Leaving behind the beautiful Kerak Castle, we headed directly towards the Dead Sea. You cannot visit Jordan without having the experience of the Dead Sea. And I’m saying this because you may imagine how would it be to float in such a salty water, but it’s nothing like being there and experiencing it.
So, when we were sure of being able to visit the Kerak Castle that afternoon, we booked a room to Ramada Hotel near the Dead Sea, to sleep there and be ready for a sunrise at the Dead Sea. The way back down from Kerak Castle was quite challenging once the sun went down, because it was a pretty damaged road with so many curves and sometime with so little visibility. However, the car we’ve rented in Aqaba was pretty new and strong, and we had no issues.
Once back on the highway, everything seemed easy to manage till a certain point when Waze was showing us a strange route to take to reach Ramada. So, we ended up in a improvised road, sandy and full of holes and quite risky. This put me in the position of taking the car out backwards moving easily to avoid the holes and the bushes. Once out, we drove back to the highway and forced Waze to find another route which it did. A small way, built especially to reach Ramada in the middle of nowhere (literally!).
So, from our tips and tricks list, I would say this is an important one. Don’t let yourself misled by any driving navigator! Stay on the asphalted road while you are trying to reach Dead Sea Ramada Hotel. The other way will also bring you to the same point, but you will probably ruin the car. 😊
We managed to arrive at the Dead Sea Ramada Hotel arround 20:30, we’ve cheked in and had dinner on the balcony of our room. We had in mind to go to the Dead Sea and take a swim that evening, but that was not possible. Being a frontier point, you are not allowed there after sunset, and especially not by yourself. There are people in charge from the hotel to watch over you. To reach the beach, there is a hotel shuttle going back and forth every 30 minutes starting 7:00 am.
So, for that night we just enjoyed the dinner, the view, the hot wind
outside, the hot shower, and then a deadly sleep to be in line with the Dead
Sea we were waiting to see early next morning.
Wake up at 6:00 am and ready for the beach. We had to wait for 15-20 minutes for the suttle bus to drive us there, as everyone was moving so slow at that time. Once we’ve reached the beach, it was like being in the middle of nowhere again. That was the private beach of the Ramada Resort. Everything was so quiet, that gave us the sesation of being out of time and space there.
Then, the most suprising thing happened. Trying to swim into the Dead Sea,
is quite a challenge. I was looking at my friend trying to keep his balance
into the water and most of all, trying to respect the rules. Yes, there are
specific rules for the Dead Sea like the one saying: „First take a sitting
position, and then lay on your back!”. This is not a natural position your body
takes when entering the water.
Briefly, at the begining it’s kind of a mindset change. Then becomes something you may really love and it’s hard to leave behind. For me, it was an amazing experince I really loved to have and I will repeat it for sure during my trip in Israel I am planning to have this year. So, being there, you must try the local mud! It gives you a strange and nice feeling in the same time.
Plus, the time in the Dead Sea seems like a healing and infinit time. The consistency of the water it’s felt on a deeper level of your body and you can really find diffrent ways to play with it. Not spashing the water as it is forbidden due to the fact that you should not ingest it or touching your eyes with. Once you are out, you feel like a prikcle, I guess. 😊
At 9:30 am we went back to the hotel for a shower, we checked out, and left this amazing place with such a big sorrow we didn’t planned for at least two days here. It really is a quiet place, where you can spend some time relaxing and experincing the magic water of the Dead Sea. And when I say magic, it is not a figure of spech! It is a reality that you cannot experince in any other place on Earth!
To be continued…
Check out the begining of the Jordanian adventure here:
Once we left the Dead Sea, we started to drive towards the Mount Nebo,
where Moses is supposed to be buried. We had planned that day to visit Mount
Nebo, Madaba and Jesus Christ Baptism Site. While driving to Mount Nebo, my inner
voice was calling me towards the Baptism Site first. So, after driving for half
an hour, I stopped the car and recalculate the route towards the Baptism Site,
practically driving back for 10 minutes.
Another 15-20 minutes drive and we arrive. After parking the car, we found
out that there is a shuttle bus driving us directly to the place, and moreover,
each shuttle bus has a tour guide. I must confess I thought this was a visit
one can do by himself, but in reality, they have everything under control including
the tour guides due to the fact that the Baptism Site is essentially at the
border with Israel and it’s a military area.
