As a little break from weddings, we occasionally like to share more personal work here on the blog.
In April 2013, we took a week-long holiday in Jordan. It was never intended as such, but due to our work schedule, it ended up being our delayed honeymoon! The holiday was booked through one of our favourite tour operators – Exodus – who have a great reputation and always put together a terrific itinerary with the very best local guides. The trip was entitled “A Week In Jordan” and was intended a good introduction to the country with plenty to see do.
After a 5-hour flight from Heathrow, we arrived at Amman airport at 2am to find the weather was even worse than at home! Apparently they’d had more rain that week than they usually get in a year. Following breakfast, the ancient Roman city of Jerash was our first port of call and though a bit drizzly the weather behaved itself, mostly. Situated about 30 miles north of Amman, Jerash is seeped in history and features buildings as old as 2000 years.
Shameless selfie in a Roman amphitheatre!
The Oval Forum, built approx 1st century AD.
After lunch, our party headed south by coach to the Dead Sea, the shores of which are the lowest elevation on land in the world. In the photo below, the eastern shores of Israel are visible across the water.
You can’t visit the Dead Sea without taking a float in the highly salinated waters.
Our second day took us to the town of Madaba and Mount Nebo, the fabled mountain from which Moses was shown the promised land (according to the Bible).
When in Rome…
Later in the day, our coach took along the Kings Highway to Kerak, with some spectacular views along the way.
Seen by many in the group as the most important section of the holiday, our two-day excursion of the ancient city of Petra began early.
It’s a fair walk from the entrance gates, with one half of the track for people, the other for horses.
To enter Petra, you take a 1km walk through The Siq – a natural formation in the sandstone.
The Siq is a busy passage, with thousands of visitors and horse carriages making their way through every day. Finally, you get your first glimpse of the most famous of Petra’s sights – The Treasury. Several films have used this area – including Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade.
Petra gets a LOT of visitors – and this was classed as a very quiet day!
An armed security guards surveys Petra. He sat here for hours, never moving, in the full glare of the sun.
Donkeys are everywhere in Petra. The way they nimbly run up and down the steps is astonishing. They have a hard life though and you can’t help feel sorry for them. We refused all offers of rides.
The Monastery can be found at the far end of Petra, after a climb of 850 steps up through the mountains. Thankfully, they built The Monastery right next to a nice tea shop 😉
During our stroll back through Petra in the early evening, the area around the Treasury was almost deserted.
The next morning, our guide led us through an alternate route into Petra. This involved a lengthy hike across the rocky terrain, with some fabulous views and barely any people!
A very welcome stop-off at a local tea shop.
After a lengthy coach ride south, we arrived in the afternoon at Wadi Rum. Made famous in the film Lawrence Of Arabia, the Wadi Rum is rugged and beautiful desert area. After alighting the coach, our hosts transported us to the camp in 4x4s.
Refreshing mint tea all round!
Watching the sun set in Wadi Rum. Fabulous experience.
The clear sky meant a spot of night-time photography was in order. This shot is only lit by moon and star light, with an exposure time of about 30 seconds.
After a delicious breakfast from our hosts, we began one of the real highlights of the whole week – a camel ride through the Wadi Rum desert. Contrary to everything we heard about camels, we found them quite comfortable and didn’t get spat on once!
We were back in Amman for our final day, for a tour of the local historical sites (of which there are many).