Jordan-A country of tradition and surprises

Jordan, Jordy, Jord, Jodi or Dani is what lovingly Jordan is called. Jordan gets its name from the name of the river which flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river’s name in Hebrew is (Yarden), and it is derived from (yarad) meaning “descend” or “flow down”. Jordan lies on the east bank of the Jordan River and is characterized by vast reserves of nature, ancient monuments which speak of history and breathtaking seaside resorts, rooftop cafes and much more.

Jordan is a safe retreat in a region of conflict. It has delighted visitors for centuries with its World Heritage sites, friendly towns and inspiring desert landscapes. While Jordan faces the challenges of modernization and growing urbanization, it remains one of the safest countries in which to gain an impression of the quintessential Middle East.

Since time immemorial Nabataean tradesmen, Roman legionnaires, Muslim armies and zealous Crusaders all have passed through the land and have left behind those impressive monuments. Which have subsequently fascinated the travelers who come in search of the rustic reality and antiquity. The tradition of hospitality to visitors’ remains humble to this day.

Jordan as a country has a tradition of pampering its travelers. By pampering we come into a notion of good food. But how about a leisure spa in the Dead Sea? The Dead sea is not only 20 times saltier than seawater but it serves as a natural spa .Smear a handful of the mud from the banks of the Dead sea and wade into the intense blue waters of the sea and you will bobbing around the surface feeling as light as an astronaut. It then has to be washed off with dry brine and withhold a softer skin. All the minerals in the water are said to be guarding off the joint pains and skin irritations and you might find yourself feeling very relaxed here, as bromine, a natural sedative, evaporates from the lake.

Jordan cradles the ancient archeological sites in the middle of the capital. The ancient citadel of Amman (Jabal al-Qal’a) towers over the busy downtown area. The Temple of Hercules, a Roman religious site has giant marble fingers which are believed to be the remains of a statue of Hercules, which lies near the top of the hill. The best time to visit is just before sunset to watch the sun sink behind the hills of Amman while church bells ring and the call to prayer rings out from the minarets below.

To really see a destination, sometimes you need to view it from a variety of angles and perspective. Amman holds many open-air terraces and rooftop restaurants which offer ample opportunities to rise above the rush of the city streets Few spots to kick back and enjoy Amman’s iconic skyline like Zara Towers, Al Burj, The Height Towers to name a few.

From the rooftop restaurants and savoring the delicacies Jordan offers incredible street food as well. As a part of the Levantine “Cradle of Civilization,” Jordan has been a melting pot of peoples and cultures for millennia. You can directly experience that blending of influences in the country’s street cuisine. Walk down an Amman block and for sale you’ll see Egyptian shawarma wraps drenched in tahini sauce, spicy Iraqi meat dishes, delicate piles of Turkish baklava and hummus to name a few.

If you hadn’t had Hummus here you haven’t visited Jordan. Head to Hashim, is an open-air falafel joint in Amman’s historic downtown. Hummus doused in olive oil, lemon, and spicy pepper, it’d be a crime to put a carrot stick or potato chip anywhere near it. This is hummus that demands proper sides: fresh pita, hot pepper sauce, raw onion wedges, fuul (spicy fava bean stew), tomatoes, and perfectly shaped falafel made to order and served piping hot. This is hummus that breaks the act of eating down to its basics: No small talk, just dip, devour, groan with delight. Repeat, stand up, and get out.`

One of the less reasons to visit Jordan is to know that most of your favorite movies are shot, its nowhere but Jordan. While looking at the Rose city Petra you will jolt into the fact that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. But remember those iconic scenes from Lawrence of ArabiaRed Planet, and The Martian? All filmed in Jordan — Wadi Rum, to be exact. Dotted with thousands of Sandstone Mountains, Wadi Rum’s peaks and cliffs are colored in vibrant shades of red and orange. One can take a jeep tour with a local Bedouin guide to visit the different rock sites and squeeze through narrow sandstone passages while viewing 5,000-year-old rock paintings. The silence is so whole you can feel it, the clarity of the desert air shows off more stars than you’d think it was possible to see with the naked eye.

Jordan is a kind of place where you can climb through the waterfalls. Wadi Mujib-Jordan’s Great canyon cuts through deep red sandstone and ends dramatically in a slot canyon where the gorges move into the Dead Sea. If you traverse downstream you will end up in a 50 foot waterfall. Many people travel from the stream to the base of the fall where to reach you will need a rope assist. These trails require a guide and an extra change of clothes, whichever route you take, because you will get soaked for sure.

Its famous Rose city Petra is an archeologist muse, Petra is the Nabatean capital dating to around 300 B.C. the city is uniquely placed in the narrow valleys with tombs, temples and monuments carved into surrounding pink sand stone cliffs. Therefore it earns its name “Rose City”. this city is situated between the Red sea and The Dead sea , and was an important crossroad between Arabia , Egypt and Syria . Petra is a half built and half carved into the rock city and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the most famous archeological sites where the ancient Eastern traditions blend with the Hellenistic architecture. Petra was named among the new 7 Wonders of the world in 2007 and was also chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 places to see before you die”. There’s nothing quite like seeing Petra lit by candles, moon, and stars. One can join the “Petra by Night” walk and follow the pitch-black canyon trail guided only by the light of candles placed every few meters. Cell phones and talking are banned, and the atmosphere is pure magic as the walking crowd reaches the iconic Treasury where more candles flicker against the façade- a local musician plays the pipe, sweet tea is served, and a Bedouin guide regales the crowd with stories.

Jordan apart from being and ancient and a heritage site offers a pretty good night life too. Most of Amman’s nightlife takes place inside the hundreds of shisha bars and restaurants dotting the capital, but if you want to dance, head to the up-market Shmeisani neighborhood’s Club H2O at the Kempinski. If you’re traveling on a backpacker budget, check out ‘80s nights in the Jabal Amman quarter’s Cube Lounge.

Jordan truly is an amalgamation of the ancient and the new. It’s a travelers rejoice to visit and come back with millions memories and echoing voices of unfathomable experience.