So, having already the tickets payed
online, we went directly to the shuttle bus. Essentially, you should expect to
jump in a minivan with kind of a poor conditions inside: no air conditioning,
damaged chairs and other local aspects you will understand once you will get
there. But, it’s the only way to reach the Baptism Site, so not the place to act
like a diva. 😊
After other 5-10 minutes’ drive,
we arrive at the gate of the Baptism Site. We started by seeing a museum and
then we went towards the Jordan river and afterwards to the place where Jesus
was baptized. Jordan river used to be bigger 2000 years ago, so now the place is
inland far from the current Jordan river. However, the guide explained us that
during spring time, the water comes out from the soil in that area as well,
like a small water spring.
The tour guide was actually an
amazing man! We talked about religion and beliefs and I asked him how does it
feel to be Muslim and have a job in a Christian place of worship? And after the
experience in the Mosque in Aqaba I was surprised to here that he doesn’t
consider this activity as a job, but as his mission in this life. And then he
added that the Muslim people believe in all the prophets, including Jesus and
the Quran mentions Virgin Mary 40 time while the Bible is mentioning her less
than the Quran. And we continued to walk and talk about the fact that there is only
one God, and just the name is different in different beliefs.
After a short walk we arrived at
the Greek Orthodox Saint John the Baptist Church, quite close to the Jordan
river. We went inside and I found out that if I am already baptized in a church
by a priest, I can enter the Jordan river and baptize myself in its water as
well. So, the guide was very kind and he gave me a special made white dress to
use for this ritual, even if we didn’t had cash with us. However, I gave him 14
JOD, the price of the dress, once we got back to the car.
Here I am, doing something I was imagined
to do since I was a kid: to enter the Jordan river and to be baptized in its
water as Jesus was. Strange childhood dream, one may say, but I was fascinated
by this idea for so many years. It is useful to say here that being baptized as
a Christian Orthodox, on 6th of January we are celebrating Jesus
Baptism right when the Catholics are celebration the Epiphany. And each year,
the priests are visiting the people’s houses and blessing them using holy water
and singing a song about Jesus Baptism in the Jordan water. So, this was one of
the songs of my childhood and I always asked myself how it was for Jesus to be
baptized in the Jordan river as an adult.
Maybe it sounds strange, but I
must confess it was one of the most powerful gestures I did for myself, based
on a childish idea I was fantasizing on when I used to be a kid. So, I entered
the Jordan river, I disconnected from the outside world and I baptized myself in
the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 😊
After leaving that holy place, I felt like having a new superpower or something. I was so happy and I had an epiphany! I was so grateful to myself for listening that inner voice asking me to turn the car and drive back to see this place first. Not doing so, I was probably meeting another tour guide with different views about world beliefs, have other discussions, and probably never found out I can enter and baptize myself in the Jordan river. And, the funny thing was that the place was full of people before changing my clothes. Then, when I approached the river everyone left and I had my ritual in peace and without being disturbed by people taking pictures or talking around.
Today is 6th of January, the Jesus Baptism Day for the Christian Orthodox Church, and I am remembering this story and writing it down as a symbol of this holy day, and as a symbol of the holiness that lives in each of us. We are a projection of a higher consciousness we call God, and we have everything we need to become the masterpiece of our life.
To be continued…
Check out the begining of the Jordanian adventure here:
After four days in Aqaba, enjoying the Red Sea, we rented a car and started
to drive back to Amman. We had a lot of objectives on our map, mostly castles,
and we manged to see only the most important of them. So, our first objective
was Kerak Castle, an old Crusader forteress oppened in 1142 to oversee the commercial
roads between Jerusalem, Damascus, Mecca and Egypt.
From Aqaba we took the highway following the western part of the country, near the border with Israel. It’s the fastest way to reach Kerak (Al-Karak), 250 km drive away, and we needed to be fast to be able to see the castle before 16:00 when the visiting hours were ending. So, we left Aqaba at 12:00, stopped for lunch on the highway and then driving to Kerak.
