jordan lpart 2l.

IMG_2816

on wednesday i shared with you guys the first couple days of my trip to jordan.  today i’m going to fill you on my stops in wadi musa, petra and wadi rum.

on our drive from the dead sea to wadi musa, we stopped at the baptism site of jesus christ.  we spent a couple hours on a walking tour where we took in the actual place jesus was baptized and put our feet in the river jordan.  even though i’m not particularly religious, being at the site really was something spectacular.  and i know it meant a lot to my mom to be able to be somewhere with such a biblical history!

after this short stop, we continued on.  we arrived in wadi musa during the evening and checked into our hotel (petra guest house) that was actually inside the gates of petra.  after a quick dinner (i couldn’t help put choose pizza), we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

after waking up early and getting some breakfast, we set out for our tour around petra.  for those of you who don’t know, petra is one of jordan’s biggest tourist attractions.  this prehistoric jordanian city was “lost” to the western world for hundreds of years and it wasn’t until the early 1800s when a european traveler disguised himself in bedouin costume and infiltrated the mysterious locale.  in 2007, petra it was actually named one of the new seven wonders of the world.  (fun fact: it was also where some of indiana jones was filmed).

alright, enough with the history lesson.  after entering the gates of petra, my mom and i decided to pay a little extra for an hour long horseback ride up the back side of petra.  i’m not going to lie, although the horseback ride provided us with the most breathtaking views, riding up the side of a rock mountain feeling like you could slip off the ledge as any minute, was a little terrifying.  needless to say, we had two amazingly knowledgeable guides who made this jaunt under the blazing sun worth it.

after reaching the peak of the mountain we hopped off out horses and walked to the base of petra to take in the rest of the sights.

we took a couple hours to do the tour of petra (although it’s recommended to take a whole day), headed back to the hotel, drank about 10 bottles of water, and cooled off before meeting mr. ibrahim to start our drive to wadi rum.

we drove a couple hours, while enjoying the beautiful scenery, and finally made it to wadi rum.  wadi rum is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern jordan.  it is also the largest wadi in all of jordan.  in wadi rum we were fortunate enough to take a 4×4 jeep tour around the dessert, where we saw amazing sights, beautiful wildlife, and a plethora of bedouins.

and then we camped outside for the night.  now, i knew this was the plan all along, but it wasn’t until we arrived at the camp that i realized what this meant.  i’m not the most outdoorsy person (and have a slight phobia of anything that even resembles a bug), so sleeping in a bedouin-style camp was a bit of an adventure.
**i’m not sure how this happened, but i have no photographic proof that i actually slept in the desert, but i promise it did go down!**

we woke up pretty early the next morning and started our long drive back to the airport and on to our next stop: oman.

i have to say, jordan was tremendously different than i expected, but in a great way.  i love being able to travel somewhere where the culture is nothing like back at home and that is exactly what this middle eastern country provided.  i feel like i learned so much and found such an appreciation for a different lifestyle while taking in all the sights and cities of jordan.

although i was sad to leave after such a short, whirlwind visit, the good news was, that after 4 long days, my backpack arrived at the airport.  i could not have been more happy to finally pick up my bag and have some wonderfully clean clothes to change into for the rest of the trip!

IMG_2792
^^where jesus was baptized.

IMG_2797 IMG_2803 ^^soaking my feet in the river jordan. 

IMG_2836
^
^the petra guest house hotel.

IMG_2834
^
^delicious pizza in wadi musa.

IMG_2861
^
^on our way to the top of petra w/ my pregnant horse.

IMG_2890 IMG_2896 IMG_2905
^
^my mom walking through the hot, hot desert.

IMG_2916
^
^hanging out with a bedouin & his camels.

2014-05-22 12.11.25
^^wadi rum at sunset.

2014-05-22 12.36.53
^
^mr. ibrahim wrote out my name in arabic.

 

jordan lpart 1l.

