Saturday, April 03, 2010

greetings from Jordan.

if you're receiving this message, it doesn't really mean that i've arrived safely in the Middle East, merely that i had the foresight to pre-write a handful of pre-posts detailing my trip (remember, the interwebs on vacation = evil). disclaimer: most of the content was pre-ripped off from other sources. regardless, let's proceed to get you edumacated:
Amman (pronounced /ɑːˈmɑːn/; Arabic: عمّان‎, ʿAmmān) is the capital and largest city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. A city of ~2 million inhabitants, it is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

There's much to see in Jordan - ruined Roman cities, Crusader castles, desert citadels and powerful biblical sites: the brook where Jesus was baptised, the fortress where Herod beheaded John the Baptist, and the mountain top where Moses cast eyes on the Promised Land. Biblical scenes are not just consigned to the past in Jordan; you'll see plenty of men wearing full-flowing robes and leading herds of livestock across the timeless desert. For many people Jordan begins and ends with the magical ancient Nabataean city of Petra (we are sooooo going there, after all, it was in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade!), which is without doubt one of the Middle East's most spectacular, unmissable sights, battling it out with Angkor Wat (been there) and Machu Picchu (going there, eventually, but not on this trip) for the title of the world's most dramatic 'lost city'.

But it's not all crusty ruins. Jordan's capital Amman  is a modern, culturally diverse Arab city which is lightyears away from the typical cliches of Middle Eastern exoticism. The country also offers some of the wildest adventures in the region, as well as an incredibly varied backdrop ranging from the red desert sands of Wadi Rum (where we plan to spend the night in the desert with some friendly Bedouins) to the brilliant blues of the coral-filled Gulf of Aqaba (not sure if we'll make it there); from rich palm-filled wadis to the lifeless Dead Sea (high on the list for a quick swim). Ultimately it's the sensual delights of daily life in the Middle East that you'll hanker for longest after you return home; the bittersweet taste of cardamom coffee or the smell of a richly scented nargileh (water pipe); the intoxicating swirl of Arabic pop sliding out of an Amman  doorway and the deafening silence of the desert.
did i mention that Jordan's Queen Rania is a major hottie? and she's pretty the-awesome, an education-advocate (among many other things), and considered by many to be world's most powerful woman. but she's also married to the King. don't worry, we'll be keeping Will away from the royal palace.

that's all for now. thanks for stopping in. please leave a message at the

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