The Jewels of Jordan - United Hub

The jewels of Jordan

By The Hub team, May 05, 2016

United Flight Dispatcher Jonathan Uhrig in Jordan Travel story and photos by: United Flight Dispatcher Jonathan Uhrig

I had the opportunity to visit Jordan recently as I am interested in ancient civilizations and always wanted to see the ancient city of Petra. My travels to Jordan included the capital of Amman. While there I visited the Citadel, an ancient Roman fortress with a commanding view of Amman and the surrounding area. I also visited the Royal Automobile Museum where you can see King Hussein's automobile collection.

Just north of Amman is the ancient city of Jerash, in ancient times called "Gerasa," founded by Alexander the Great in about 331 BC. I continued my journeys to Mt. Nebo where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. Just a few miles from Mt. Nebo is the city of Madaba, the mosaic capital of the world. Here you can see well-preserved mosaics dating back thousands of years. The art of mosaic making takes a lot of patience and is a time-honored and skilled profession. There is a factory here where you can buy decorative murals and furniture that incorporates mosaics. The pieces' subjects run the gamut from rock stars to nature scenes.

Continuing my journey along the King's Highway, I stopped for lunch in the town of Kerak where there is an ancient Crusader fortress dating back to the 12th century. Along King's highway there are breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys of the Mujib Valley.

I finally made it to Petra, where I stayed for about 10 hours. I befriended a guide and rode a donkey all the way to the top of the summit to an ancient monastery. The unusual thing about Petra is that the buildings are all carved in the soft, rose-colored sandstone. They are remarkably well preserved considering how old they are. You are truly held in awe as you navigate the narrow cliffs towering high above you. I had the privilege of meeting some of the locals and learning about the culture. I was even invited to have tea with one of the local Bedouins — nomadic Arabs of the desert — who usually live in caves and lead a very simple life. A typical Bedouin home may have a small kitchen and a few mats on the floor used as beds or just a place to sit. Despite living modestly, yhey are very happy and proud people.

The last part of my journey took me to the Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon. Here you can take a safari tour to view impressive rock formations in the middle of the desert. I stayed overnight in a Bedouin camp and our dinner was cooked underground, as is their custom. In the morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. to do a camel trek and see the sunrise coming up over the mountains, which made the perfect ending to my journey. I came home feeling very culturally enriched and I would definitely like to go back to Jordan someday.

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