No time like the present! Beautiful Jordan

| November 7, 2012

Cox & Kings client Susan Rutherford shares with us why now is a good time to visit Jordan and the highlights of her recent trip.

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We drooled over beautiful mansions in Amman; were amazed by the extent of the American and Saudi embassies; debated the merits of constitutional monarchy with a guide at Jerash who had played on the ruins as a child; compared the price of Scotch whisky with another guide at Petra; marvelled at the size and length of the pipes being put in place to carry much needed water from Wadi Mujib to Amman and were horrified by the families from Amman picnicking at the side of the very busy Dead Sea dual carriageway on a Friday afternoon.

None of these specifically featured in the itinerary for our nine-day private tour in Jordan, but all added to a memorable holiday. Many thought we were foolhardy venturing to the Middle East in these uncertain times, but Jordan, while surrounded by troubled countries, is itself safe and the large reduction in tourist numbers means quieter sites and very welcoming Jordanians.

To many, Jordan is Petra. No matter that we have seen many breathtaking ancient sites, that first glimpse of the treasury from the Siq with the sun shining on it was awe inspiring. However, it was the extent of Petra – and we were glad we had two whole days – that impressed and stayed with us afterwards.  Climbing to the Monastery and the High Place of Sacrifice was hard work, but more than worth it. We rewarded ourselves with mint tea prepared by the Bedouin cafe owners and a refreshing glass of lemon mint juice, then savoured the moment before taking a deep breath and tackling the descent.

Jerash was equally amazing – the ruts from chariot wheels visible in the colonnaded street and the granite columns transported all the way from Aswan alongside the theatre with perfect acoustics. We asked ourselves, yet again, have we progressed at all?

Our climbing at Petra and Jerash was fuelled by local bread dipped in local olive oil, pickled vegetables, hummus, meze of all sorts, barbecued meats and sweet treats like harissa, an almond cake soaked in lemon syrup – but we were glad too that we had opted to complete our holiday by relaxing for a couple of days at the Dead Sea. There, we enjoyed beautiful sunsets, the odd sensation of floating in the salt water and dined under the stars while gazing across to the lights of Jerusalem and pondering our next foray…

View Cox & Kings’ holidays to Jordan.

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