Jordan – a dry desolate desert? I wouldn’t blame you for your misconception. Isn’t that in a troubled Middle East war zone? I wouldn’t blame you for that wrong idea either… I myself ventured off with a little band of (more) adventurous travel agents wondering what I’d find.
Tales of the mysterious Pink City of Petra overcame my anxieties, and my excitement as I boarded Royal Jordan Airlines at Heathrow left no room for any other feelings!
Hey! I’m a travel agent – this is what I do, push the boundaries and travel! All so that my clients can do the same!
First of all, Jordan is safe – its borders with Syria and Iraq probably send mixed messages but Jordan actually borders seven countries – Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and of course Egypt.

Right in the middle of Jordan (North to South) is the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is the lowest places on dry land in the world. Salty and full of minerals, it’s impossible to swim here – you just float, read a newspaper, whilst floating, and enjoy!
’s a surreal place – quiet and beautiful. One or two hotels have set up on its shores offering some unique spas and treatments – but the best treatment of all is just to cover yourself in mud on the sea shore and then bake in the morning sun until the mud dries! Then off out to float in the sea while it all washes away! Lovely! And so natural.

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Within easy reach of the Dead Sea are some famous sights. You don’t have to be a hard and fast Christian to appreciate Mount Nebo where God showed Moses the Promised Land – Mount Nebo is also the resting place of Moses and the church at the top of the Mount has uncovered some beautiful mosaics. The painstaking and intricate task of restoration is in full force. Our guide explained the mosaics and the stories depicted there, revealing dates and maps from many many years ago, it was fascinating.
Travelling further south through Jordan is Petra. Possibly the most famous of all Jordan’s treasures. The Pink City…
The wonderment of your first sight of the dazzling Treasury Building through the narrow slit in the rocks of the siq is one of “those” moments in your life. A moment that will last you your lifetime. This lost city has stood the test of time and modern day architects shake their heads at its impossible construction … all around are tombs, sacrificial places an amphitheatre, and signs and symbols carved in the rock.

But the mystery remains – what was Petra all about?

Today, there are still people living in Petra’s Pink City – Bedouins who live simple lives, selling trinkets to tourists and living in the rock caves all around. With a couple of donkeys and the canvas of Petra’s sunsets and sunrises, they are happy and friendly. We were forewarned to take pens and sweets for the children, who swamped us as we walked the stony dusty paths.
On our way then to Aqaba and the Red Sea, we had a brief stop at Wadi Rum. For this we transferred to 4 wheel-drive jeeps and travelled in convoy. Wandering the dry Wadi were camels, slowly and silently grazing, and in the foreground… a high red sand dune, and up in the sky? A beautiful setting sun!

Very soon we saw the blue ocean and our final hotel – in all its dazzling beauty… the Movenpick! Lagoon pools, waterfalls, outdoor eating under the stars, and comfortable air conditioning – a far far cry from the desert! But very welcome and welcoming!
Across the water is Israel and the resort of Eilaat – we are just 20 minutes from the Egyptian border and behind us are the mountains of Saudi. But we enjoyed Aqaba’s peace and safety, the little town of holiday makers, restaurants bars and shops and the serious scuba divers and snorkelers loving the clear waters, fish and coral of the Red Sea … yes, it’s another Jewel of Jordan!

If you’d like to know more email me: charmaine@hallmarktravel.com 

Meet me in the gallery?