Gauss-Telegraph: World trip from home in 30 days – Jordan
by Alexandra Wolf
My impression of the country
Between Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Palestine/Israel lies the small, peaceful Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country is ruled by King Abdullah II. and Queen Rania in a constitutional monarchy. Jordan can be crossed within six hours by car. Despite its relatively small area the country offers diverse, beautiful landscapes and unforgettable experiences. English is widely spoken and therefore facilitates communication. Moreover, Jordanians are very hospitable. Their openness and cordiality makes it easy to make friends, to get to know the culture and everyday life including traditions and festivals and to quickly feel at home.
Cities and nature worth seeing
The north of Jordan is a beautiful, green and during spring also blooming landscape. There lies the city of Ajloun, famous for its fortress, as well as Jerash and Umm-Qays, where ancient ruins can be discovered. Further cities in the north are Pella and Al-Salt located on the west border. From those cities you can watch beautiful sunsets over Palestine/Israel while the darkness turns the country into a sea of flickering lights.
The capital Amman is also located in the northern part of Jordan. In the centre Al-Balad you can find the most important sights: The Citadel and the Roman Theatre. Moreover, there is always a colourful hustle and bustle: merchants sell their goods at various markets and in souvenir shops; many small restaurants are lined up; the odours of shisha tobacco and incense is in the air; between the shops you can discover some colourful stairs and mural paintings. Some of the steep stairs lead to two hills: Jabal Amman and Jabal Al-Weibdeh. Most expats and tourists live in these districts. There you can find small shops, modern cafés, vegan restaurants, pubs and rooftop bars.
Near Amman are the mosaic city of Madaba and Mount Nebo. In the west lies the Dead Sea, the deepest lake and at the same time one of the saltiest waters on earth. Besides, you can see a white landscape on the shore formed by salt incrustations. Next to the Dead Sea is Wadi Al-Mujib where you can join adventurous trekking tours. On the way to the south of Jordan you will pass the fortress city of Al-Karak and the Dana Biosphere Reserve to reach the most popular tourist spots: The rock city of Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and the rock and sand desert Wadi Rum. There you can stay overnight in the camp of Bedouins, the nomadic desert dwellers. The Bedouins organize tours with jeeps or on camels. Wadi Rum offers a beautiful, unique desert landscape, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises as well as a clear, starry sky at night. In the south directly on the Red Sea lies the city of Aqaba. It is a popular destination for beach holidays and diving.
My favourite dishes from the region
The Jordanian food is a mix of Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. Very typical are pita bread, falafel and hummus. The falafel can also be served with labneh (firm yoghurt), za’atar (herbal spice mixture), scrambled eggs, galayet bandora (spicy tomato dish), olives, foul (mashed broad beans), muttabal (mashed eggplants), pickles and fresh vegetables. In addition, sweet black tea with mint is served. The national dish is mansaf consisting of lamb, rice and almonds. Tabbouleh (bulgur salad) and stuffed vine leaves are also highly recommended. A typical dessert is kunafeh consisting of dough threads, cheese and syrup. During Ramadan many families prepare ma’amoul (cookies filled with dates). Sweet Turkish mocha or Arabic coffee (with cardamom) is usually served with those desserts.
Note: Due to the spread of the coronavirus, we don’t recommend to travel until the all restrictions have been lifted.