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Jordan; the land of a thousand welcomes!

This is what I nicknamed this delightful country because everywhere we went, the locals said, “Welcome to Jordan!” They were always sincere and interested to know where we were from and how we came to be in Jordan.

In the above photo, this donkey just wandered over for a pat.  Like all Jordanian donkey’s, they’re super smart.  No one ties them up because they know exactly where they have to be and at what time 🙂

I honestly have to say that we did enter the country with some trepidation due to the Syrian conflict. We wondered if we would be safe and if we were taking a huge risk by visiting, but all our worries were dismissed. Jordan is a peaceful and calm country, untouched by Syria and it was and is, perfectly safe to visit.

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We flew from Brisbane, Australia to Amman, Jordan via Dubai, UAE. It was quite a long way; thank goodness for in-flight movies and alcohol! Thank you Emirates 🙂

On arrival at Amman airport, we were met by our driver’s driver. I know, pretty confusing hey? Turns out that our arranged driver did not have the required permit to pick us up at the Amman airport, so he sent his driver! Lol!

We had arranged for our driver take us down to Petra, seeing some tourist highlights along the way. So off we set, with our driver’s driver, to stop number one; Mt. Nebo.

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Mt. Nebo is where Moses stood and viewed The Promised Land. Apparently on a clear day, you can see Jerusalem, but for us it was not meant to be.  A nice little sand storm whipped up in the desert and we saw zero! Haha! Welcome to the desert lands!

From Mt. Nebo, we drove to the city of Madaba to visit St. George’s Church. It is here that the first known map of the Holy Land was created in mosaic tiles. It was a beautiful church and the mosaic map was extraordinary.

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In Madaba, we said good bye to our driver’s driver and we met our actual hired driver! He was a terrific guy and told us that he was born and bred in Petra; our final destination for the day. But first, we had one more stop along the Kings Way (highway) and that was at Kerak Castle.

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Whoa! Kerak Castle, this was a real beauty! As I walked up to Kerak Castle, all I could visualise was a scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, “Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?”

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I galloped into the castle like King Arthur, clapping my coconuts together.  Well, not physically, but in my head I was definitely playing out the scene!

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What an extraordinary Crusader castle; complete with tunnels and dungeons to explore! It dates to the 1140’s and it was just brilliant! I thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and blow me down if it didn’t have pigeons and swallows inside! Totally awesome!

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After Kerak Castle, we continued on our journey, and after a long day of driving and sight-seeing from Amman, we finally arrived at Wadi Musa in the early evening.

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Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well. I was so excited to be finally visiting Petra in the morning…

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