After our not so successful stay staycation we realised that the only thing that’s as good as a holiday, honestly, is a holiday. With limited leave days and no desire to go through the process of getting a visa, we embarked on a search to find a destination that:
- Both of us have not been to before
- Visa free for South Africans
- We can fly to directly from SA or at least not be too far to travel to.
After an extensive search we settled on Jordan, and I must say it did not disappoint. We decided we needed the help of an expert as neither one of us is familiar with the region. So we used a travel agent. We opted for an 8 day tour and this was more than enough for us to get a good appreciation of the country.
First up Amman- we were greeted at the airport by our driver ( who also decided to be our father/DJ/tour guide/body guard/photobomber/ whatever you need/whatever you don’t need/for the week) aka our All in One.We got a run down of what to expect over the next couple of days. We arrived in the morning and decided time is too valuable a resource to waste so as soon as we got to the hotel we freshened up and were out the door.
On the recommendation of the hotel concierge we took it easy and took a taxi to Taj Lifestyle in Abdoun District. We strolled around for a bit and then had a long relaxed lunch. We quickly understood why our driver had threatened to kill the one who doesn’t eat red meat and to the one who doesn’t eat beef : “Okay you- I will only hit you”. Jordanians love their red meat.
The next day we visited a number of sites in the old and new city. Starting with the Blue Mosque, which is right opposite a church (“a testament to the fact that muslims and christians co-exit peacefully in the city” according to our Jack of all trades driver). We then braved the Jordanian sun and visited the citadel. The city views from there are amazing. Our driver suggested we drive around the city rather than walk (just as well because Amman is quite hilly) so that we would still have enough time to visit the Dead Sea.
The lowest point on earth is very salty- you will be told not to let any water get into your mouth. If it does by accident end up in your mouth or in your eye, don’t worry you won’t die. You won’t even get diarrhoea or anything gross. By the time we got to the Dead Sea the sun was still out in full force and we decided to laze around and enjoy some drinks rather than go out into the water immediately. By the time we eventually made it into the water we regretted the time we wasted sitting around. We had so much fun floating around, we really could have gone on for hours. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip and if the opportunity presents itself again I will not hesitate to jump in.
We ended our first full day in Jordan with an amazing dinner at a restaurant called Kan Zaman. The food is amazing and the setting just magical. The only complaint we had was that we didn’t get a chance to freshen up and look less salty after floating around the Dead Sea.