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jordan to israel - in your dreams!

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My wife and I are going on a semi-organised tour from Cairo to Amman next month. We've got a few days at the end of our tour so we thought "why not just hop over to Jerusalem for a couple days and then back to Amman to fly home"?

Why are the simple things so difficult?
After reading several books and viewing other travel sites, it seems the only way the independent traveller can do this is to take a taxi to King Hussein Bridge only to find that visas may or may not get issued there, a short bus ride across no-mans land followed by a $100 taxi fare to Jerusalem.

With the thought of having to repeat the whole event on the return visit, I'm starting to wonder if its worth it.

Please, Please, Please does anyone know how to do this simply and cheaply?
Your help would be much appreciated
regards
Steve

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    It is never easy to cross borders in any area but it is especially tough in the MIddle East. Jordan requires that you obtain a visa before you leave your country. The birdge in question is open at certain times during certain days - it is best to consult with the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, DC for a definitive answer on the present visa and bridge openings/closings.

    If you do hop over to Israel, be sure that you do not have your passport stamped there. Although Jordan has made peace, sometimes zealous border patrol people will take exception to the stamps and "examine" your passport longer than is necessary. To avoid problems just don't have the passport stamped.

    Your tour leader in this semi-organized tour should be on top of these border regulations. You can waste a lot of time at border crossing with the RIGHT papers and with the wrong ones you can just forget it!!!

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    I would recommend taking this side trip because it will be a memorable, unusual experience without being either hazardous or excessively difficult. It will show you aspects of relationships between Arabs and Israelis that you are not likely to see otherwise. And, of course, Jerusalem is certainly worth a trip. It has been twenty years since my family and I crossed what was then called the Allenby Bridge, so my information is not current but may be reassuring. At that time, a U.S. citizen had a free visa stamped in his/her passport on arrival in Jordan and no trouble at all from Jordanian customs people. Likewise, Israel admitted U.S. tourists freely. Israeli customs people have been long accustomed to being asked not to stamp passports, and even in these times, it is a good idea to make that request of Israeli officials. I don't know what the cab fare will be, but there will be plenty of cabbies available and negotiation is possible and sensible as it is anywhere in the Mediterranean world.

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    Steve,

    I came back from these 3 countries yesterday. Don't worry you are always able to do that.

    You can start in Cairo then Israel then Jordon with no problem. Or you may first to Jordon then Israel. Israel and Jordon is not like before, the stamp of either Jordon or Israel would not prevent you from entering these 2 countries. The Israel stamp only affect if you go to Syria and Lebonon as I know.

    I chose leaving from Amman because Gulf Air don't have routing flying back to Hong Kong from Televiv. But if you are not restricted by airline, then you can go Israel first then Jordon, after finished Petra then go back to Amman. From Petra to Amman is abt 3 hours drive. Even you see it is a shorter distance on map between Jerusalem and Amman but the custom checking operation is extremely slow at 2 sides, bus keeps waiting people too. The time taken can shorter from Petra to Amman.

    King Hussein bridge is one of the 3 border open between Irael and Jordon, which is the only one strictly require advance visa. But it is the shortest one. From Jerusalam to Bridge(they call Allenby Bridge, no one know King Hussein Bridge), needs 30 shekets (abt USD8)if you get on shared service taxi over the renting taxi centre at Damacous Gate it takes 45 mins. The bridge opened 8-10 Sun to Thu, 8 - 1 on Fri and Sat. Departure tax 120 shekets. There will be a Jordonian operated bus sending people across the bridge. The bus is 1.5 Diner (USD2). From Jordon border to Amman abt 30km drive, there will be lots of people go to Amman, sharing a taxi should no more than 4 Diner. But if you are going to airport then it is a way, and is hard to find enough people to get on taxi, you may result in much higher cost. The departure tax at Amman airport is 10 Diner (USD 15) It is abt half an hour drive only. I am lucky because there is a German at the bordor I met he gave me the drive.

    Also, very important when travelling to middle east because their flight always delay and most terrible leaving earlier. So you must be there early enough and at anytime confirm flight ticket before going to the airport. My experience the flight leave one hour earlier and the German also told me it is not uncommon.

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