We’re Going to the Middle East!

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We are excited to announce that tomorrow we are flying from Rome to Jordan to begin our exploration of the Middle East, an entirely new region of the world for us. We have loved our last four months in Europe but can’t wait to experience something completely different.

Jordan

Our first week will be spent in Jordan as guests of the Jordan Tourist Board. They are providing us with a driver and guide so we can see as much of the country as possible. Although we’ll be travelling much faster than our usual style our itinerary looks fantastic and we can’t wait to get going.

Here’s just some of the things we’ll be getting up to in the next week:

  • Visiting Petra, one of the wonders of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Jordan’s biggest tourist attraction. The unique city was carved into the rock face of the rose coloured mountains in the 6th century BC. It was famously featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Horse riding through the spectacular Wadi Rum dessert where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed.
  • Floating in the Dead Sea.
  • Scuba diving in the Red Sea.
  • Hiking in the Mujib Nature Reserve, the lowest nature reserve in the world at 410 metres below sea level.
  • Spending the night in an eco-lodge in the Dana Biosphere Reserve.
  • Visiting the Roman ruins at Jerash.
  • Learning to cook Jordanian food.
  • Eating! Jordanian food looks great for vegetarians and we are particularly excited to eat lots of mezze including hummus, salads, pitta bread and falafel.
  • Trying to learn some Arabic. I’ve picked up a few words so far and it’s a lot of fun.

Wow! It’s going to be a busy week so it’s a good thing that we’ll end our trip in Aqaba, the Red Sea resort town where we’ll spend a few days relaxing before taking the ferry to Egypt.

Egypt

We haven’t planned anything for Egypt yet. We arrive in Nuweiba on the Sinai Peninsula and may spend a few days there before going to the beach town Dahab where we’ll base ourselves for a while to catch up on work and do some more scuba diving in the Red Sea.

Is It Safe?

Yes! Despite Jordan’s location surrounded by Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, it is a peaceful country with good diplomatic relationships with the UK and US. The British government’s FCO travel advisory is notoriously cautious but it has no travel restrictions for Jordan. In Egypt there are no travel warnings for most of the country including the parts that we and other tourists are likely to visit. Sadly we won’t be visiting Syria which was high on our list to visit.

We’ll be writing about the safety issue again once we’ve visited for ourselves but we do not expect any problems.

Our Jordan posts will, as usual, be a few weeks behind our visit so you can follow along with our trip on Facebook and Twitter.

Wadi Rum photo by @Giåm.

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Leave a comment if you have any Jordan or Egypt tips for us (especially about veggie food to try!).

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11 Comments

  1. Could one still hope for a report from mainland Egypt someday? It would be completely awesome to see you go there, although I understand that traveling to Egypt is a serious business and doesn’t just ‘happen’ spontaneously.

    Reply

  2. Hello dear
    I am Local Tour Operator from Egypt and i offer special tours of the real Egyptian Life (home cooked tour ) which allows tourists to cook with Egyptian people at their home local food and eat it … if you interested to promote it for me i will send you all the details 🙂 thnx

    Reply

  3. Jealous! I was in Jordan and Egypt in November/December 2010, and had a great time. I also was lucky enough to have been able to visit Syria beforehand, and it is now one of my favourite countries; great food, wonderful people and safety was not once an issue. The same in Jordan, and I’ll be surprised if you have any safety issues at all. As for Egypt, I’d recommend hanging out in Nuweiba for a while before heading on to Dahab. I got “stuck” there for about twice as long as I’d planned, but was so glad I hadn’t gone to Dahab earlier, as in comparison, I found Dahab to be noisy, expensive, garish and (unfortunately) rather ugly. Nuweiba on the other hand, I found to be wonderfully relaxing, with the handful of beach-side guest houses there serving good food and offering fast wifi. The sea was very calm, and although it may not be great for scuba diving (I really have no idea, though!), there were wonderful views of the mountains across in Saudi Arabia. Enjoy!

    Reply

    • Thanks Sam! You have confirmed that we should definitely stay in Nuweiba first. It’s such a shame we couldn’t visit Syria as it does sound wonderful.

      Reply

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