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Tips For Planning a Trip to Jordan...

 

Cooking class in Petra...
I'd like to tell other JourneyWomen about a cooking school in the town of Petra. It's called Petra Kitchen and it's a fun evening activity. As they say on their site, 'Each evening meal includes soup, cold and hot mezza and salads, and a main course—all typical Jordanian dishes. You will have get an inside glimpse of the secrets behind the famous regional cuisine of the Levant. The regular price of JD 30 per person includes the cuisine course, meal and all non-alcoholic beverages as well as take-home recipes for all dishes prepared that evening.'

 

Coca Cola drinking camel in Petra...
My daughter was stationed in Amman a few years ago and we did a lot of touring. One of our trips was to Petra. There are many ways to get to the Treasury but we found that walking the whole way the way the ancients did was most purposeful. You will however be assailed by camel drivers, horses, carriages and other means of transportation who are all too willing to part you from a few dinar. Look for the coca-cola drinking camel. I was 63 years old when I walked Petra. Take lots of water because it gets very hot. There are shady places to sit on the way. I wore a large hat and good walking shoes. We wore capris and shirts with sleeves. In Amman I usually wore a loose fitting dress with short sleeves. Skirts and dresses actualy seemed cooler than slacks.
Marcia, Baldwinsville, USA

 

What to wear in Petra...
From experience I recommend wearing sturdy walking shoes completely covering your feet. The rocky Siq (long path into the city) is very uneven with lots of old flat rocks. The city itself is a mixture of sand, grit and very high steps especially to the temples or king's tombs, and a long walk to the Monastery. Reddish dirt everywhere. So don't wear black. Khakis, greys and blues are fine.
Cecile, New Brunswick, Canada

 

What to pack for Jordan...
I live in Israel and I traveled in Jordan and Egypt. My advice when travelling to this part of the world is TRAVEL LIGHT! 2 pair pants, 1 skirt for evening, (all light weight, long, loose) 1-2 short sleeve tops, 1-2 long sleeve tops, 1 sweater. Jacket only if going in cooler seasons. Light weight rain jacket with hood is ideal. The key is layering. When it is cool - short sleeve + long sleeve + sweater + jacket, and peeling layers as it warms up. Take clothes that are dark and you can mix and match. Walking shoes or sneakers for day, cheap, light weight flip flops for showers, beaches, etc. and nice closed shoe or sandal for evening. If you are going on a short trip 1 pants, 1skirt, 2-3 tops are enough.
Susan, Haifa, Israel

 

Married to a Bedouin...
In Petra we visited Marguerite van Geldermalsen, the New Zealand women who married a Bedouin man. The guides will point out her stall to you; she sells lovely silver jewellery made by the Queen Noor Women's Foundation. Since we're both from New Zealand and have read Marguerite's book ('Married to a Bedouin' published by Virago) it was quite special to actually meet her and see where she lives now. Marguerite also does guided tours if people contact her in advance. Check out www.marriedtoabedouin.com.

We loved Jordan; there is amazing scenery to see in this country. Allow at least five days so you can chill out at one of the hotels by the Dead Sea and go for a drive along the Kings Highway. The Wadi Mujib rift is incredible.
Jeny, Wellington, New Zealand

 

Carry money for tips...
I found the Jordanian people friendly, accomodating, and pretty laid back, except for in Petra. To me, Petra is a Disneyworld of sorts, a crowded tourist destination, where tips are expected if you ride a donkey 20 feet with a person leading the donkey, even though this has already been paid for in your tour price. So, be sure to take small denominations of Jordanian money for tips in Petra, as they will ask you for a tip, regardless of the service offered. This happens nowhere except Petra. Be sure also to purchase your drinking water other than at the hotels as they can charge up to $5.00 USD for a bottle of water. Having said that, Petra is something to behold. It is awesome, and to think this was a planned city that was carved thousands of years ago.
Gladys, USA

 

 

Things she learned in Jordan...

The Arab words minfadluk and shukran work wonders throughout Jordan. They simply mean please and thank-you. Use them often.

A Jordanian staple is tea, called shai in Arabic. The best kind is what the Bedouin brew over a hot fire in a blackened kettle --it's deliciously sweet and served with fresh mint. Usually served in palm-sized glasses without handles. It's an acquired talent to hand onto it without burning your fingertips.
(Lisa Phipps, Bramalea, Canada)

Jordan opens itself up to female travellers in a wonderful, enticing way. I have never felt as beautiful or independent or happy as I did while I was there. Something about watching a sunset in the desert, getting an ancient beauty treatment in a Turkish bath, or walking through beautiful ruins really transforms you and you begin to understand where Jordanian women get their mystery.
(Brianne, 20-something after completing a 7 week work-study program in Amman)

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