“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley
After my trip to Georgia last October, I have fallen in love with culture and diversity – visiting countries has become a drug. After loads of tasks at work, I filed for a well-deserved leave and flew to Jordan.
There wasn’t any specific country I thought about, I just browsed Holiday Factory and was enthralled with AED 799 flashy offer to Jordan. Yes, I chose it because it was the cheapest on the page. But hola! When I thought it was cheap, Jordan is a relatively expensive country (AED 1 for 5 JOD)! Nonetheless, I came back home priced with the memories I had from this beautiful country.
Before I share my itinerary, it is good to know that Jordan is geographically small – ten days would suffice to enjoy the sites without much pressure. In our case, we had it packaged which incurred both positive and negative sides. We booked for tours online and found out later that it was too way expensive. We cancelled last minute but carried on for day one.
DAY 1 (March 23)
We went with a private car. The driver was on time, decent, friendly and speaks good in English. Since we stayed in Aqaba, south of Jordan, it took us almost 3.5 hours to reach our first destination, the Mount Nebo. Approximately 700 metres above sea level, this elevated ridge is believed to be the burial place of Moses. The summit shows a panoramic view of the Holy Land, River Jordan to the north, Jericho to the west and Jerusalem on a very clear day. I could imagine how far the Israelites walked from Egypt in dire of freedom and in seek of the Promise Land. For a personal note, this place is breathtaking and awesome!
We were in this private trip. For an advise, the more the number, the cheaper the price.
Advantage: You can go on your own pace and drop by places. WiFi is free!
Disadvantage: It is costly! Price is per trip; since we were only two, we had to divide the cost quite higher.
Fifteen minutes away from Mount Nebo, the 2,000-year old Madaba church rise with daily visitors from all around the world. We dropped by it for a while and went on to our next destination.
Nearby this church are plenty of shops. Just note that most of them are closed on Fridays. In case you want currency exchange, do it while you’re at the airport.
Dated 6th century AD, the Madaba Map is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. Part of the map contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem
Next destination was our priority – the Bethany Beyond Jordan. I personally wanted to see the Baptism site. While I first heard it wasn’t safe, the place was positively secured.
The place is surreal. It is like walking on the Bible. It doesn’t look exactly the same as Jesus’ time, but the fact that He had been here gave me chills and tears of joy.
So close! So unbelievable!
After dipping our feet in the cold and relaxing River Jordan (photo not here), we went straight to our last destination for day one – the Dead Sea. This remarkable Sea of Salt is bordered by Jordan with Israel to the East and Palestine to the west. With approx 1,400 ft below sea level, it is considered as the lowest point on Earth. It is 9.6 times salty as the ocean which is too harsh for animals and plants to grow; hence its name.
Of course, we tried the Dead sea mask and floated without any effort. Having open wounds, it was too tingly and prickly! As for the mask, it was left for 10 minutes before we rinsed, leaving our skin amazingly smooth and soft.
That was a blast for a first day!
You might find these details useful when you plan a trip to Jordan:
- I would suggest a customised trip. Since our hotel is in Aqaba (south), travel time killed most of our day. These sites are closer to Amman (the capital). These would have been travelled closer when we stayed in the north.
- Research more about tours. Choose tours that include entrance fees and food. We were quite unlucky to have paid a lot without fees and meals. It stripped us 220 JOD for this day trip alone having fees and meals on additional expense! Too bad but too good for us to have found a cheaper rate on our second day.
Check what we did on Day two!