Notes from the Field: Jordan

Notes from the Field: Jordan
June 2018
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Abercrombie & Kent Group Travel Specialist, Lisa Sawers, Sales Manager, Megan Middleton and Marketing Specialist, Mason Crozier just returned from their 8 day journey in Jordan. We asked them some questions regarding their trip.

This was your first time in Jordan, what were you all expecting?

Before our trip to Jordan, we expected a country that is rich in history, with fascinating landscapes and culture. We knew it was a small country, so we were hoping to see as much as possible during the time we had there.

Amman
Jerash

What was your first impression? 

Our first impression was that the locals were very friendly. As A&K offers unique experiences outside normal touring to connect with the locals and enhance the experience - our first morning included a visit to the Women’s Cooperative Society ceramic and pottery workshop in Iraq Al Amir. This was a great opportunity to interact with the local women and learn about the natural dyes and development of their product before we viewed their showroom. The visit culminated in a traditional homemade breakfast in the courtyard. It was delicious and probably started our taste buds love of hummus, spinach parcels, tomato dishes and the use of olive oil, thyme & sesame seeds (sumac) on bread.

Women’s Cooperative Society Ceramic and Pottery Workshop

What wowed you?

The treasury at Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world was the main highlight, and is one of the main reasons people travel to Jordan. The sheer size of Petra itself was larger than we expected, it took us approximately 2 hours to walk through it.

The landscapes of Wadi Rum were unbelievable and it was probably something that surprised us. We really enjoyed our time there.

Spending our last day in Jordan floating in the Dead Sea, was definitely a “wow” moment and a good way to end the trip.

Wadi Rum
Dead Sea

What advice would you give to a prospective traveller?

The main attraction is Petra, but the whole country is rich in history, fascinating landscapes and culture. Due to it being a small country, Jordan is easily covered in 1 week and we recommend combining it with neighbouring countries such as Israel or Egypt. It is also one of the more stable countries in the Middle East and is very safe, easy to get around and the people are friendly. 

Wadi Rum Sunrise

Was there something about the destination that you were not expecting?

Yes, there were many things about the destination that we didn’t expect. We underestimated the sheer size of Petra, we also didn’t expect the secluded and remote nature of Wadi Rum to be as enjoyable as it was – it was one of the highlights of the trip.

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum

Looking back, what type of traveller would be drawn to Jordan?

Jordan suits a vast range of travellers. People who have an interest in history would be drawn to Jordan – in particular, Petra, Amman & Jerash. Historical highlights in these locations include the Amman Citadel, the Roman Ruins of Jerash & the Treasury at Petra. Those after a more relaxing holiday would be drawn to Aqaba and the Dead Sea, where the accommodation is more like a resort. For travellers who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Wadi Rum would be a nice option – a desert that is remote and secluded.

Jerash
Jerash
Aqaba

What were your top Jordanian experiences?

The number one experience in Jordan is Petra. It is one of the main reasons people travel to Jordan and it is one of the ‘new 7 wonders of the world’.  It was an amazing experience, which lasted about 2 hours – walking from the Petra Guest House to the entrance and then through the Siq into the Treasury. We also climbed up to the Monastery, which takes around 30 minutes to get to the top. The Monastery trail is 2.5km and is considered a hard climb with approximately 1,000 steps.

The Treasury at Petra
Petra
Petra

Was there a person you met who transformed your experience?

Yes, we had one of the best guides according to many - Zachariah (Zach) Salameh. He was extremely knowledgeable and was flexible in terms of the itinerary, adding in things that others wanted to see, while still doing all of the main attractions and keeping on time.

Jerash

Did you learn something special or interesting? 

During our time in Petra, we met the son of Marguerite van Geldermalsen, a Western woman who fell in love and married a Bedouin, lived in a cave with no facilities, learned to fetch water by donkey, bake bread daily and started a family with him. He told us her story and about his time in Petra, it was very interesting. The book of her life – Married to a Bedouin, is now published and for sale at his shop.

We also learnt how to cook traditional Jordanian food in a cooking class at Petra Kitchen. It was a great experience, we met people from all over the globe and got to sit down and eat the food afterwards, it was delicious.

Petra
Petra Kitchen

Did you buy something special to bring home?

Megan bought a mosaic placemat from Nebo’s Pearl – a shop full of handmade mosaic artwork, antique furniture and other items. At Nebo’s Pearl, guests have an opportunity to view mosaics being made the traditional way. The workers showed us each step in the process for producing the mosaic, from cutting the stone to polishing the finished artwork, it was incredible.

Nebo’s Pearl

Lisa bought a sand bottle from a shop during our tour of Petra. We got to see the workers create the artwork from scratch right in front of us. There is a great amount of skill required to create these bottles.

Petra


To find out more about A&K in Jordan, click here.

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