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Country #8: Jordan

April 16, 2011

Jordan has been my favorite country so far which is not too surprising since I have wanted to go there for years.  I was supposed to go for work in 2007, then almost went with my parents in 2009 and we finally made it in 2011! 

Where John baptised Jesus

You have already gotten a pretty good idea about Jordan from our posts on the Dead Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum.  So let’s move on to the things we have not already told you about. 

My parents came to meet us for Jordan and Israel and it was great to have them with us.  We especially had fun with them during our adventures in Jordan!  Their flight got in a few hours earlier than ours so they picked us up in the rental car and we immediately headed down to the Dead Sea.  They brought lots of goodies with them including tons of candy! 

Between the Dead Sea and Petra, we spent the afternoon at Bethany Beyond the Jordan which is where John baptized Jesus.  It was pretty amazing to see such an important place in history.  There was an area set away from the river runs today that they say is exactly where it happened.  The guide even pointed out where he took his robe off and the steps that led down to the water.  As well, there were ruins of several old churches that had been built on the site and new churches are being built all around.   

With the Jordanian police

In a previous post, Steven briefly mentioned us getting lost on our way to Petra and it was certainly an experience.  The road signs are terrible and I’m not sure our map was completely accurate.  Once we realized we were lost, we stopped for some food and directions and then thought we were on the right track.  However, after a while of driving we realized we were lost once again, but at this point it had become dark outside.  We stopped at a local police station and Steven went up to get directions.  A police officer came over to the car where we were waiting and invited us in for tea.  For the next 45 minutes, we all sat in a tiny office with most of the officers and hung out.  After several cups of tea, directions, and of course some photos, we were on our way again.

Camels at the Treasury in Petra

This time we found the turn and took it!  After driving a little ways further, we came to a checkpoint and handed military police all of our passports.  Not exactly sure what they were checking for but I think they may have just been bored.  It had probably been a while since a car had driven through there because we definitely didn’t see any others.  The road seemed fine at first and then it got extremely washed out with rocks and mud everywhere.  Not to mention, it was very curvy and we were going up and down steep hills.  Those of you who know my dad know he tends to drive a little on the fast side…that didn’t change even though we were winding around the mountain in the pitch black night.  For a lot of the drive, we could not see any lights in any direction.  I was sure we were going to have a blowout or drive off a cliff.  Luckily, we didn’t have either and after what seemed like forever (but was probably only an hour); we made it to a town where we got directions to Petra!  I cannot tell you how happy we all were to arrive safely to the hotel that night.               

Favorite food:  Both of our favorite meals were in Wadi Rum.  It was a lunch made by Barakat and dinner at our Bedouin camp in the desert.  (You can read more about that in the Wadi Rum post) 

Mom and Dad at the Treasury

Jen’s favorite experience:  While I have loved everything here, I am going to have to go with Wadi Rum.  It was such a fun and different experience and I am very glad we went.

Steven’s favorite experience: Easily Petra, you can read about it in the previous post.

Places we stayed:  Our first night in Jordan we stayed at the Dead Sea Marriott using my Marriott points and it was awesome…definitely want to go back there.  The pools, restaurants, and beach front were great.  When we showed up in Petra, they had given our room away so they moved us to a different hotel which turned out to probably be for the best.  In Wadi Rum, we slept in a tent in the desert.  That was my favorite night because it was such a unique experience.  Then, after Israel, we came back to Jordan for two nights before flying out.  We stayed at the Golden Tulip since it was the only thing close to the airport.  There was a crazy sandstorm the day we arrived and it blew sand through our window and sounded like the building was going to blow down.  Luckily, there was a room available on the other side of the building that didn’t have dust all over it so we moved there.  It wasn’t our favorite place but it was convenient for getting to the airport.

Touching the water where Jesus was baptised

Overall, Jordan was amazing.  Some people were worried about our safety before we went due to the protests, but we never had a problem and felt extremely safe the whole time.  I highly encourage everyone to go to Jordan!

Jen

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2011 14:18

    Thinking about ya’ll. Thankful things are going well!

  2. Mike Traner permalink
    April 20, 2011 14:24

    FYI, I was driving very slowly and carefully for your benefit.

    Love,

    Dad

  3. Morgan permalink
    April 26, 2011 13:44

    love the pictures. love them. i miss y’all.

  4. Taylor Engel permalink
    April 27, 2011 12:36

    jordan seems like an awesome adventure. it would be the one that i would be most apprehensive about but sounds like it was an amazing experience. i want to sleep in a tent in the desert! love you guys!

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