Shukran Jordan

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There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a kingdom that is immersed in history and culture, dating back to the ancient civilization. From the moment you step into this country you will realize the disadvantages of living in a digital and social world unlike the traditional world that they had left behind for us. All around are remnants of ancient civilization long since passed, yet they still remain stamped into the very fabric of this amazing kingdom and etched into the soul of the people who live here.

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Petra, the world wonder, is without a doubt Jordan’s most valued treasure and greatest tourist attraction. The Treasury is merely the first of the many wonders that make up Petra. You will need at least four or five days to really explore everything here. As you enter the Petra valley you will be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this place and its outstanding architectural achievements. Petra dating back to possibly as early as 300 BC, the archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert and capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.IMG_3806 Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the “Rose City.” Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury. Much must have been written spoken or described about this colossal masterpiece but nothing and I mean absolutely nothing will prepare you for what lies ahead, the beauty of this has to be seen in person to truly understand it. A heads up to get there early if you only have a day, and ensure you wear comfortable shoes and keep yourself hydrated to beat the heat. It is also recommended that you go there with a licensed guide.

Petra_by_Night,_JordanThey do have Petra by night which is even more gorgeous, Petra by Night runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week, starts at 20:30 from Petra Visitor Centre and delivers you back by licensed guide to the Visitor Centre around 22.30pm. Cap of a very tiring but eventful day with another sumptuous meal, cooked in the sands. This was definitely a highlight for us, staying at the gorgeous Mariott Petra , to watch a video of the delicious cooking, you may visit the below link on my Instagram page.

I must warn you, you may feel extremely jealous. If you insist, don’t say I didn’t warn you. https://instagram.com/p/BQIByGbgd_M/

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Home to the local delicacy humus and I can assure you, that you haven’t really had humus, if you haven’t eaten it here. Food is a religion that is second to none here and meals are not meals but they are a gastronomic experience, savoring each morsel as a step towards heaven. With every passing meal, I couldn’t conclude which meal was more orgasmic than the other. Doused in olive oil, lemon, and spicy pepper and chili, this heavenly mixture can leave your taste buds wanting for more. These menus are a staple diet in most of the restaurants and you won’t have to walk miles before you find one. Special mention of the rustic interiors that make you want to go back in time and relive them again.

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The most awaited moment had to be at the end, making it, the absolute icing on the cake. 14516538_10157636638405165_5357470989481957912_nAt 400 meters below sea level making it the lowest point on planet earth, the Dead Sea will make you feel more alive than you ever have. Float like a cloud in its mineral-rich black mud water body which is used for therapeutic and cosmetic 14522760_10157636638600165_893319922591025449_ntreatments. The sheer alkalinity makes it impossible for any marine life to survive, giving it the name, the Dead Sea.

 

Don’t forget to carry your magazine to click your mandatory picture as your trip will not be complete without that capture. This has to feature on everyone’s bucket list.

After spending only a couple of days and not even seeing a tenth of what Jordan has to offer, this trip of mine ended sooner than I imagined. Like all good things must come to an end, this trip of mine, kept me wanting for more. Not seeing Petra by night, is something that left my trip incomplete, but then again Jordan will leave you like that, just to ensure you come back one more time. To complete this journey, I must return to see the abundance that this country has to offer. Go chase your dreams, don’t let your dreams be just dream.

     Hotel Recommendations (links embedded)
Marriott Petra Petra Marriott Hotel

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Marriott Amman Marriott Amman
Marriott  Jordan Valley Marriott Resort & Spa

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Wadi Rum Night under the Stars

To gift your loved one, a once in a lifetime experience, spend a night under the stars in Wadi Rum in a luxury tent and spend a night that you may never forget.

Must Do

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Petra World Heritage Site

A picture in front of The Treasury

Local Restaurants and Humus

Dip in the Dead Sea

Ballooning in Wadi Rum

Mount Nebo

Should you require any local assistance in Jordan, my recommendation goes to Tyche Tours

In the end a BIG gratitude to our partners who made this unimaginable journey possible.  A  big shout out to the Marriott Group and Tyche Tours for opening the doors to this heavenly destination. Shukran Jordan, Inshallah we shall meet again.


Disclaimer

Images like Petra by Night, Ballooning in Wadi Rum and the Night of the Stars have not been clicked by me. The purpose of using these images was purely for reference purposes, to give my readers a preview of what they can expect or rather to entice them. The pictures are not added to take credit of someone else’s images or mislead anyone.  

 

Israel…the land of creation!!

