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Jordan for 5 days/independent travel - brief trip report with blog link

Jordan for 5 days/independent travel - brief trip report with blog link

Feb 18th, 2008, 03:10 AM
  #1  
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Jordan for 5 days/independent travel - brief trip report with blog link

Unlike my Egypt trip report - I really AM going to keep this brief and put the link to the blog up first - lots of photos and detail on the blog, which should be final in the next couple of days

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...dan/index.html

We spent 5 days in Jordan at the end of our trip to Egypt - here's a link to that trip report

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...zabeth_S&fid=4

I worked with a guide/travel planner in Cairo who put together a terrific itinerary for us - including Jordan - here is his contact info

Ahmed Hamed Yousif
[email protected]

Lots more information on traveling independently on the Egypt trip report that I linked to above

Day 1 - arrived in Amman early (10am) and our wonderful driver/escort Bashar was waiting for us behind customs so he arranged for our visas and off we went. (Ahmed arranged all our accommodations and guides/escorts for Jordan too)

We were spending 2 nights at the Dead Sea so on our way there Bashar suggested we stop at Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Jesus's baptism site) as our room wasn't ready and it would free up some time the next day....great suggestion.

Very moving site no matter your religious background - all our Sunday School lessons came tumbling back!

Stayed at Kempinski Dead Sea - gorgeous hotel - our blog looks like we're paid shills for the hotel! Stay there!!!!

Day 2 - Bashar picks us up at the hotel and we meet our guide for the Jordan portion - Osamah Twal - hysterically funny and fabulous. Really, for the next 5 days the 4 of us are like bad kids - laughing, teasing, joking and in between learning tons and tons about Jordan - present day and past

Today - Ajloun and Jerash - highly recommend both (see blog)

Day 3 - despite my attempts never to leave the Kempinski Dead Sea (it was only a small tantrum) off we go to Petra - stopping at Mt Nebo, Madaba and Karak along the way - Mt. Nebo was shrouded in fog but still well worth going and we really like forts and castles so enjoyed Karak (restaurant is good there too) - and Madaba is Osamah's home town so you're pretty much going there no matter what

Arrived at Movenpick Petra about 6pm - fine hotel - arrange to meet Osamah at 9am the next day.

Day 4- To be honest I was a little worried about the (seemingly) late departure - I had read you should get there really early - but he assured me it was the best time (he was right - in January it's really cold and so we actually missed the early people and were basically alone in most places - which you'll see on the blog)

Petra was EVERYTHING you imagine it will be.......be sure to take the donkeys up to the Monastery (which is just plain fun) and a camel ride back up to the Treasury (which is a very good work out for your thighs)

Day 5 - a long day as our flight doesn't actually leave until 3am the next morning from Amman. Bashar and Osamah are determined to fill our day until midnight - power packed day!

Little Petra first - well worth the visit - and then a fabulous trip to Wadi Rum and then we drove to Aqaba to tour around (and lunch at a great seafood restaurant that is Osamah's favourite). We drove back via the Dead Sea Highway - there was a RAGING snow storm about to hit Amman and we insisted (much to their horror) we get to the airport early - as in 9pm. They wanted to sit with us but that was definitely above and beyond the call of duty.

Jordan was a complete revelation - as was all of this trip - a wonderfully complex, fascinating, friendly country - I highly recommend you read Queen Noor's autobiography before you go - I had just finished it as we arrived - it's an interesting glimpse into the political and cultural realities.

Elizabeth_S is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 03:44 AM
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Sorry - above link to Egypt Trip Report isn't the most direct - here's a better link

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...4&tid=35105688
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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Great report and pictures. We're leaving is a little over a week for Jordan and Israel. We just ordered Queen Noor's autobiography on CD from our library. We'll probably be listening to it on the plane.

Jack and Ann



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Feb 18th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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It's a great bio - mid way through posting Petra now - keep checking back to the blog and have a wonderful time! I'm sure you will
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Liz - I love your blog, but I have a suggestion. My computer can barely handle it, I think because of the size. Sometimes it takes multiple tries before it will come up. And then if anything else is running, my entire computer gets locked up. It happened with your Peru blog, as well. I think if you broke it into shorter chapters it would be easier to handle. Don't know if I'm the only one to experience this (admittedly, my computer is three years old and not the fastest), but it's so frustrating when I want to see everything! So I hope you'll consider it! Thanks,
Karen
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Feb 18th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Hi Karen - I've tried to get around that problem by adding the "Recent Posts" on the right hand margin and trying to keep the individual posts shorter - have you tried accessing it that way versus by the Country categories?

Otherwise the server I use doesn't have many other options......but I'll have another look - thanks for the comment

Liz
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 07:14 AM
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Liz - yes, the recent posts links help. For some reason, when I clicked on the link at the top of this post, it seemed to bring all of Jordan up in one long blog. But when I went back to your Egyptian trip report and clicked on that link, I had the options of choosing recent posts - and yes, my computer does fine with those. Thanks!
althom1122 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2008, 12:39 AM
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Fantastic photos and blog! Very entertaining and informative -- you're enthusiasm for the joys of travel is quite evident. Thanks for sharing.
MisterAviator is offline  
Feb 20th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip report and photos . . . you have a great camera and a VERY good eye.

I would like to ask a few questions about your trip . . . do you mind emailing me at [email protected]?