IMG_2730

when my mom and i decided to head to jordan, i really didn’t have any idea of what it would be like.  since i was busy planning the second leg of my trip to asia, my mom took on the task of organizing our trip to the middle east.  besides looking at the itinerary i was sent, i did very little to prepare myself for what i would experience in jordan.  in a sense, though, the fact that i had no preconceived notions about the country, made it that much more exciting to experience everything.

i will get to what exactly we did in jordan, but first, i’ve got to share with you my first misadventure of the trip.  after 3 long flights and 24 hours of flying, i finally arrived in amman, jordan.  i patiently waited at the luggage carousel for my backpack…the problem was that my bag never came.  normally having no bag would be more of an annoyance than anything else, but when that bag has everything you need for the next 5 weeks, it becomes a scary thought to think that it is lost somewhere.  so, i spent the next hour trying to track down my bag.  but, going on next to no sleep, while dealing with a language barrier, the bag tracking down task was no easy feat. thankfully, i was eventually able to put in a claim for my bag and hope it would be found sooner rather than later.

anywayssssss, we can get back to the bag talk later.

my mom was lucky enough to hire an amazing driver (mr. ibrahim) for the 4 days we were in jordan.  since he lives in the capital of jordan (amman), we started off our time with a great tour of the city.  we stopped off at an old castle that overlooked the whole city.  i remember sitting at the top of a hill and thinking how vastly different the sights and culture is than here in canada.

mr. ibrahim was also nice enough to invite my mom and i to his house to meet his wife and enjoy a true jordanian tea and dinner.

after spending a couple hours in amman (and eating some amazing authentic food), we took a drive to the dead sea.  we stayed at the crowne plaza resort and spa and let me tell you, this place did not disappoint.  this was an amazing place to spend our first night in jordan.  we woke up early and spent some time lounging (or shall i say floating) in the dead sea, followed by a mud bath.  i’m not really sure what i thought the dead sea would be like…but i never imagined it would be as breathtaking as it was.  we spent the rest of the morning soaking in the sun by the 3-tiered pool before heading out to our next destination.

next stop…petra and wadi rum.

IMG_2728
^^hanging out at an old castle.

IMG_2733
^^beautiful views in amman.

IMG_2738
^^beautiful wooden ceiling inside an old building in amman.

IMG_2745
^^an old coliseum. 

IMG_2748
^
^a beautiful mosque (seen right before a soccer ball was kicked at me by a small child).

IMG_2751
^^i so badly wish i knew what this dessert was called or made of.  all i know is that it was AMAZING!  and i want more.

IMG_2758
^^hands down the best tea i’ve ever hand.  the fresh mint…mmmmm.

IMG_2760
^^dinner at mr. ibrahim’s.  homemade hummus and falafels.  

2014-05-20 14.25.05

IMG_2762
^^crowne plaza…simply breathtaking.

IMG_2768
IMG_2775^^enjoying my early morning float in the dead sea.

oh hey, toronto.

12 flights, 3 countries, and 9 crazy days later, i’m back!

as i mentioned here and here, i was ever so excited to be embarking on a 5 week journey on the other side of the world.  well, like a lot of things, this trip didn’t quite go as planned.

a couple days prior to leaving for my trip, i had to do some last minute re-arranging due to visa issues and would be spending 5 days in bangkok before heading off to cambodia.  well, pretty much as soon as i arrived in jordan, i got word that martial law had been declared in thailand.  and as the week progressed, so did the events in thailand.  more protests and demonstrations continued, and then the curfew was imposed on bangkok.

even though i had been dreaming of visiting thailand for years, heading to thailand by myself just didn’t seem like the safest idea.  so, instead of gallivanting across the world, here i am, back in toronto.  although i’m disappointed that i did not get to see what south east asia has to offer, i still had an amazing week in the middle east with my mom.

i’m slowly easing my way out of this jet lag fog and back to my normal life.  over the next week, i can’t wait to share all the adventures (and misadventures) that i experienced in jordan and oman.

thailand, it was unfortunate timing, but i’ll be seeing you eventually.