floating in the dead sea

The Dead Sea, Mt Nebo, and Mosaics in Madaba!

Floating in the Dead Sea

Breakfast in bed was the way to go at The Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea.  The food service was far faster, though we ended up with two pepper shakers instead of salt and pepper for our eggs.

Suman and I were anxious to get down to the sea, though we waited patiently for the outside temperature to warm up to at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit because 50 degrees yesterday was cold!  As we followed the stairs down to one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, we were greeted with a reasonable temperature, a virtually an empty beach, and placid seas!


New Year’s Eve at the Dead Sea!

Visiting the Dead Sea

Well, we waved good-bye to Wadi Rum and headed Northwest toward the Dead Sea.  We passed by a few more check points, but didn’t get pulled over.  At one point, we thought we did, and the policeman looked puzzled.  He asked if we spoke Arabic…haha, NO!  We went on.

The road weaved through mountainous terrain with steep grades.  Eventually we reached the Dead Sea.  The water was beautiful and across the way we could see Israel.  The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth, 1,412 feet below sea level!  It wreaked havoc on our cell phones and Fitbits.  My Fitbit Blaze battery usually lasts five days.  It was draining in a day with the blue tooth off.

Jumping pic in the wadi rum desert

A 4×4 Drive Through the Wadi Rum Desert!

Touring the Wadi Rum Desert

Today we enjoyed a 4×4 Tour through the protected area of the Wadi Rum Desert.  Fayez attended to us and another family from France.  The family was lovely and lived the last ten years in China!  I would have never guessed that.  Eleanor, the oldest of the two girls recently graduated from the London School of Economics and currently resides in London, while Constance is finishing up school in Montreal.

The family travels often and their mom Beatrice has two French passports!  Who knew you could do that?!?  But it is accommodated for those who must send away for Visas frequently.  They said Iran is amazing.  For us US citizens, that’s a tough place to visit, but maybe one day.


From Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum…Jordan is Wonderful!

Places to Visit in Petra

We awoke for our second day in Petra. We had another hike planned to the High Place of Sacrifice and through Wadi Farasa. Suman and Syreeta decided that they would rather spend a more leisurely morning strolling around the theater and the Great Temple as we didn’t spend much time exploring them yesterday. Margaret and I opted for the hike that would lead us up above Petra for views down on the complex.

unruly donkey and owner on trail to petra

From Little Petra to Petra…Phenomenal

Hiking from Little Petra to Petra

I count today as our first real day in Jordan. The forecast improved as it called for sunny weather with a temperature around 50 degrees. Much better than the fog, rain and snow of yesterday. Our guide planned to meet us at the hotel at 7:00am, so we went upstairs to breakfast when it opened at 6:30am. They cooked us tasty scrambled eggs to go with a buffet of pita bread, hummus, olives, jams, and za’atar (my new favorite spice).

We filled our bellies, met our guide (Ramiz), picked up our to-go lunch at the front desk, bought water (3 litres for only 1JD) at the convenience store and prepared for our long day at Little Petra and Petra which included a 6-mile hike between the two, not counting exploring both sites. We didn’t know what we were getting into!

temple of hercules at the citadel in amman

Ambling Through Amman’s Citadel in Jordan

Traveling to Jordan

I wonder how many more people would travel if getting to the destination weren’t so difficult!  We started out on Christmas day in Denver on our way to Amman with light snow flurries and cool temperatures, but no weather bad enough to delay our 2pm flight to Houston.  We felt lucky given the havoc the recent weather has played on people.  In addition, the staff in the Denver airport, both at Root Down, at the gate, and on the plane were quite nice for having to work on Christmas. 

To improve their holiday, we gave them some chocolates and Starbucks gift cards. Unfortunately, our luck changed in Houston.  As we boarded, one staffer pulled Suman aside and told her she needed to check her bag as it was too large to fit in the overhead bin on a 787.  Really!?!  We just flew a smaller aircraft to Houston, and she didn’t have a problem.  But the employee wouldn’t budge so Suman ended up with a bag tag after she made specific efforts to consolidate as to not risk losing her bag in delays.