For tourists, the contrast between Jordan and its neighbour, Saudi Arabia is massive. There’s a much more open atmosphere; there’s a level of organisation to Jordan’s tourist industry that Saudi Arabia can only aspire to; and there are few of the restrictions that make Saudi a more “difficult” place to explore (visas, stricter dress codes, alcohol etc).
I visited the haunting desert landscapes of the Wadi Rum, while Tracy visited the amazing site of Petra again – both looked as spectacular as ever. On our other days, we spent our time in the less picturesque environment of Aqaba, a sometimes scruffy town that presents a friendly introduction to Jordan. We visited the town’s small souk, we lounged around at the Kempinski Hotel (Aqaba does luxury hotels rather well), and we had a lovely lunch (including beer!) at an old favourite, Ali Baba Restaurant.
Jordan is a place that makes the best of what it has – its coastline is only 16 miles long, yet it’s become a beach destination; much of its territory is barren desert, yet it’s made that into a tourist attraction; its main historical site was hidden away for centuries, yet it’s become one of the world’s must-see sights. A lovely place to spend three days.