IMG_2915Israel, the holy land that was the seed of all that grows.Abraham, Isaac, David and Jacob but remained elusive for Moses. The Holy land, the land of creation, where began all stories, old and new.

The land that bears scars of mistaken identity, inhibitions and fears, that won’t allow you to explore the warmth that each home in this country would love to share and embrace every stranger of every nationality without any question or doubt.

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Like an uncut diamond, waiting in the distance to be discovered, explored and appreciated, this true gem is your PIN to one of the most exotic destinations with everything to offer and all that there is in Israel to see.

Rich in its soul but nurturing and treating a wounded body which bears scars of all the pain and anguish it has had to face, one would expect anger and resentment but what you see are the smiles that refuse to leave the ravaged faces who still believe that this Land of the creator will find its true identity some day.

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When we listen to our heart, we will always, always be guided forward in a way that serves us. Who I am now is shaped by having followed those persistent whispers. Rather than one “life purpose” or mission, we actually have many opportunities to experience aspects of what brings us alive.

The dry sands of Jerusalem are interwoven with 3000 years of history, which has embedded itself deeply into the old wizened bearded men in the shuk, hands filled with shabbat candles and knowledge flowing like the famous Dead Sea which refuses to let anything sink.

Diverse in it’s ways, constantly evading from the unity which can bring in the much required peace but yet each individuality speaks volumes without reminding the fact that they are in fact just parts of the whole. The maker is the same for all but sadly divided into pieces by his own creations.

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Words will forever remain unable to justice to these shining jewels of the dessert. Thought of as stones by many, but these priceless beauties each have a history of its own. It might be forever misunderstood but keeps reaching out to those who can brace the storm to hear its heartbeat.

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Nature gave its blessings in abundance by showering it with milk, honey, lemons, fruits and exotic offerings which remain a secret to the rest of the world. Which itself is enough to visit this heaven to get a taste of the nectar flowing through its veins.

Pomegranate, mangoes, olives, figs, dates and artichokes are blessed with a unique taste of their own, embodied with the fragrance and richness of the raw earth constantly warmed by the hot sun. The cafe Afuck, mint tea and fresh fruit shakes not only quench the thirst but give you an experience which cannot be explained.

The warm pita bread enhancing its identity with the wonderful hummus, shawarma, jachnun, shakshuka, falafels, baba ganoush fill not only the belly but leave a memory in some corner of the heart. The moist and flaky baklava sweetens the soul leaving the tongue craving for more.

Travelers always know that once you set out for a new destination, you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. Infrared 100%

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That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more that one place. To anyone who is considering an Israel trip but is worried about safety, here’s what Avi has to say…

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“From all the pre conceived notions that people have of this country, from all the negative publicity and thoughts that may come out of your mind about this historic city. From all that is holding you back from within or outside, people of the world this is the holy land and much more, or shall I say much much more.

This is IsraelSora 100% and this is as real as it gets, this is as safe as it gets, and if there is any city in the world, you would call safe to travel and venture at anytime of the day or night,this will be the city that is second to none. If you are a vegetarian then these countries will blow you away and they have some of the most vegan friendly restaurants ever.

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I have tried to capture it to the best that I can, but trust me, the true beauty is to see it in person. From sun sand and beaches to the lowest point on planet earth. I consider myself blessed (for more reasons that one) to have witnessed this beauty. Add this on to your bucket list for sure and I guarantee you, it won’t disappoint you at all. A tad expensive on the wallet, but please don’t let that deter you from travelling there. A heads up, if you are not camera shy or an avid photographer, no amount of GB space will be enough to capture it all.

If you are a foodie, come prepared, because these guys serve food cooked from the heart, and when they eat and entertain, they truly lay it all out. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Israel and Jordan through my eyes.

A few recommendations…

Hotel Recommendation

If you are looking to splurge then its deonst get better than the The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, one the best hotels ever.

Must Do

-flea market
-Tel Aviv port and bicycle tour
-Israel wine tasting at tastingroom.co.il the Tasting Room
-Tel Aviv Night life is an Absolute Must
-Excursion to Masada
-Jerusalem
-Promise Land
-Old City and visit to the Bazaar, must try the local breads
-Mount Scopus for a panoramic view and picture taking of the Old City

I’m not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the wall goes a famous travel quote. Israel is a beautiful, culturally and geologically rich country with happy people and endless opportunities to explore and see a new and unique side of the world. So go ahead and plan your Israel trip without any fear.

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And in the end, with Israel on my mind, all I want to say – um, actually sing – is:

And I think to myself…Oh, what a wonderful world!!

PICS: Avi Shetty                    WRITE UP: Reema Suri