It was time for a new country. So me and my sister left for a trip to Jordan (it’s always great to have family members who love travelling as much as you do). However, due to its strict border control, entering and leaving Israel is hard and crossing over land is even harder. There are many stories of visa officers who have a bad day or are annoyed by your face and therefore won’t give you your visa or make it an annoyingly long process (for a clear description of how to cross at the Jordan River Crossing, check this blog .http://uneventenor.com/how-to-get-from-israel-to-amman-via-the-jordan-river-crossing/). Flying feels for me like taking the bus, but visa officers still make me nervous. We were prepared for a lengthy procedure, but you know what happened? Nothing! It took us 30 minutes to cross the border. Border officials jumped from their seats (I’m not kidding), stamped our visa (on an separate piece of paper, Israeli stamps make further trips in the Middle East much harder) and welcomed us to Jordan! (I have to admit that the Israeli side is a bit more stressful with many guns and more muscle flexing. I’m actually writing this blog from a local bus with a soldier next to me who casually laid his gun on my leg when he sat down. Israel is a weird country!) Haha the border crossing back to Israel was a lot of fun for me, yet less for my sister. She had to get a body search and had to go to a special room to give a striptease show. And the best part, at the end they told her that it was just a pilot and they had to practise on someone. I don’t think people generally laugh as hard at borders as I did when I heard that!
Ok, back to our trip in Jordan. Jordan is an amazing country! I would skip Amman, the capital, if you’re short on time. Though I really enjoyed going to a place that tourists almost always skip and the road down south is amazing.
After Amman, there’s only one thing you can do: you go to Petra! Petra is a city built roughly 2500 years ago, yet amazingly well preserved. Because it’s the low season now, there were hardly any other tourists (and to be honest, climbing all these steps is way more comfortable when it’s 25C than the 45C it reaches mid summer). There’s not much to say about it. Just watch the pictures and decide for yourself (more on my facebook/instagram mijke.h).
Petra was amazing, but even more spectacular is Wadi Rum, the desert south of Petra. Most tourists skip this, which is definitely a mistake. Wadi Rum is a desert with both white and red sand which results in amazing colours. And because there were barely any tourists, it felt we had the desert for ourselves.
But, as always, we don’t plan our trips very well, since we like freestyling (I still don’t understand how people know 2 months in advance where they’ll be. I can hardly plan 1 day ahead). This lack of planning resulted in signing up for a meditation camp. Anyone who knows me and my sister will know that that’s not a good match with our personalities. Luckily it was just a name and didn’t involve any meditation, but an amazing tour and many ‘hospitality teas’ (can we please introduce the word ‘gastvrijheidstheetje’ in Dutch?). Though the thought of 2 days of meditation in the desert freaked us out already.
The desert is a place for adventures, and as you all know, I love adventures! So when the tire of our jeep broke off (literally, I’m not kidding), I actually thought it was great fun.
So what do you do in the desert without a car nor guide? Yup, you take the board off the jeep and go sandboarding, try how many people fit on one board and shoot some pretty videos for Jamie’s roadtripvideo. (This will be the start of our acting career I think).
After a few hours, our guide came back with a jeep. Later, after an amazing meal in the camp, we sat around a fire in the cave, watched shooting stars and exchanged travel stories. How often do you sit around a fire in your cave with fellow travellers? Exactly, enough reasons to go to Wadi Rum!
After the dusty desert, we exchanged desert sand in our hair for salty water while snorkeling in the Red Sea near Aqaba. Aqaba is the equivalent of Eilat (Israel), but 10 times prettier. And what’s better than snorkeling in the Red Sea for 2 days, swimming in the swimming pool and just sleeping! Travelling is quite exhausting.