Jordan's a Stunner! It Is the Switzerland of the Middle East and, from Dead Sea to Red Sea, Just as Beautiful. FIONA CULLINAN Has a Hot Date with Jordan

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), July 18, 2010 | Go to article overview

Jordan's a Stunner! It Is the Switzerland of the Middle East and, from Dead Sea to Red Sea, Just as Beautiful. FIONA CULLINAN Has a Hot Date with Jordan


Byline: FIONA CULLINAN

SOME countries are famously well endowed with nature's gifts. Iceland, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway... Jordan, however, is more likely to conjure up images of a certain orange-coloured celebrity.

But Jordan the country is also busting out in natural wonders.

In fact, if natural wonders came in bra sizes, Jordan has more than a handful - and on our 1100km, six-day tour, they popped up everywhere.

Voluptuous white limestone mounds, undulating sand dunes, engulfing rifts and gorges. The Red Sea, the Dead Sea and the arid desert where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed - and that's just in a day and a half.

There was no Peter Andre, but there is a Petra - the astounding 1st century BC city hidden in a chasm in the earth and carved from the rocks. Another film location this, for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

But these are Jordan's star attractions.

Our tour kicked off at what this Middle East kingdom hopes will be an eco-tourist draw of the future - the Abraham Path.

The Abraham Path is a heritage nature trail, currently being hacked out from the hillside olive groves of Ajloun Nature Reserve, in the highlands north of Amman.

The initiative ambitiously aims to link areas of natural beauty with Abrahamic sites in Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Palestine and Israel to form a 1200km-long walking trail.

We only walked a fraction of it but Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature hopes it will ultimately rival the Camino de Santiago, the famous 780km medieval pilgrimage route of St James in northern Spain.

While the walk is pleasantly scenic in a Mediterranean way - rugged with groves of greenery - the real lure is the chance to 'meet the locals'.

Seeing Jordan's villages and enjoying some homegrown hospitality is something the likes of Petra can't offer.

Sitting cross-legged and sharing a feast of Jordanian mezzes in a village house, was a particularly delicious experience - although it was unsettling to dine with only the men of the house and exchange peeping glances with their women sitting in the next room.

After this homely lunch, it was wonder after natural wonder.

Want to camp out in the desert? No problem.

At Wadi Rum, there are 20 camps where you can arrange an overnight stay in a Bedouin tent or, as we did at Mzied Camp, sleep out under the stars, watching the moonrise and listening for wild hyena.

Imposing The next morning, we took our modern Bedouin host's Landcruiser to see imposing desert monoliths up close.

Some rock walls are carved with ancient Nabatean drawings like the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians. Others have natural rock bridges you can shuffle tentatively across.

A camel safari is another option - although on the day we spent at Wadi Rum, they all seemed to be heading to a camel racing fixture.

Prefer to sleep halfway up a geographic rift in the landscape? Wadi Dana is the spot.

The northern extension of the great African Rift Valley, Wadi Dana offers fantastic walking country and views. As we picked our way along a stunning 5kmcontour hillside trail, Jordanian villagers stopped to chat or sing a song.

It seemed an idyllic cultural exchange.

Then, pitched halfway up the rugged Dana hillside, is Rummana campsite - more of a glampsite thanks to solar-heated showers, thick mattresses and sage tea served while lounging on cushions in a Bedouin tent. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Jordan's a Stunner! It Is the Switzerland of the Middle East and, from Dead Sea to Red Sea, Just as Beautiful. FIONA CULLINAN Has a Hot Date with Jordan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.