What about Jordan?

I am just back from a trip around Morocco and some of the countries which used to be part of the Persian Empire at some stage in the past – Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Georgia, Armenia.

For information I used Lonely Planet: Morocco; Middle East; Georgia, Armenia, & Azerbaijan. These three books. I uploaded the electronic version to Google Play Books and saved the weight of real books. They served their purpose pretty well. I bought them when on special, which LP does quite often. Otherwise I read some blogs and online forums for more up to date information.

For each country I’ll be writing of one good and one bad experience. And then include some hints and a few photos of the country.

I think my guide-book described Jordan as “Middle East Lite”. You get the Biblical and Islamic sites, but without the political problems and implications, or indeed the danger, of a visit to many of the other countries in the region. Alcohol is freely available. So are shishas. English seemed widely understood, people are honest and friendly.

What was bad? Well, it was kind of expensive compared to other countries in the area, but alcohol was very expensive, even though, compared to some countries, it is actually available.  500ml beer cost USD$5 or more.

And the good? Well, it was magic to stand where Moses stood for his first view of the promised land. Mind you, it’s barren, dry and hard to scratch a living from. The many other sites and places I saw, the landscapes just as I imagined from when I was a child, the food… They were good. But seeing the view from Mt. Nebo as Moses had done was magic.

Not many hints to give. I based myself in Madaba rather than Amman as it’s a comfortable small town and a bit closer to many of the sites you’ll probably want to visit, while the town itself also has many things of interest. You can go there directly from the airport without passing through Amman, the airport being between Amman and Madaba.

I organised taxis through the hotel and so had no problems with taxis cheating me. A hotel will often also arrange airport pickup for you. If you do this you won’t need a SIM until in town, where it may be cheaper than the airport.

Some photos:

there’s shisha

there’s beer and wine

there’s statues

and lovely Christian churches

inside one

St. George at work

another church

and another beautiful interior

and another beautiful interior

local restaurant

dinner

sunrise over Madaba

one of the historic sites in Madaba

Madaba has many mosaics

Madaba has many mosaics

local transport to Amman

local transport to Amman

olive groves on the way to Amman

Amman

how else would you tow a cart?

in the centre of Amman

from the citadel on the hill

in the town centre – taken from the citadel

citadel ruins

citadel ruins

and there are mosques

Amman

interesting building

In the market in central Amman

Church at Mt. Nebo

looking east

the view of the promised land that Moses saw

it seems not much has changed for some in the last few thousand years

where Jesus was baptised

where Jesus was baptised

across the Jordan River looking at Palestine – people are getting baptised

a church celebrating the baptism of Jesus

a church celebrating the baptism of Jesus

goat herding

at the Dead Sea

at the Dead Sea

at the Dead Sea

so dry

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