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Customized Luxury Trip Report-Jordan

Day 13. We start our day on a sad note. We are leaving Egypt. Everything we thought and more. Now on to Jordan. As discussed we had a change in plans and are taking the fast ferry out of Taba. The only thing is we have to leave at 4:00am. No problem box breakfast prepared by the Marriott. We highly recommend the hotel. Staff is great, rooms are more than good. Ana visited Taba over 10 years ago so she is interested to see how it has changed. Ahmed’s representative is on top of everything. He handles paperwork and luggage. We are first to board. Porter handles our luggage. All five pieces. Coffee from the ship and our box breakfast and we are off. After all of the issues I have heard we encountered none of them. We landed in Aqaba and our Jordan guide Raed meets us. Raed suggests a light meal. Local restaurant hummus and other various dishes were served. Great mint tea. Of course the bread was to die for. We exchange some money drive around Aqaba and we are off to our hotel in the Dead Sea. The drive was out of this world. Israel is on one side Jordan on the other. Raed is filling us with history, pointing out sites, educating us about current life in Jordan, and explaining what to expect on our visit in Jordan. Military checkpoints along the way provide you with the feeling of security. We arrive at the Marriott rest and have an enjoyable dinner. Oh yes, we decided to have another set of massages. We know we can sleep easy after our text messages from Ahmed making sure everything is ok.

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Day 14. What a day. We start at the Baptism site. Ana wishes to be baptized again. Arrangements are made and the pictures we have say it all. Her gown is now securely sealed for a live time of memories. In my rush and exhaustion I left my phone charger in the hotel at St Catherine’s. Raed to the rescue. He contacts his office and finds an electronics store that sells Apple iPods. Same charging unit as the iPhone and luck be with us they do have them and the phone is now recharging in his car. We are now off to Jeresh. First lunch. Buffet restaurant located on the Jeresh complex. We highly recommend it. The food kept on coming. Ana and I have visited Rome, Italy, Athens and Greece, so we have seen some ruins but these were every bit as impressive. Raed had hired a guide at Jeresh for us whose family came from Russia. He was a walking internet of information. For every question I asked he provided not just the answer but a whole new story. On the way back we stop for some Dead Sea products for gifts and a good night’s sleep.

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Day 15. We start our morning with a swim in the Dead Sea and then we check out and are met by Raed and off to Wadi Rum. The drive was interesting in that we ran into a lot of rain and was concerned it would hamper our day. The gods were with us and the rain stopped. We were impressed with the amount of new construction by the government. Our 4x4 secured with a Bedouin guide and we are off. This is another place where no matter what you have heard or the pictures you have seen it does not do it justice to the splendor of the land. Our guide demonstrates his driving ability by flying in the air on several occasions. He then made us Black Tea as we watched the sun set. It started to rain slightly. Priceless. If you have any doubts about going don’t. You will regret it. We stayed for dinner at one of the camps. Food cooked in the ground, great service, good conversation, and entertainment what more can you ask for. Finally our day ends with checking into the Marriott at Petra. Both Ana and I want to come back for more.

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Day 16. We are off to Petra. How did they do it? Our guide for Petra is a Bedouin who educated himself and has a degree in archeology. Not only well educated but a charming individual with a great respect for his land and people. We really received a tour with a slightly different perspective. Not just the history from an archeological standpoint but someone who grew up in the hills. He left us at the restaurants where we had another excellent meal. It was then off The Monastery. Since we had climbed Mt Sinai a few days prior we did not feel it would be that difficult. It was not. The trip was well worth the effort. The views going up again were breathtaking. Seeing The Monastery makes you appreciate what other civilizations were able to accomplish. On our way out we could not stop enough at the rock formations and how they now appeared under different light. Petra is truly one of the Wonders of the Ancient World.

Day 17. We drive from Petra to Amman to catch our Royal Jordanian Airline. This was again Ahmed’s suggestion after we arrived in Egypt. Yes it did cost a little more money but we got to sleep later and more time in Cairo upon our arrival. We were very pleasantly surprised by the service of the airline. Not only that but they served a nice lunch in coach for a flight that lasted only about one hour. On the drive to Amman we made several stops for scenery as well as seeing the Spring of Moses. Raed made sure everything was ok at the airport as we said our good byes. We were greeted at Cairo Airport by another representative of Ahmed. After a relatively short ride we were back at the Mena House. That night Ahmed took us to the Giza Light Show. It had been cancelled for two nights due to private parties previously. It was the perfect way to end our trip. Ahmed takes us back to the hotel for our last night of the Trip made in Heaven.

Day 18. We are met early for our drive to the airport. Even thou there are long lines for Egypt Air our representative know the right people and we are whisked away through security to the airline counter. We say our good byes and shortly our plane takes off to New York.

We can not thank Ahmed Hamed Yousif enough for the time and effort he put forth in planning and executing on this trip. We accomplished a lot in the time we were in Egypt and Jordan. In our hearts and mind we do not think we could have done better. Were there problems yes, but they were all handled professionally and timely to our satisfaction. We would recommend him unconditionally. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

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