It doesn’t happen that often that I’m nervous for a trip, but while I’m packing my bags for Jordan, I realise I am. Jordan has a couple of difficult neighbours, who are not exactly the ones you visit for a high tea & some gossip. Syria, Iraq & Saoudi Arabia are all unstable and the big groups of refugees in the northern parts of Jordan, make these areas unstable too. Although the official travel advice for Jordan is not negative, a lot of travellers stay away. But why? Is there a good reason not to visit Jordan? Is it unsafe? What better way, than to go and experience it myself.
We’re approaching Amman airport and I see cities like Aleppo on my flight map. My heart starts beating a little faster. The images I’ve seen on the news cross my mind. I’ve never been this close to war. Within half an hour after landing, I arrive in modern & bustling Amman. There’s a security scanner at the hotel for my suitcase & belongings: extra security measures, but that is the only thing I notice so far…
The next morning I send a photo of myself, floating in The Dead Sea, to my family at home, who are freezing in the cold Netherlands… Not very nice of me, I know. What a beautiful place! It is such a special experience to float in the warm, salty water. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. I can see Israël on the other side! Safe in Amman: check! Safe in the Dead Sea: check (and even if you can’t swim it is going to be very difficult to drown here…)
My nerves are fading away and I feel a vibrant holiday vibe taking over. On the road to Petra my neurotic compulsion grows by the minute…I take about 300 photos of the landscape…and we’re not even in Petra yet…help.
We’re there… Petra! Words cannot describe this magical place. It is such a cliché, I know… The ancient city is so much bigger & more impressive than I imagined. It is one of the 7 world wonders for a reason.. Click HERE for more background information about Petra. The mysterious men with kohl around their eyes, the photogenic camels, the scent of incense in the air and the enchanting, old city, take me back in time. You can easily spend a couple of days here!
Petra by night is not easy to visit for people who have difficulty walking. The beautiful Siq is romantically lit by candlelight, so the stones you step on, during the 3 km walk, are hard to see. Safe in Petra: check! This is the biggest tourist attraction in the country and I didn’t feel unsafe for a minute.
Our last stop is the Wadi Rum desert, The Valley of the Moon. It really feels like we landed on the moon! Click HERE for more information about this desert. I have never seen a landscape like this before. This sunset is one to remember. The light is magical. I could write endless, poetic stories about the wonders of this place, but the photos tell it all..
Jordan has surprised me in many ways. This was my first visit to the Arabic world and I did not feel unsafe for a minute. The fresh food, the fascinating bedouins, the mind blowing nature, the soft light, the beautiful beaches, the hospitality & the impressive history, make me want to go back soon. There’s so much more to see! I think this is the best time to visit Jordan. Go explore all the treasures this country has to offer, before everyone else discovers it is perfectly safe!
Try to sleep at the bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert and listen to the stories, while you’re gazing at a sky full of giant stars.
Order a Lemonana, or two… I got addicted to this alcohol free Mojito!
Dress appropiately… In modern Amman, this is not much of an issue, but be respectful to the culture, especially in smaller villages. I did walk around in shorts at a lot of places, most of the time that is no problem, but I always had scarves with me to cover my shoulders & knees if I had to.
Kempinski Aqaba. There is a Kempinski in Amman too at The Dead Sea. My stay at the Kempinski in Aqaba was amazing. The service, the beautiful rooms & the delicious breakfast will make your stay very comfortable.