Thank you so much for posting this wonderful trip.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Feb 8th, 2009, 05:53 AM
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Hi Elizabeth,

My husband and I think your blog is amazing! We are going to Jordan and Cairo via a trip to Israel (we are Canadian, coming from Toronto). The prices we have received for a private tour of Jordan are really high. We just sent an email to your guide, but were wondering if you are able to share some approximate prices for a private guide in Jordan.

Many thanks and again thanks for your helpful blog!
Mindy and Brock mindy (at) dnamydog dot com
CaribeMan is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 06:09 AM
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HI Mindy - thanks for the nice comments - my husband does most of it so I can't take much credit (well, other than typing!)

We're also in Toronto - nice warm weekend isn't it?!

I don't have a separate breakdown of the guiding costs in Jordan but will email you and maybe can help.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 15th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Elizabeth, I ran across your wonderful report doing a forum search after having finished reading Queen Noor's autobiography. Jordan has never been on my radar, and boy is it now! Your blog was fantastic, too, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and looking at your pictures.

A question about Ahmed Hamed Yousif. I understand that he is based out of Egypt. Do you know if he plans trips for Jordan only? I've done a little internet research on him and the trips seem to be Egypt and Jordan rather than just Jordan.

I'm teasing myself with a little research in hopes of traveling in 2010. Not quite sure where I'll end up (if anywhere) but Jordan has moved up to the top three possibilities.

Thanks again for sharing your trip with us!
lucy_d is online now  
Mar 16th, 2009, 03:31 AM
  #13  
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Hi lucy_d - thanks for your compliments. My husband writes most of the blog so I can't take credit for it!

Ahmed organized the Jordan portion via an Amman agency - when people are interested in Jordan only I send them directly to that agency - our wonderful driver Bashar works for them and is happy to organize the tours. His contact information is

Bashar Herzalla
[email protected]

I think the company name is Gulf Holidays - they did a great job.

I really enjoyed Queen Noor's book - I want to read Mrs. Sadat's book next.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 16th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Thank you, Elizabeth! Do you know if Gulf Holidays has a website? I looked around a bit yesterday online with no luck. Thank you for providing Bashar's email.
lucy_d is online now  
Mar 16th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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I don't know - as I say I don't think I have the name of the company quite right but I know that if you contact Bashar he will put you in touch with a travel planner at the company. Another Fodorite just did that via him (she's there now) and is DELIGHTED with their experience, and the price.

She'll be back in a few days and I'll get the actual name of the company and post it here.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 16th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Thanks so much, again, Elizabeth. I do appreciate your kindness.
lucy_d is online now  
Dec 21st, 2010, 12:26 PM
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Elizabeth - thank you so much for your trip report and wonderful blogs!! We are planning a trip to Egypt and Jordan and have found an enormous amount of info from your experiences. I note you just did a day trip to Wadi Rum and that seemed to work out well for you. Our teenage daughters are very keen to see Wadi Rum (and I admit is does look beautiful), but my husband and I are very dubious about camping in the desert. Seems a day trip with a return to "civilisation" forthe night may be the way to go.
PRLCH is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 04:44 AM
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Hi PRLCH - glad you enjoyed the blog" For us the day trip was the right amount of time and there have been some recent trip reports for overnight stays that were less than positive. What is your itinerary?
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Hi Elizabeth
I too have seen the less than favourable comments about nights in the desert so it looks like we will do the "day option" as you did. Our itinerary is firming up nicely and we hope to finlaise after Christmas. Our visit to Egypt and Jordan will be the tail end of a longer trip - Mom and daughters will do Lyon (2 weeks) and Paris (1 week) , then meet Dad in Barcelona (3 nights). Then Seville (5 nights) and Marrakesh (4 nights). Then an overnight flight to Amman.

Day 1 Amman. Day of recuperation and early night.
Day 2 Amman - Jeresh - Ajloun - Amman
Day 3 Amman - Bethany Beyond Jordan - Mt Nebo - Madaba - Kerak - Petra.
Day 4 Petra (considering abother full fay here as well?)
Day 5 Petra - Wadi Rum - Dead Sea
Day 6 Dead Sea - Amman - Cairo
Day 7 Cairo (Great Pyramids, Sphinx, Sakkara)
Day 8 Egyptian Museum, Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo, Sleeper train to Aswan
Day 9 Aswan (felucca ride ...)
Day 10 Day trip to Abu Simbel (first bus out). Board Nile Cruise on return
Day 11 - 12 Nile Cruise (High Dam, Obelisk, Philae Temple, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Valley of the Kings and Queens, Temple of Hatshupsut)
Day 13 Luxor
Day 14 Luxor - sleeper train to Cairo
Day 15 Cairo (free day)
Day 16 To Singapore before coming back to Australia

We had initially planned a further 2 nights in Luxor (considered taking an apartment there), butit seems the cruise covers a fair amount of ground, so perhaps not. We think we may perhaps do another night in Petra and perhaps another night in Spain or Morocco.
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Dec 24th, 2010, 03:45 AM
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I'm not Elizabeth, but I'd highly recommend the extra night in Petra, that's lots more to see there than just the Treasury (not that the Treasury isn't gorgeous). Also, don't short-change Madaba - there are other mosaics there worth seeing besides the famous map.

I didn't think much of Bethany (the Jordan is pretty pathetic these days), Mt. Nebo (too hazy to see much) or Kerak (not a particularly interesting castle), so you might skip one or more for more time in Madaba.
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