Archive for August, 2007
Just uphill of the monastery begin a series of signs enticing visitors to the two viewpoints boasting certain advantages over the other. At first, the two trails seem to be heading in separate directions, leaving visitors a dilemna and feeling as if they have to make a decision based on the strength and veracity of the competing claims.
In the card game of international tourism, Jordan wasn’t dealt too many cards, but it did pick up a few aces. First, there was the surprise of the Dead Sea, later it was our desert experience at Wadi Rum, but the trump card in the middle, the absolute Joker, was Petra.
Handing on your hand-me-down Lonely Planet is always a moment to be treasured. So, after seeing us through Turkey, Syria and Jordan, we gave our Book to two happy-go-lucky scuba divers from South Africa. The official handover ceremony was conducted in the Aqaba International Ferry Passenger Terminal. Johan and Mauritza, good luck!
Weird. We met some people in the Jordanian desert that are Canadian travel dopplegangers of us.
Seriously. Of the catalogue of similarities:
Jerome and Caroline started their trip in Europe, came through Turkey, Syria and Jordan (so did we)
They’re now in Egypt and are en route to India with a stopover in the Gulf […]
We swam at Amman Beach “Number One”, a newish compound to the south of the Dead Sea’s megahotel complexes with some chlorinated water swimming pools to cool off in after swimming in the very warmish Dead Sea. Here there were the obligatory range of beauty products available featuring minerals from the Dead Sea. Personally, I am dubious about the health benefits offered by a body of water which operates as an ancient terminating drain, 400 metres below sea level, fed by the Jordan River in which all manner of dissolved solids have accumulated over time as the water evaporates away in the harsh heat.
To afford these guilty pleasures, we stayed at the Sydney Hostel, where the adequate double room was a meagre 15JD a night. Reasonably close to downtown, this sleepy place wasn’t going to win any prizes but it was definitely cleaner and more amenable than the LP-recommended Cliff Hostel, which we checked into and quickly left after the communal showering facilities did not pass the P-test.
Days 48-54: Crossing over from Turkey into Syria there one immediately noticeable change - it was our first experience on this trip of a country using arabic rather than roman lettering and so a notch higher on the “degree of difficulty” scale. But, with a quick rip through the Arabic numerals, I was ready to […]
Central to the main drag of Antakya, this was a one-night-only affair as we were on our way to Aleppo in Syria the following day. Our room enjoyed mosque views. Breakfast was extremely basic.