Jordan: Trip Report
And so commences a short series on my week-long trip to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in September 2011. I’ve been dragging my heels writing this up but I wanted to do it justice. There will be a few parts (one for each day), so just click that box on the right for email updates if you want to keep up!
When I was telling people about this trip, there was only one reaction I got. Why Jordan? It was funny, because you wouldn’t be asked that if you said you were going to New York or Crete or Paris. Jordan is just that little bit out there in a lot of people’s minds. In fact, one or two people confessed they had never heard of the country. I’ve worked in tourism my whole working life so I’ve seen the PR war that’s waged between various countries and attractions. There’s a reason you know about the Roman ruins in Rome but are perhaps less aware of the Roman ruins in countries like Jordan or Israel.
The “why” was simple. I prefer destinations that are not overrun with tourists. There’s nothing wrong with a thriving tourist economy but when it takes over the authenticity of the place is diluted and the locals are understandably jaded. It’s the destination they think the tourists want to see, rather than what it actually is.
Another reason was the surprisingly cheap Dublin–> Amman flight. At the time of booking, it cost about the same as a flight to Rome. I love history and had yet to see some Roman ruins so I was looking for a country that had its fair share. Through my research online, I found that many people consider the ruins in Jordan (particularly Jerash) to be superior to those in Rome. (Perhaps because they’re less restricted and crowded). I also found that Jordan has a great reputation for being inexpensive as regards accommodation, transport and food. Reading about how invested the country is in tourism also comforted me. There is a special branch of “tourist police” for the explicit protection and aiding of tourists in the country. Add to that a desire to see the Middle East and I was sold.
I’ll admit, I nervous about going to a mostly Muslim country. I had never had to abide by modesty codes before. (Not that I’m any great exhibitionist). In my slight panic not to offend any Muslims, I ended up packing a wardrobe that can only be described as a hybrid between “lumberjack” and “fallen fitness instructor”.
Despite the (very slight) nerves about the unknown, I was very excited.
Schedule was as follows:
Day 1: Dublin (via London)–>Amman flight, (overnight in Amman)
Day 2: Madaba, Mount Nebo, Wadi Mujib, Dead Sea (overnight in Amman)
Day 3: Petra (overnight in Wadi Musa)
Day 4: Wadi Rum, Petra (overnight in Wadi Musa)
Day 5: Little Petra (overnight in Amman)
Day 6: Ajloun, Jerash, Al-Husseini Mosque, Downtown Amman (overnight in Amman)
Day 7: Amman–>Dublin flight
Useful information: 1JD (Jordanian Dinar) is about equal to 1e (euro), or was at the time.
Check back for Day 1!