Exploring the Desert
So not too long after my first post, I found myself in the Middle East for the first time in my life. It almost seemed like a dream as I saw signs in Arabic and English pointing the way to the Dead Sea and Iraqi border. I just took in the scene of the rolling hills of Amman. Needless to say, I knocked out pretty quickly that night.
The next day, we started the day bright and early. Still jetlagged from the night before, we took off for our three hour car ride to Petra. Along the way, we saw the vast landscapes of the Jordan as we drove by Ottoman ruins and the occasional wind farm (go renewable energy!). After several naps, we finally made our way to Petra.
It was stunning. I was supposed to come here years ago, but work got in the way. I could not believe my eyes as I now stood in front of this world wonder. Petra was carved straight out of the sandstone from top to bottom and was named the “Rose City” for its rosy color from the sandstone. Made famous by the Indiana Jones movie, there was no shortage of “Indiana Jones whips” for sale at the shopping booths. We made our way through the Siqs to the famous Treasury. I would highly recommend checking out the Mosaic Temple past the Treasury should you have the chance. We walked a quick pace to see it in time, but sadly had to miss the Monastery. Coming back for it next time!
Once we wrapped up Petra, we took off for our next stop: Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum is famous for its movie-set worthy desert red-orange backdrops for the Martian and Rogue One. Its desert sand dunes and sandstone rocks were stunning. Our group hopped into a 4x4 and made our way to our camp inside the Wadi Rum protected areas. We raced through a few dunes, but managed to catch the gorgeous sunset and golden hour!
The evening was followed by a delicious dinner buffet with Zarb. Zarb is a Bedouin dish made chicken, lamb, or goat that is cooked underground in ovens. The Bedouins are historically nomadic Arab people and this was one way of cooking food while moving around the region. It was pretty cool to see people pull dinner out from a pit covered by foil and thick fabric.
To top off an eventful day, our group decided to do some stargazing and guess what…I took my first successful night shots of the milky way!
Well that’s enough for one day, and I’ll be up again in 4 hours to catch the sunrise.
Where was Cynthia (when she originally wrote this)?
About to sleep in a tent in Wadi Rum.
A few travel tips:
- Get some JOD before you get into Jordan if you can because the airport foreign exchange will charge you commission. They look like they’re charging a fair rate…until they add on their 6% commission. In case you can’t, just change enough because there are a number of foreign exchanges and ATMs in Amman.
- It cost 50 JOD to get into Petra and another 50 JOD for a guide (worth it!)
- Go see the Monastery if you can at Petra!
- Definitely go to Wadi Rum if you’re planning to go to Petra. That being said, save at least 36 hours for Petra and Wadi Rum but stay longer if you can.
- Stargazing is pretty darn worth it with @RumSky.Jo