A couple of months ago I received an unexpected email from the fine people at the Jordan Tourism Board. They asked several travel bloggers to visit Jordan at various times to experience the country and share it with the world. Lucky for me they asked me to participate. On Friday, May 20th I will be boarding a 9:45 PM Royal Jordanian flight to Amman to begin my exploration of the ancient and beautiful country of Jordan.
I will be posting daily photo highlights during the trip, as access to wifi allows, and sharing first impressions with everyone via LandLopers.com, Twitter and Facebook. My itinerary is below and I hope you all will join me on this exciting adventure.
Day 1 – Amman and the Desert Castles
I arrive late in the day on Saturday, so Sunday will be my first day of adventure. I begin the day by driving out to the mysterious desert castles. Found in the black basalt desert east of Amman, these ancient fortresses are a testament to the might of the early Umayyads. After exploring the fortresses, I will then drive back to Amman for some urban sightseeing around the capital city.
Day 2 – Dana and Petra
The Dana Nature Reserve is the largest in Jordan and features amazingly diverse ecosystems in addition to archeological wonders. I’ll spend the first part of the day exploring the area on foot, the best way to experience it. Afterwards, I will continue on to Petra, where my first look at this Wonder of the World will be at night.
Day 3 – Petra and Wadi Rum
After spending the night near Petra, I will visit this iconic site in the morning before continuing on to Wadi Rum. Made famous in Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Wadi Rum is a series of striking desert valleys that offer a look into the ‘real’ desert of Jordan. I will spend the night there for a once in a lifetime desert experience.
Day 4 – Aqaba and the Red Sea
Part resort and part urban oasis, Aqaba is one of the most important cities in Jordan. I begin the day by snorkeling in the Red Sea, hopefully marveling at its famous underwater sights. After some beach time, I will then set out to explore the city of Aqaba itself.
Day 5 – Kerak, Madaba, Nebo and Ma’In
Kerak was a special request I made so that I could explore the famous Crusader castles found there. I then travel on to Madaba, home of the famous mosaic map and Mt. Nebo, where Moses espied the Promised Land.
Day 6 – Jerash and the Dead Sea
After spending the evening in Ma’In, I will then visit the Roman city of Jerash and hopefully get some views of the Sea of Galilee in the distance. Then it’s on to the Dead Sea for some relaxation, mud therapy and of course floating.
Day 7 – Dead Sea and Bethany-Beyond-The-Jordan
On my last full day in Jordan, I will spend more time exploring the Dead Sea area, hiking along the trails near the natural wonder. Then I travel on to the site where John the Baptist spread the Word, where Jesus was baptized and the original apostles met. Bethany-Beyond-The-Jordan is one of the most important sites in the development of the Christian faith.
The next day I fly back home, undoubtedly tired but full of great travel memories. I hope you’ll follow along as I visit Jordan and please let me know if there’s anything you want to know about or think I should do!