To reach Kerak, you have to drive for almost an hour outside the highway up
on the mountain. So, small damaged roads with endless curves are waiting for
you. If you have a bad stomach, think twice before doing this part. :p
However, once up on the mountain, in the middle of the castle ruins, you are
in the right position to thank God you took the journey. You can see everything
from up there, Al Karak city below and the roads looking like a small part of Transfăgărășan
road in Romania. Basically, you have a 360 degree view of the horizon! And if
you happen to be there close to the sunset, the view it’s breathtaking.
The place has a good energy and you may feel like staying for a while. So,
if you have a day, just enjoy the castle and also the city.
I am fascinated about old castles, hence for me it was a blessing being
there and walking inside the rooms preserved after so many centuries, and
imagine how everything used to look like at that time. Even if most of them where
built as strategic points of defense, I still find them fascinating.
Well, I am a huge fan of the famous movie „Kingdom of Heaven”. One of the most important battles of that time was in this area between Saladin, the frist sultan of Syria and Egypt and the conqurer of the Kingdom of Jerusalim from the Christian’s commands, and Raynald of Châtillon, prince of Antioch. Even if the movie was not shot there, I wanted to see the place and step into the energetic footprints of the people fighting for a „kingdom of conciousness” they understood at that time it’s made by stones and buildings.
In fact, if we are looking at the root cause of the current wars we are
facing today, we can easily see we are not that far from them. We are fighting
in diffrent countries for material things like land and properties, in the name
of the same God that we, as human beings, understood He promised us a material kingdom.
And if we look at Kerak Castle or other points of defence in history, we can understand
what will be left from today’s wars. Only ruins and a history painted by the
ones in a powerful position.
As I see it, the only way out from all the ancient patterns we are repeating over and over again is by rasing our level of counciousness, which will take us out of this reality to build the Kingdom of Heaven as it should be: a kingdom of counciousness embodied in human beings led by their inner voice of their true nature manifested as kindness and compassion for their own phisical manifestaion and for all the other beings around.
To be continued…
Check out the begining of the Jordanian adventure here:
Leaving Wadi Rum Desert is like leaving behind a treasure that belongs to your Soul. The good news is that I felt like taking with me the taste of the silent sand full of divine grace. And that feeling is so full of meanings and powerful understanding that fuels your body with the curiosity of the new adventure waiting to be lived in Aqaba.
So, we left Wadi Rum with a jeep
taking us into the village, and from there we took a cab (25 JOD for 2 people)
to Aqaba. This city is not present in the usual organized trips, but was one of
my dreams seeing this place. This is the Jordanian seaside, and after so many
dry days in Petra and Wadi Rum, taking a swim in the Red Sea, was the best
thing to do. The sea in the Aqaba bay is quite calm, salty, and good for
swimming. The two bothering things here are the laud music on the boats
transporting people in different points of the bay and the fact that the local
men are literally staring at the foreign ladies that are daring to go for a
swim to the public beach. They have this custom to sit on the beach or in the coffee
shops with a beach view, smoking shisha (narghile), drinking tea or coffee and looking
at the foreign ladies on the beach.
That’s why the government arrange
for a private beach in a 5 starts resort where you can go from the hotel
directly paying 11 JOD / person which included the transportation with a hop on
hop off bus, plus the entrance fee in the resort. Everything is 5 stars, and
you can also book a room and spend some days in there. Is 10 km away from the
city, just that is in the middle of nowhere so you feel like closed in there if
you don’t have a car to go to the city. And another disadvantage would be the
fact that the sea is not that still and calm as in Aqaba bay. Nevertheless, if
you want to spend a day there, it’s a good choice as it’s really quiet and
The city of Aqaba it’s an
ordinary city. Big, full of people that are less open-minded than the people in
the northern part of Jordan, even less open-minded that the people in Petra or
Wadi Rum. Initially I thought it was because of the fact that there are not too
many tourists in this city. Then I’ve noticed a lot of foreign people, so there
is another reason behind, I was not able to discover yet.
