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Wednesday 2 October 2013

10 Reasons To Go On Holiday To Jordan

1. 'Welcoming' people who ply you with tea at every opportunity
It's been three weeks since I went to Jordan and I'm pretty sure I left my heart there in an 'I left my heart in San Francisco' kind of way. It was a random holiday I booked after a major work deadline and I only chose the destination because budget airline Easy Jet flies there. After that I picked up a guide book and realised I had made one of the best decisions ever! 
Jordan is surrounded by worryingly political unstable/religious countries like Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria which puts many Westerners off visiting, but it's a country filled with culture which is geared up for tourist trade. It is also one of the friendliest places on planet Earth, every single person I encountered starts, ends and peppers conversations with the word 'welcome'. And if you travel to the deserts in the South you will be offered a delicious, warming sweet herbal tea by everyone you meet. Bedouin guides carry around tea pots and start fires with twigs whenever they fancy a cuppa.
(I'm pictured with Mohammad from Jordan Tracks and Owde from Wadi Rum Rocks)
2. Veggies can feast until they can feast no more on chickpeas
I eat a lot of chickpeas in the UK, I've often thought I could happily live off them, in Jordan I practically did. Humus and falafal were served with every single meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
3. Perfect swimming conditions for people who love swimming but aren't the strongest of swimmers
The aspect I enjoy most about holidays is swimming outdoors. I LOVE it. Literally if nothing else happens, I don't mind, just one dip in a warm sea or outdoor pool makes me forget everything else. This is the gorgeous infinity pool at the Kempinksi Dead Sea Resort hotel, which overlooks the Dead Sea. It was taken early morning, but the beautiful colours were visible all day, I was memserised by the incredible lilac rocks. 
4. The chance to experience your own Indiana Jones moment
This is Petra, a vast archeological site set within an incredible rock valley, where they filmed Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. During the day you'll find camels and donkeys chilling and waiting to transport weary tourists around the major sites. I was there shortly before sunset, by which point other tourists had left. There is nothing fake about this picture, I explored the complex without a single living soul in sight. It was surreal and magical.
5. When the sun shines the colours are beautiful
One of my favourite things in life is colour. It inspires and fuels me every day. The colours I generally observe at home come from clothes, advertising, people and objects but in Jordan the colours were natural. Vivid, bright hues that I could sit and stare at for hours.
6. There are so many opportunities to do something different
On holiday anything is possible. You wouldn't see me horseriding in London but here in Jordan I developed a whole new confidence in riding up extreme cliffs with steep drops even though it was only the 2nd time I'd sat on a horse in my life. I also scaled crazy rock mountains barefooted and snorkelled in deep, wavy conditions.
7. It takes history to another level
See my foot? It's in Jordan. See those people opposite, they are in the West Bank, Palestine, Israel....a completely different country! It is the banks of the River Jordan where Jesus was baptised and where people come from all over the world to get themselved baptised/ or to reconfirm their faith. 
There are strict rules in crossing boarders throughout this region so this sight was incredible and that's before you even remember about the Jesus connection.
8. The capital is filled with creativity
The week I was there coincided with Amman Art Week, an annual celebration of art and artists in the capital. It was a good excuse to see some work by individuals I wouldn't normally get to appreciate. This matchbox installation was part of a wider papercrafts exhibition.
9. You can enjoy 360 degree sunsets all to yourself
In London I usually miss sunset as I'm either still at work (my desk doesn't face any windows) or I'm at the gym so seeing so many jaw droppingly beautiful sunsets was an absolute pleasure. I witnessed sunset every day from different and unique spots but nothing beat enjoying it from the top of a rock in the Wadi Rum desert.
10. You will never, ever get bored
I could go on and on but there is just so much to see and do in Jordan. 

In a week I ticked off the main things like floating in the Dead Sea, snorkelling in the Red Sea, camping in the desert...but there was still so much more (crafting things like watching goat hair weaving and mosaic spotting aside). 

The temperatures were an amazing 36-40 degrees, which doesn't seem as hot when you wear floaty tops and headscarfs. There's lots of air-conditioned places and as long as you constantly drink water you'll survive the heat. 

I absolutely cannot wait to get my photos printed off and put into an album, a great reminder that there is so much more to life that everyday routines.

1 comment:

  1. Jordan is a lovely country in the Middle East and it's really a perfect destination for all. I believe everybody will enjoy their Jordan trip. This is an ancient city. and have Archaeological Museums to visit. Just enjoy the stunning attractions and feels different.