This week Rachael takes us on her journey through amazing Jordan.
Upon arrival in Jordan, I could sense that this adventure was going to be one to remember. Amman, a vibrant buzzing city full of energy with an abundance of dining options is worth spending a day or two. But it is the spectacular deserts that left me with the most memorable experiences.
After a night in Amman we set off to explore Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon). As my husband Paddy and I entered the protected desert site we are immediately blown away by its natural beauty. Over the next two days we explored many spectacular landscapes that are thousands of years old. Once at the bottom of the ocean, these gargantuan rock formations are older than the Dead Sea Rift and is where The Martian starring Matt Damon was filmed.
We hiked the desert, exploring many of these weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations where traces of ancient civilisations can be seen throughout the area. We spent two nights in a camp with our Bedouin hosts, enjoying traditional earthen dinners and sleeping under camelhair tents, an unforgettable experience.
We spent two days hiking through the World Heritage site Petra, an ancient city that is believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC and remained unknown to the Western world until 1812. From the moment we began walking down the 1.5km narrow path known as the Siq Canyon, my heart rate increased as this has been my dream forever.
We walked through huge towers of rock whilst our guide explained the fascinating history, from how they delivered water to how the tombs were built. The corridor lead to the 40m tall intricately carved entrance of the spectacular Treasury.
We wandered along paths where Bedouin traders are still living in caves, the amphitheatre and luxurious spas. We learnt about the armies and traders that made their way down here in ancient times. We climbed the mountain stairway to the stunning Monastery which was, to my surprise, as impressive as the Treasury.
We travelled the Kings Highway to the historic crusader castle of Kerak, which stands commandingly on a cliff, and learnt about the 12th century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies. We then swam, or should I say ‘floated’, in the unusual phenomenon of the Dead Sea.
Our journey ended with a visit to Jerash, once one of the grandest ancient Roman cities in the world with its striking archways, theatres, public fountains, grand ionic columns, colonnaded streets. Amazing Jordan!
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