This is The Dead Sea (Jordan side). It’s true, you really do float! It’s awesome-weird! I know it looks like I’m sitting on something, but I’m not. The Dead Sea has a salt content of 31%, 9 times that of the ocean. It makes you very buoyant! The sensation is hard to explain, but I can say it is fun and strange all at the same time.
And it reduced me to giggling like a small child. I couldn’t help it. It was a little embarrassing until I saw (and heard) 2 Spanish men beside me suffering from the same affliction — it’s contagious. What’s more, the Dead Sea puts everybody into “Take my picture!” mode. Even me. I could see the Spanish guys were in the same boat, as their wives were on rapid fire with their cameras. Ha!
Last, but not least, I should note that the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth (422m below sea level). And now I’ve been there. Another day, another “world’s -est” falls at the hands of yours truly…
As fun as the Dead Sea is, it is not the most popular attraction in Jordan. That distinction goes to stunning Petra, the ruins of a 2000 year-old Nabatean city. Trust the hype on this one, Petra delivers. You have probably already seen Petra in a movie: one of its most famous sights, “The Treasury,” was in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. The facade is carved into the sandstone.
Then, just when you thought the Treasury was the finest sight in Petra, it serves you this, the Monastery:
Wait… there’s more! In the town next to Petra is The Cave Bar, which is said to be the oldest bar in the world! Over 2000 years! Obviously, I had a beer there.
Then there is Wadi Rum, a bizarre but wonderful combination of sandy desert and rocky mountains. I spent one night out there, catching the sunrise and sunset.
Jordan is definitely packed full of good stuff. Great country.
I have a confession to make… I have a crush on Queen Rania of Jordan. Is that inappropriate? Nah, hopefully not. You can do your own research, but I will tell you Queen Rania is doing lots of great things, in interesting ways, to try to make the world a better place. Incidentally, I think she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Oh, and apparently Her Majesty loves peanut butter :) Too bad she is already married to a king, haha.
I have now spent more than 2 months in the Middle East and I have yet to introduce you to the Muslim “Call to prayer.” Five times a day Muslims are called to pray by chants broadcasted everywhere over mosques’ PA systems. Here is what it sounded like one night from my hotel room in Wadi Musa:
If you cannot go on with your life unless you have seen more Jordanian photos, I will help you out. I’m good like that.
There is one phrase that I heard countless times in Jordan. It seems that everybody there, no matter how little English they speak, can say it. If I had a nickel for every time I heard it, I would be able to travel to the end of my days. I’ll leave you with it:
“Welcome to Jordan”