One last goodbye to Jordan. To dream away once more, to steal your heart a little bit and to stir up the travel jitters again. Jordan in 7 days: it is possible. The Eastern fairy tale took my heart. It brought me home with a sense of hope, happiness and gratitude.
This feeling started with gratitude when we get stuck at the airport in Amman in the middle of the night. A welcoming Jordanian citizen took us to his home and family. Not planning anything has many advantages but every now and then a drawback as well like arriving at a Middle Eastern airport in the middle of the night.
DAY 1: FLOATING IN THE DEAD SEA
I am simmered by this warm feeling during the ride along the infinite deserts and Arab villages towards the Dead Sea. Here we sleep right in the middle of paradise. After a drive through the dusty desert you arrive in a heavenly green oasis. I feel Aladdin and Jasmine at the same time. I imagine myself in the fairy tale of 1001 nights and I almost see magic carpets fly along. I will never forget the sunset as well as floating in the Dead Sea.
DAY 2: ON THE ROAD
The feeling muses further while listening to the interesting history of the country, the intriguing cultural differences and the special discussions with the local population. This six-hour drive towards Petra is special. From sandstorms to local falafel sandwiches and from infinite roads to military delays: anything can happen. The arrival in the town of Wadi Musa is amazing.
DAY 3: MAGICAL PETRA
The feeling gently floats as we arrive at the magical entrance of Petra. We arrive early in the morning before sunrise, take an alternative route and see no more tourists than one Japanese and two Americans. The colors of the rocks are indescribable, just like the sun throwing her rays over the rocks in the morning. The continuously changing colors of golden sun rays shining on the red, yellow, black and pink stone shades provide a beautiful color palette. You get why this is one of the wonders of the Earth when you get to the end of the narrow gorge and see Al Khazneh. We take an alternate route that leads us over the mountain to the ‘place of sacrifice’ and then swings a path right through the magical old city. Almost lost we fly hand in hand along the rock formations and structures and suddenly there are two mountain people. An old woman and her daughter.
A TINKLING DANCE
The now tingling feeling is enchanting and we dream a dream in the evening in Bedouin camp in Little Petra. We talk to amazing guides Ismael and Mahmoud about life in the desert. We drink gallons of tea while we discuss about life and all that it offers us. Authentic Jordanian food is prepared: Zarb. A campfire, a musician and a jingling scarf around my hips make my night memorable. This is the most unusual as well as the most amazing night in Jordan, and I can’t quite explain why. Is it the area? The provincial sense of the camp? The sunset from the mountain? The redness of the sand? The hospitable Bedouin Ismael and Mahmoud? Their personal stories about desert life? Dancing around the campfire? Fact is that I’m sold. It is the fairy tale of 1001 nights in one night.
DAY 4: WADI RUM ON CAMELS BACK
Early in the morning, with feelings warmer than ever before, we climb a camel and we ride into the desert of Wadi Rum: a huge red valley of sand where you are embraced by towering rock walls of sandstone and granite. I feel ‘Laura of Arabia’ while I am amazed by this vast wilderness and the fact that we are just few miles away from intriguing Saudi Arabia. Wadi Rum is a timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here it is the weather that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers. That we are able to slowly force ourselves towards the heart of the desert on eco-friendly camel power is more than a gift.
DAY 5: FIFTY SHADES OF RED
A night in the desert is more than special. The camp overlooks the Burrah Canyon area. Wadi Rum colors along with the sun, and that is one of the most beautiful natural wonders that I’ve ever seen. The sand wanders from yellow to orange and from red to the deep black of the night – and when you walk out of the camp and keep still in complete darkness there are a million stars to count. After a night in the tent we climb our camel again for the second trip through Wadi Rum. Now I know how to ride a camel like a real Bedouin woman, I save my boyfriend heroically when he loses his bridle and I get showered with compliments by our local guide. ‘Good camel wife. Good Bedouin wife. Nice. Much nice’. The color spectrum continues to amaze me. We enjoy this scarce time. Wadi Rum is incredibly beautiful, and when we get back to the village I realize that I’m going to miss this short life as a Bedouin woman.
DAY 6: AQABA
Still counting the stars of the night before in our minds we arrive in Aqaba, port city with views of Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Red Sea is beautiful, but Aqaba is a touristic place and has something which I can’t appreciate after our wonderful trip. Therefore I’ve done nothing else than dream away by memories.
DAY 7: FROM AQABA TO AMMAN
We try to hold on to the last glimmer of this feeling and we take the local bus back to Amman. A six-hour ride across the country brings us back to square one: Amman airport, where we fly back to Amsterdam at night with tears in our eyes.
The trip to Jordan in a nutshell. All stories can be read here with, of course, a lot more photos. I’m back home with a backpack full of experiences and a piece of my heart that is taken by the Middle East. Please take me back, Jordan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What about her is the blog of philosophical travel addict Laura (1988). She is continuously wandering around the world in search of hotspots and perfect places on planet Earth, while persuading others to follow their dreams. Like to know even more?