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Journey Through Jordan

My own personal travel style has historically leaned towards all-inclusive resorts and cruising for their ease and convenience.  But there is something special about creating a custom vacation itinerary that is tailored to what I like to see and do on my own timeline.  And it doesn’t have to be hard or inconvenient when you have a travel advisor (like me) to help you create a vacation itinerary filled with unique experiences based on your travel interests.

I have teased in my regular emails and on social media that I was working on something special behind the scenes.  And I am excited to be sharing that something today.  I had the privilege to visit Jordan recently on a travel advisor familiarization tour.  In addition to experiencing a place that has long been on my bucket list, I met with Jordanian colleagues about creating custom itineraries for my clients and gained firsthand knowledge as I traveled through this magical country.

Jordan is often added on to an Israel vacation or Egyptian vacation.  But Jordan can stand on its own as a vacation destination.  There is something for every kind of traveler to experience.  Just a few things I experienced and am excited to share include the quintessential trip to Petra, stargazing in the Wadi Rum desert, and floating in the Dead Sea.

Over the next few posts, let me take you on a photo tour of Jordan. While photos don’t do justice to its beauty, it will give you a small taste of what you could experience for yourself in Jordan.

First Stop: Amman
We begin our photo tour in Amman, the capital city of Jordan.  The capital city is home to the country’s king and government and is the commercial and tourism hub for the country.

Though the country is about 95% Muslim, the city is also referenced and known to Christians as the home to the Ammonites and the city that was conquered by King David.  Despite David’s son, Solomon, having an Ammonite wife, the Ammonite population continued to decline.  The city has had a few different, but notable conquerors throughout its history including Alexander the Great, Egypt’s King Philadelphus, Arab General Yazīd ibn Abī Sufyān, and Ottoman Turks.

Some of the most visited sites left in Amman are from the Romans’ rule that began around 63BC.  These include the Amman Citadel that houses remains from the Temple of Hercules and the Roman Theater.  It is quite fascinating to see the ruins among the newer city buildings especially knowing that the city has been destroyed several times from earthquakes throughout its history.

Our time in Amman began with being warmly welcomed in Amman by our VIP greeter at the airport and then again by our private guide, Ahmad, once we were settled in our hotel.  And then we kicked off our time with our fellow travelers and Ahmad at a welcome dinner where we ate well on local cuisine like hummus, fukharat, and mutabbal, which deserves a post on its own soon.

Amman Citadel
Our first full day had us wandering through important ruins throughout Amman.  We started with the Amman Citadel to see remains of the Temple of Hercules and Byzantine church ruins and to learn of its history.  This Citadel is believed to be one of the world’s oldest places of continual inhabitants.  It was built and designed so that you can imagine small souks, or shops, lined up as many entered the main building that is known as Umayyad Palace.  Some believe it was a monumental gateway that led to the Umayyad mosque.  We topped off our Citadel visit with a stop in the Jordan Archaeological Museum.

Roman Theater
We also spent a little time visiting the Roman Theater located in the heart of the city.  It is estimated to have been built around 100AD in honor of Emperor Antonisus Pius.  This theater can hold about 6,000 spectators and is still used today for festivals and fairs.  The theater is designed in a smart way so that seats face north and the steepness of the cavea, or sections, allows for actors or singers to be clearly heard.  In fact, there is one spot between the stage and seats that marks where you can stand and speak in your normal voice but project to the entire stadium.

King Abdullah I Mosque
One afternoon was spent visiting the King Abdullah I Mosque and local souk shops.  After being dressed appropriately out of respect to mosque etiquette and removing our shoes, we were welcomed into the main prayer room to admire the attention to detail to see where the Imam, or preacher, leads prayer.  This particular prayer room can hold about 3,000 guests at one time and is a notable part of the skyline with it beautiful blue dome. 

Souk Shops
We finished out our day wandering through the local souk shops.  We found beautiful dresses and scarves and shopped for spices, nuts, and fresh fruit.  Their market set up is designed similar to a bazaar setting so that you can find your preferred fruit vendor or favorite dress maker.  And there are even many custom tailors with material for hijabs and dresses throughout the shops.

Whew, what a start to our time in Jordan.  It was a wonderful first full day that included great food, fun shopping and unbelievable ruins.

Stay tuned for part 2 where we visit Jerash which is know for its Roman ruins, Madaba and Mount Nebo. 

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Dell Adventures Travel Agency
PO Box 3651, Grapevine, TX 76051

817-291-7841

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