The magic of Jordan is real guys. Jordan is magical. Really. There are plenty of things that explain the magic of Jordan. At first, you would think it isn’t a place to visit. At least, that’s what people I am surrounded by previously told me. Luckily I can think for myself, and it is not like they could stop me from visiting a country this special anyway. The magic of Jordan exists. And is unreal. They said that it is tricky to go there, especially on your own, and as a female. Which is funny, as they’ve never been there before. I happily proved everyone who doubted the country and its people and the ones who doubted me, wrong. With big capital letters.
The magic of Jordan exists y’all.
I’ve always wanted to visit and explore the magic of Jordan. People wondered and used to ask me what was wrong with me. There wasn’t anything wrong and there still isn’t. I am just different. I don’t fancy just visiting the U.S.A, Oceania or Europe just because people are afraid of the unknown. The unknown, that is something that drives me. And draws me towards a certain country. I obviously heard of Petra, however, I also knew there was a whole other country to explore besides this world heritage.
And I have to admit, the country, Jordan, certainly didn’t bore me. It gave me new experiences. I tried new sorts of food and flavors, met a lot of incredible and nice people. And found pigeons. They are everywhere. At least you know what we ate for dinner that night. Kidding. Maybe not.
Somehow, wherever you’re walking, you are breathing history. You can feel it when you walk through the Roman theater in Amman and you can feel it while exploring Umm Qais. But besides these incredible historic sights, you can feel it everywhere. Every step you take makes you aware of the fact that there is a rich history laying underneath the street. If you’re in a 4×4 on your way to explore Wadi Rum, just think about how this incredible desert used to be an ocean. It makes you think what this world and what people are capable of doing. It makes you cherish it. And it makes you think, about how it is always changing, that is also part of the magic of Jordan, but also of the world.
The mountains change colour
Black, yellow, orange and brown mountains. The magic of Jordan starts with its ever changing colors of the mountains. One mountain hides after another. It’s a spectacular sight, especially for me. I haven’t been to any other country whose mountains are this special. An old road is guiding you through the valleys. It’s a tricky ride, however, Jordan changes from dry and sandy to colourful and green within a mere five minutes.
The ride is in a small, red; ‘read fucking tiny but hilarious’ 4×4 as that’s the only way to drive around this hidden part of the country. When I first spotted my ride I didn’t expect it to last for a few hours. I was wrong. My taxi driver, who is a Bedouin, doesn’t exceed the speed above 30 km per hour. This gives me plenty of time to look outside, to enjoy the bumpy and hilly ride (rollercoasters aren’t fun anymore, this is) and to enjoy the cliff next to the car and me.
Did I mention that I’m afraid of heights? No? Well, now I did. During the two hour ride, we drove through a big part of the country, and exchanged stories, as I always do. He was chased away from his cave in Petra by the government. Just like many other families there. They were basically dumped into a village nearby the Red city, however, they still miss it every day. The residents miss the clear sky in the evening. The stars and the moon shine so brightly in Petra that you don’t even need lights to guide you through the valleys. Even if it would’ve been a cloudy night, the people there know every piece of sand. I experienced the views firsthand.
Lost for words
Walking from the cave through the valley, after the most incredible sunset and a typical, but really tasty Bedouin meal has to be one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. You can look kilometers and kilometers away. I try to count all the stars, but I’m forced to stop after fifty as I lost my counts.
The way the moon shines on the red sand it suddenly doesn’t matter that your converse all stars are completely filled with the sand that makes walking thousand times more difficult. It feels like you’re floating on the sand on your way to the beginning of the red city. While stumbling over rocks every now and then. You’re actually not allowed to stay in Petra after closing time, however, sometimes a little mental breakdown is what you need to experience something that even makes your biggest dreams disappear.
A smell of fresh-baked bread and freshly made spices can be smelled while you’re walking through the markets in cities. You see an enormous amount of families walking through the small streets, where stands were just about squeezed in, on their way searching for the best prices and quality of food. Whether you walk through markets in the morning, sit in front of a mosque or enjoy spending your time in a park, there is one thing you don’t know about yourself but you are doing it every time again. Which is a good thing. If you don’t do this yet, try some of it the next time you’re abroad.
You try to immerse yourself in the culture. Trying to think what the kids will do after they finished the football game in the park. Or what the families will eat for dinner tonight. Walking through almost empty streets when you see it isn’t actually that empty. There are kids playing around, shouting you a happy ‘HELLO’ while you smile at them, shout it back with a big enormous smile, and think of your own childhood. You keep on walking forward with a smile on your face, slowly disappearing into one of the many little streets as the kids follow you with their curious eyes until the end.
Some people will be interested in what you’re doing in their country, but almost all of them will be happy to welcome you. They are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Curious. Their eyes scanning your face as you walk through the streets, while you think of dying your hair brown you know you are going to stand out anyway. It’s better to own up to it.
The old Roman olive trees that are still blooming thousands of years later. Farmers that are located next to the road with their pomegranates and olives. Tens of trucks and cars stop to get these fruits and vegetables as fresh as possible. As we continue driving there’s a car ghost riding our way on the side of the road. No one bats an eye. No matter how chaotic this country sometimes seems, people know how to make it work.
Besides the fact that the capital of Jordan, Amman, is absolutely horrendous during rush hour. The feeling changes soon. The magic of Jordan is nowhere to be found. Unless you see a sunset this beautiful that slowly hides its beauty behind the many hills this city has been built onto, while the streets only get more crowded. I figured out that one thing of the magic of Jordan is for sure the sun. The other one is the mountains. And the other its people.
The country has a rare combination of just the right amount of things. While some people tend to think it is the Kingdom of Boredom, I happen to think it is the magical Kingdom of Jordan.
Every city or village lives. Whether you’re in Amman or Madaba. In Jerash or in As Salt. Or in Wadi Rum village and Feynan. It lives. Fresh made falafel and bread from the side of the road in the early morning. The people are busy, just like you and I. Living their everyday lives. They try to follow their dreams, even though it isn’t always that easy.
In Feynan I talked to a bedouin who worked at the ecolodge I was staying at, I would highly recommend you to stay there. The food is freshly made, the bread is made by women who live in the valley and they light up candles in the evening instead of lights. Another incredible experience in Jordan. The guy told me how he would love to travel the world one day, however, his passport doesn’t let him easily. Also, there’s the fact that traveling is expensive for most people in Jordan. And trust me when I say this, it hit me hard in the face.
Sometimes I forget to think about all the privileges that I have. It’s something that we overlook so easily. We can go to an incredible amount of countries without the whole hassle of obtaining a visa. It saves us not only a lot of money but time and frustration. When you’re talking to the local people you do notice that they have one thing in common. Pride. They are proud of their history, of their monuments and of their nature, although some people don’t respect nature many, in fact, do. Conversations like these, and plenty of others are part of the magic of Jordan.
The food is fresh, just like I am used to. The herbs and spices smell stronger than I’ve previously thought they would. New sorts of vegetables and fruits enter my eyesight and wide my perspective. The smell of the freshness enters your nose and only comes out when you leave Jordan. The magic of Jordan is real.
Other articles about Jordan can you find here ( 15 things I didn’t expect in Jordan) and here (adventures of a female traveler in Jordan | day 1).
Note: there will be plenty of more coming, including a guide. That you will love. Obviously.
I will automatically love you for the rest of my life if you pin my post.