“Why are you going to Jordan? Is it safe? Are you crazy?”
These were just some of the comments I received when I informed friends and family my husband and I were going on a two-week vacation to Jordan.
Jordan exceeded all our expectations. The people were warm and friendly. Everywhere we went we heard ‘Welcome to Jordan’. Never once, no matter where we traveled on our many wanderings through the crowded Souks of the city, or hiked on dusty country trails, did we feel threatened or nervous. We only had to pull out a map and people asked if they could help us.
The country is stunning. There’re endless miles of desert, sand, and scorching heat. The hottest temperatures we experienced were in Wadi Rum, the heart of the desert, but the nights were cool and pleasant. There are also jagged mountains, strikingly beautiful rock formations with vibrant reds, yellows, blues, and whites streaking through the sandstone, and blue skies and land that seem to stretch forever. The outline of a Bedouin riding a camel over the desert sand was like a dream of past days. The stars at night in the Bedouin camp in the middle of the desert were so brilliant you could almost touch them.
Petra, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the number one archaeological site in Jordan. It’s carved sandstone temples are cut from the stones themselves. The caves, elaborate monuments, Roman columns, and ruins date from before the ancient Romans. We hiked through this extensive site and found places where there was no one. The views from the High sacrificial mound or the monastery are breathtaking, and we could see across the desert to Israel.
The Dead Sea was phenomenal. We floated (it’s impossible not to) in the salty brine and enjoyed the slick oiliness of the water. I plastered my body with black Dead Sea mud (it’s supposed to be healing), and my skin was incredibly soft after I rinsed off the thick layer of mud.
The history in Jordan is almost too much to take in… we visited the mountain where Moses saw the Promised Land, the spring beside the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, the Dead Sea scrolls, and crusader castles. We climbed over two thousand-year-old mosaics covered with a thin film of desert sand.
We heard the distant booming of bombs dropped by the Israelis on the Gaza strip, and there were security checks along the roads, but never once did we feel unsafe. Jordan is an incredible country and well worth a visit.