However, there were some nice
experiences we had in this place. First of all, the accommodation. We booked a double
room for 4 nights at Taj Hotel 3*, and we ended up receiving an upgrade to a
suite within the same price (122 EUR / 4 nights / 2 people). And this was not
just for us! I must confess that before booking the room, I was reading the
reviews and more people were saying the same thing. So, basically, I decided to
book this hotel hoping for the same treat. And it proved to be real! 😊
Now, you should not expect a 5* suite, however, having two rooms, a living room
and a small kitchen like in an aparthotel, was more than what we’ve expected. Honestly,
I think it’s a marketing trick, it’s actually their way of making you choosing
this hotel that is up on the hill, not next to the beach as the others. However,
if you enjoy a 5 minutes’ walk to the beach, it’s a very good choice and quality
for money. We’ve met a Romanian couple on the second day. They booked a 2-3*
hotel near the beach for one night, and they told us it was awful. So, I say
better uphill, in a suite! 😊
Then, the nicest part of this city
was the food. Even if it was very hard to find restaurants serving vegetarian dishes
as most of the restaurants and fast foods are selling only dishes with meat, we
finally found this place, Al-Tazaj, with an exquisite falafel, and excellent
sea food, and we suddenly became their loyal customers. We even took some
falafel sandwiches with us when we rented the car to drive back to Amman and
visit some other places on the way back.
Another nice thing to see in here
is the Aqaba Castle. We were there 15 minutes before the closing hour (4 pm),
and we did a quick tour. Then, the man in charge of the Castle came to us and offered
us a private tour inside and up on some of the parts of the Castle that were
closed. It was a great experience and we enjoyed a lot his way of showing us
where to sit to have the best pictures of the place.
If you have a look at the small
details around, Aqaba had a great positive aspect to be remembered here: the labels
with the real prices of the products in the shops and supermarkets. In Wadi
Musa, there were less honest people telling you the real price of the products,
moreover the prices were even 3 times bigger than in Aqaba. So, not feeling “rubbed”
at each corner was a big plus of this city!
Now, a strange thing happened when
we tried to rent a car. We went several times at Avis rent a car office asking
for a car and they continuously told us no car was available for the day we
were planning to leave. Moreover, they asked us to pay 35 to 50 JOD extra-charge
for taking the car in Aqaba and leaving it in Amman. So, I decided to check
this on the internet. And I managed to book a car via Ryanair app from the same
Avis office without paying any extra-fee for leaving the car in Amman. Briefly,
when in Jordan, you may want to book things on different sites and apps than
dealing with local people even if they are employed by big international companies.
The good news was that again I booked for an small car (Kia Picanto) and I
received an almost new big car (Kia Celina), so we were so comfortable driving
back and visiting around different places on the way back to Amman.
Going back to the less open-minded
people, we faced that again when I tried to visit a mosque. During the last day
of our staying in Aqaba, we went to see the mosque we were passing by each day
when we were going downhill to the beach. And once I entered the courtyard of
the mosque, the men started to fight each other to get me out of there. Some
were saying that it was not a problem for me to visit the mosque, others were completely
against the idea, and others were trying to make me pay 20 JOD for a hijab (a
long skirt plus a scarf to cover my head). At a certain point, when I was about
to leave the place, a man came and he was completely willing to help me entering
the mosque. So, he asked his wife to give me her hijab and a scarf to cover my
head and I was invited inside the mosque.
I sat there quietly thanking God for the presence of this man, and praying for a more understandable and peaceful world. After finishing my pray, I went outside to give them back the hijab and the scarf, and he started to explain me that we all have the same God, just that some people are seeing these things differently and I should understand and forgive them. And we agreed that we are all the sons of the same God, just the way we call God may be different like Allah, and the perspective may change from a mind to another. I thanked him for his way of seeing things and for his willingness to put an end to that fight, and I left the mosque full of hope that men, one day, will stop fighting for and in the name of God.
To be continued…
Check out the begining of the Jordanian adventure here:
During these three days in Petra my body was burning, my inner peace was
nowhere to find and I felt like dying for few times. My only window towards
myself was opened only inside the Prophet Aaron’s tomb where I was able
to meditate for half an hour. It was a real blessing and I am sure it was actually
our ticket back safe into the car where my fever came back again.
Tough night, but I managed to
sleep and that was a real help. The interesting thing when I woke up was to
notice the fever was completely gone. So, luggage done and jump into a taxi towards
Wadi Rum Desert where we booked a jeep tour and a night in a camp in the middle
of the desert.
