A weekend in Jordan

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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A weekend to discover Jordan, from Aqaba to Petra and the Wadi Rum desert

1 day

At the end of February, thanks to Ryanair's new direct low cost flights from Rome, Alessandro and I flew to the south of Jordan, to Aqaba.

In just three hours of flight you arrive in the heart of the Middle East, in a hospitable country with so many wonders to see. As soon as you arrive in the tiny Aqaba airport, the sun is shining high and the temperature? pleasantly mild.

We settle in our hotel in the center and explore this city? that is opening up a lot to tourism, in the main street there are numerous restaurants and cafes, while in the old area the bazaar? interesting and authentic. Aqaba also overlooks the Red Sea, but the best of it from far from the city? in the Tala Bay area, where the water? crystal clear and rich marine life. Can you take half-day boat trips to snorkel or dive the city? ? full of diving and agencies that sell tourist packages of all kinds.

2 day

The following day we leave for the Wadi Rum desert, one of the most? beautiful in the world, also famous for the historical figure of Lawrence D'Arabia. At the visitor center you leave the cars to continue by Jeep, the tours lead to the most? beautiful, between sand dunes, rocky mountains and natural arches, this place? been chosen more? times as a location for films set on Mars, why? remember this planet and its morphology.

After a nice ride we enjoy the sunset, with the sun disappearing between the mountains and the temperature that becomes more? fresh we reach our tented camp.
We have chosen a traditional place, which recalls the classic Bedouin tents, but c '? a new fashion that is gaining ground, the Martian Domes, or bubble-shaped curtains that recall the Martian installations that are seen in Hollywood films.

Sleeping in the desert? a unique experience, the night sky lights up and c '? also the possibility? to visit an astronomical observation center (Wadi Rum Sky) where the stars seem more? closer than ever.

3 day

After a good night of rest we leave the desert for an illustrious destination: Petra.
The mysterious city? built by the Nabataeans, carved into the red rock and hidden for a long time.

Petra? a place that does not leave indifferent, from the visitor center after buying the ticket you go directly to the long gorge that leads to the central area, Al Siq? a corridor of about 1,2 km with rocky walls on both sides, along the path there are numerous archaeological finds, such as ancient water aqueducts along the sides and small niches are carved into the rock, which symbolize the deities.

Approaching the end of the Siq, from the opening of the rock you can glimpse the Treasury in all its magnificence.

The treasure ? It was built as a mausoleum, but one legend tells that it contained numerous riches, naturally never found.

Continuing there is an amphitheater and a colonnaded street, memories of the period in which Petra was annexed to the Roman Empire, the Royal Tombs and numerous trails where you can discover the numerous places of this archaeological site.

One of the most? long ? the one to get to the Monastery, also a huge Mausoleum that boasts over 800 steps to be reached.

On the site there are numerous dogs, many are well kept and have a master others are very thin and hungry, if you like animals bring bread or crunches with you, these furry dogs will be happy.

Our day visit? was wonderful, though? we decided to see this wonder even at night, cos? we participated in Petra By Night, a night excursion along the Siq to the Treasury.

Thanks to the advice of our guide we leave last, remaining practically alone in the canyon lit only by candles and stars,? an exciting and special moment

Once at the Treasury there are hundreds of candles, and they create an almost surreal atmosphere together with the background music

At the end of the show the facade is illuminated by colored lights, in that precise moment we greet Petra with great emotion.

4 day

We return to Aqaba to resume the flight home, but if you have one more day? you can take the opportunity to see the Dead Sea, another natural wonder present in this country.

We stay for the last evening in one of the many seaside resorts (Movenpick) and enjoy the last hours
in this country between sea and sunbathing.

Jordan? a hospitable place rich in nature, culture and history, we make a promise, that of returning to discover more ... to the north.

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