One of my travel inspirations is the mountains. The other is countries that are part of the Silk Road. Stories of trade, trade of beautiful textiles, handcrafted carpets, fresh spices, baubles and more; in a time when there was no internet, when travel meant taking out a caravan…have always fascinated me.
I started living my dream of experiencing these countries with a visit to Jordan in November 2017.
Petra, known as the lost city, is an architectural haven. As we explored the structures that have been excavated, there is a lot of walking. The main trail is 4km long. The local Bedouin people have set up these relaxation stations in their traditional style. Sitting on the carpet with a bolster as support and view of the amphitheatre of yore, took me back in time.
I got a glimpse of the Silk Road, when I saw antiques on display amidst the architectural marvels in Petra. Ornate keys carved with hand to locks in the shape of animals and knifes with a curved blade; all had stories to tell. This globe caught my fancy and I am intrigued to know its significance.
One of the most beautiful experiences in Jordan is Petra by night. The pathway to the first site in Petra i.e. the Treasury is lit up with candles. As you reach, sit down and marvel at its magnificence, the locals from the Bedouin community play soulful music and you are served hot tea. Remember to layer up if you are going in winter, as the wind makes it really chilly.
Open to guests on certain days of the week (please check the website and plan your trip accordingly).
Oh I fell in love with this path that resembles the Grand Canyon. Many a Hindi song can be picturised here! The varied colours of the rocks, their magnitude and the play of hide and seek, left me completely mesmerised. It will be a good idea to get there early before the crowds start pouring in. Wear comfortable shoes, as there is a lot of walking and the surface is not even everywhere.
This is in Petra and the structure is called the Treasury. This picture symbolises my idea of the Silk Road, a place amidst beauty and ruggedness. It is the first excavation you see after you walk through the Siq or a 2km pathway.
The Dead Sea is so called because it has the highest concentration of Salt in its waters, where no organism can survive. Apart from the experience of naturally floating in the water, the drive along the coastal route was mesmerizing. The colours of the sea are surreal as you see in this picture. Our driver told us that on the other side of the sea is Israel and I couldn’t help but wonder, where is there scope for conflict in the midst of nature’s bounty bestowed on the land.
This Mosaic flooring is seen inside the church at Mt.Nebo. There are institutions working towards preserving the art of Mosaic in Jordan.
Just outside the Church at Mt.Nebo, is this piece of art, which lights up the patio in colours of the rainbow.
This is got to be the highlight of the Jordan vacay. In the midst of the desert in Wadi Rum is the Burdah Arch Rock. The trek was a combination of rock climbing and scrambling. A sheer delight once you reach the top. I met an American couple, both Crossfit trainers. The man was from the American army and after spending time in Iraq, they decided to settle in the Middle East to help the people. Travel truly doesn’t cease to amaze.
Aqaba is the Goa of Jordan. I met people from Switzerland who were here to get their certificate in Scuba Diving. A ship wreck is one of the sights you can see under water. They also have the Japanese garden which is an amalgam of corals. If you want to experience this while staying dry, there are submarine trips offered as well.
3rd December 2017, it was our last day in Jordan. We were driving to the airport, from Aqaba to Amman. As the sun set, we saw the moon really big, so big that we could go and reach for it. Later we learnt that it was the Super Moon of 2017. What an awesome ending to an awesome trip!
It was interesting to learn that the Bedouin tribe have their own Police. We had the opportunity to meet them enroute the hike and they obliged to let me take a picture.
Say hello to Yusuf, when in Wadi Rum. He was our guide for the trek up to Burdah Arch. He knows the desert at the back of his hand. Yusuf drove us to our camp taking up a challenge that he will find his way without the headlights! A true Bedouin, he trekked up wearing the local dress.
This is just the beginning of my adventures on the Silk Road. I feel like I have collected jewel of Jordan my little box of travel treasures.