I was a bit dizzy in the taxi, I
admit, but once I stepped into the desert, I was completely a new person. We
took a jeep tour and started visiting the most important things Wadi Rum has
for tourists’ eye.
We started with Lawrence Spring, where two Jordanians asked me nicely to take some pictures with me. I was surprised even if I’m already used to this kind of requests when I am traveling in countries where my skin color looks so interesting for the locals and they are asking me to take pictures with me like with a movie star or something. So, my surprise was not coming from the request, but from the fact that after three days of fever, my look was not that great, and for a second I asked myself “why in the Gods name would you like a picture with someone looking like me?!” But looking at the guy and seeing how nervous he was, I felt my heart melting and I said to myself “if you see something that worth being immortalized, so be it!”. And we laughed and they were trying afterwards to catch a camel for me from the free ones around, and I guess that was the Desert way of saying “Welcome to my world!”
After this unexpected experience, we went and hiked the Sand Dunes. And there I was back again in touch with myself and God! On top of that Dune, I was able to do my first quiet, profound and relaxed meditation under the full light of the Sun bathing my body and my Soul. For Christians like myself, it was actually the celebration day of the two Archangels MikaEL and GabriEL, under which power and blessings I surrendered my entire being.
Once back in the jeep, I felt like having a new body and the certainty of a complete healing was installed in every cell. Then we headed to a canyon where one can see the Anfishih nabatin Inscriptions 200 B.C. old left by ancient trade caravans.
After getting into the heart of this canyon where one may find it a bit uncomfortable to keep his own balance while stepping on wet rocks trying not to slip and fall into the water, we went to Um Froth Rock Arch. Climbing that rock it’s more like climbing a wall. It’s not easy to climb, nor to get down afterwards, but it’s worth all the effort and the queue you have to wait patiently as it is one way only and the path is so tight only one person can pass at a time. Once you are up, it’s amazing! You have this mixed feeling like being on top of the world despite the fact that the arch is only 15 meters high, but you are up there, looking down at all that people ready to take a picture of you, and the small path is giving you the sensation that you can fall anytime. In fact, is just that monkey brain scared as Hell seeing itself out of its comfort zone. 😊
After these experiences full of adrenaline, we went to a nice place where we were able to take some panoramic pictures of Wadi Rum desert and spot the line between the red and white desert.
It’s amazing to sit in the red
sand, play with it and feel like home!
And moreover, 300 meters away set
a small camp, and witness a majestic Sunset while drinking Bedouin tea. Words
are not enough to describe the feeling, so I advise you to go there and have
Once the Sun was down, we went to
the camp for the night, we had Bedouin tea again, we had dinner and then we
decided to walk for a while into the desert and just listen. And I think if God
has a voice, that is the voice of the desert!
After this walk, I laid down on a
bench to watch the stars. I have never seen so many stars not once in my trips
in different parts of the world. And I felt like my body was melting down and
becoming one with the sky, one with the stars, one with the entire universe.
This was my second door of the day into a profound meditation where I felt like
finding an equilibrium between all 5 elements and integrate it. And there it
was again, that healing state coming from a new layer and embodying into this
And after three days of fever, my
body was not burning anymore, was kind of freezing for a bit. So, we headed
towards our tent with a view over the desert and the sky, and I was finally being
able to fall asleep watching the stars and the Moon shining over the quiet sleepy
I woke up several times that
night, just to watch the Moon and the stars as I was always dreaming of, and
then fall asleep again with a big smile on my face.
And if you spend a night in the
desert, you cannot miss the sunrise! So, we woke up at 5:00 am and we went out
to witness how the Sun is touching the mighty Desert. We climbed the rock that
was behind our camp, and there, after consuming that strong feeling of joy for
the present moment, I set on the edge of the cliff, I closed my eyes and I felt
like falling into another dimension. There, on that cliff, I reached another
layer of my own being, and I understood my profound connection with this world,
and the meaning of the burning days in Petra.
That’s why I’m saying… As much as quiet the Desert seems, the Desert actually speaks!
To be continued…
Chek out the begining of the Jordanian story here!