We weren’t sure what to expect when we got to the City of Aman. We knew nothing about it and we very lucky to have a driver who was awesome (best driver of any trip we’ve ever had). We didn’t know it, but our driver stayed with us throughout our entire trip around Jordan for a few extra bucks (so worth it). He was our unofficial tour guide.
In Aman he took us to the biggest mosque in the country. We’d never been to a mosque and it was quite the experience. Of course Lauren had to wear certain a certain outfit with headgear which is their custom, but the people couldn’t have been nicer (and there was a very cool gift shop at there)
Next we were taken to Temple of Hercules. It was like being in Greece as you walked around the remnants of what is left. Also from the hilltop where the temples was located you could see the entire city including a pretty large roman amphitheater (see the picture role).
Petra, as many people know, is the setting for the 3rd Raider of the Lost Arc move where Harrison Ford rides out of what looks like a canyon of sorts.
Trying to describe Petra is difficult. It’s the most unique place we’ve ever been. If you had to choose only one place in the world to go, Petra could easily be that place. It is spectacular.
We were extremely lucky in how are trip through Petra was setup. Instead of going to the gate and hiring a guide, we hired a “local” guide (a Bedouin) to take us through the area. Instead of walking down the main street, he took us on a several hour back road/trail tour of Petra. It’s truly hard to explain how cool it was. We had tea with locals in their huts and at the top of the trail.
Then of course, there is the main Petra attractions. There were tombs, temples, and a city build into the stone of the mountains surrounding the area. You can walk up stairs to the monastery (20-30 minutes) which opens up a whole new area of Petra that is as unique as the main area (we do NOT recommend taking a mule up the stairs)
Finally we did Petra at night was was really indescribable.
Wadi Rum, known also as the Valley of the Moon, is the desert where they filmed the movie Martian with Matt Damen.
The desert itself is a majestic looking place that will have you standing around looking in awe at times.
The desert is a valley cut into sandstone and granite rock (so you have huge rock formations that just shoot up in what appears to be the middle of a desert). You can take a several hour tour of the desert on the back of a open truck where you also have tea in a hideout tucked into the side of a mountain.
We were lucky enough to be there when there was both a mini-sand storm and a thunder storm. It made for incredible pictures that look almost fake.
If you are looking for a “unique” experience, then spending the night in the Wadi Rum desert is it. We stayed in what was supposed to be a five-star hotel (it was more like a one-star by normal western standards). You can stay in a hotel or even a tent city on the desert floor.
As usual, the people were nice and it was truly an unforgettable experience.
When it was time to go from Aman to Petra, our driver was nice enough to take us on a detour where we toured little Petra and Mount Nebo.
Little Petra is just what it sounds like. It’s a mini-version of Petra (except almost no one is there which is a bit eerie).
We also stopped by a local attraction our drive called the world’s smallest hotel (a VW Bug on the side of the road).
Mount Nebo is a must see. It’s on the top of a mountain overlooking the dead sea, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. On the mountain is a temple build in honor of Moses (the Hebrew Bible mention it as a place where Moses was granted a view of the Promise Land).
Without our driver we would never have seen these three attractions and were grateful for him to show them to use.