off we went. I loved our time looking through Petra. Walking down the Sig, which looks like there was an earthquake and the earth has opened up and made the pathway that meanders down to the Treasury, which is the facade that was used in the "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" movie.

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After that we wandered further through to see the various types of tombs and excavations.
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We stopped for lunch before catching a donkey/mule up the mountain to the monastery, which was as awesome as the Treasury. They both have totally different feels about them. The Treasury was very elaborately carved and the monastery is very simple. We were told that the Treasury was most likely designed to be used for christenings or baptisms of some sort and that the monastery was used as a last preparation before burial.
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Ok, now that we have seen that and all the marvelous views we now had to walk the 800 steps back down the mountain and of course I ended up leaving my camera at the top, luckily I figured that out before I got to the bottom. I just had to walk up about 150 steps and back down them to meet up with the others that were patiently waiting for me. When we finally got to the bottom I decided to get a donkey ride to the Treasury. We headed back to the hotel for a traditional Jordanian dinner cooked by the hotel manager’s mother, which was lovely and really convenient for an early night after a big day.
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Next day, back down to Petra, this time without a guide and with the Spanish girls we met on the ferry Erica and Steph. We wandered down a route that was advised by our guide the previous day. We walked down this track which was basically a dry river bed, had to walk down rock walls and all but totally had fun getting back to nature and loved the welcomed peace from the continuous cries for donkey rides from the Bedouin men and boys.
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Once getting back to the main section of Petra again we had a quick lunch and walked up to High Sacrifice, another 500 steps or so. We got to the top and saw some fantastic views over Petra and the obelisks, then decided to take the alternative way down the mountain and saw some more fantastic tombs and monuments and got shown by some Bedouin ladies a short cut back to the main area of Petra, which saved us some time and energy. Back to the hotel to work out our trip to Wadi Rum before heading out to see Petra by night.

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Petra by night was lovely, a beautiful memory as it was too hard to take a photo, but a little disappointing as they had all the candles lining the Sig (pathway) down to the Treasury and in front of it but unfortunately none on the steps or inside which would have been really cool, you really didn't get to see much of the Treasury at night. They had some lovely Bedouin music being played but as we were not able to see the treasury we headed back early and caught up with our guide Ali from the first day for a drink before he dropped us back to our hotel to pack for Wadi Rum.

Posted by krissy 08:47 Archived in Jordan Comments (1)

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