Jordan Trip Highlights
|One could sense the uncertainty as the group entered Jordan. To be sure, we were uncertain of how we would be treated and of our personal safety. Not only were we pleasantly surprised, we found the people of Jordan to be overflowing in their welcome and hospitality. Furthermore, the Jordanian government provided an armed policeman to escort the group during our visit. Honestly, I feel we would have been safe regardless. Here are some of the highlights of the trip. Simply click on any of the thumbnail photos to see a full-size picture.|
|Traveling with a group pays off particularly in border crossings. Our tour guide, Samir Saleh, took care of everything both entering and exiting the country. While individuals scurried about trying to figure out what to do and wait in lines, we were invited to sit comfortably and read brochures.|
|The first day we went to the
capital of Jordan, Amman. It is a large beautiful city with a mix of
old and new -- feeling much like any European city (but with a Middle
Eastern flair). The accommodations (Golden Tulip) during our stay
were clean, modern and well-run. Indeed, the facilities were some of
the best of the entire trip.
As in Israel, much of the housing takes place on steep hillsides. The pictures to the right illustrate this fairly well. This method of building stems from using the lower areas for farming. In many areas, this is still the case today.
As in any big city, Amman is home to the entire range of the population, from the poorest to the richest. The photo to the right shows one of the incredibly expensive and upscale homes we saw while touring the city.
|Our extension to
Jordan included a trip to Jarash. One may have never heard of
this town, but it contains some of the best Roman ruins I've ever seen.
The Roman theater is in amazingly good shape and is the first place I've
been where the sound amplification actually works. One can
stand in the "center spot" and hear one's voice amplified and carried
through the theater. It was amazing!
Jarash was also our first opportunity to meet some of the local people. The children especially were friendly and outgoing -- both greeting us exuberantly and wanting to have their picture taken by or with us.
|SEE MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEO FROM JARASH|
also lends itself to experiencing the different and unusual.
It's one of the most fun parts of traveling.
To the right, you'll see an Arabic Coke can. While the content tasted the same, you'll note the cans use the original pull ring system. Many of us haven't seen those for years!
Even toilets can be very different. A common toilet found can be seen to the right. Rather than a stool, there are grips for the feet to stand and squat over the hole. Don't worry, standard western style toilets are available in most places as well. I didn't attempt using these, afraid my balance might not be so good!
Our trip also brought us within an hour or so of the Iraqi border. Here you can see me standing next to road sign showing the turn off for Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
BALANCE IS KEY!
CLOSE TO IRAQ
|One of the special stops
in Jordan was to Mt. Nebo. This is the spot where Moses led
the exodus to enter Israel. Although it was a hazy day, we could
see the Dead Sea and barely make out Jericho. I wished for a
Later that day, we went to a nearby church with tile maps in the floor that were so accurate, they helped archeologists find ancient ruins!
|SEE MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEO OF MT. NEBO AND ST. GEORGE TILE MAP!|
one of the most spectacular sites in Jordan is Petra. Many
people are familiar with with the "building carved from stone" from
the Indiana Jones series of movies. To see it in real
life is awesome. It's referred to as "The Treasury",
but it may also have been a tomb (as is the case many other carved
areas in the site).
Even the trip down into the area is beautiful. Both the natural and carved areas of stone work and cliffs rival the awe-inspiring views of such places as the Grand Canyon in the United States or the Highlands of Scotland.
One of the most fun things we did while in Petra was riding the camels up from the bottom of the site to the "Treasury". Rather than the common "sit on a camel" photo opportunity, we actually rode the camels for several kilometers.
If you view the videos to the right, you'll also hear a brief segment of one of the Bedouin camel owners singing as we made our way back up the trail.
|CAMEL RIDE VIDEO|
|BEDOUIN SONG VIDEO|
|SEE ALL THE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS FROM PETRA!|
day in Jordan took us from Petra, north toward the Dead Sea.
On part of the drive, we traveled through hills and small towns,
and got the chance to see some ruins of Crusader castles.
As we approached the Dead Sea, the cliffs and mountains were again spectacular. The Jordan side of the Dead sea is a rougher, more natural coastline, and provided us with some wonderful views as well.
WHAT A VIEW!
DEAD SEA (JORDAN)
Copyright (c) 2004, Keith Turbyfill. All Rights Reserved.