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Jordan - March 2001

 
     
 

Sylvia and I took a long weekend trip to Jordan 23rd to 27th March 2001.

A long delayed BA flight via Damascus, arriving at Amman after some very turbulent thunderstorms to collect a hired Suzuki Jeep long after midnight. Pausing to snooze by the roadside on the long drive south - to be awoken shortly before dawn by a very friendly policeman apparently concerned for our welfare. Shortly after a spectacular sunrise, the stormy weather brewed up a terrifying sandstorm streaming west to east across the road. Traffic reduced to a crawl hanging on to tail-lights barely visible 2m ahead, without which it was impossible to tell the sand covered road from the rest of the desert, let alone spot the turning west to Petra.

Anyway, a memorable way to start a "pilgrimage" to many T.E.Lawrence sites, based in a hotel near Petra.

Below : The four hand-drawn maps from TEL's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Taking pity on our arrival around 7 in the morning, they offered us the honeymoon suite with 4m diameter circular bed (!) to rest long before normal check in (or out) time. We got up at 10 and went to visit Petra, and ... well the pictures tell the story.

Set 1 - Amman to Petra, Wadi Hesa & Kerak

Set 2 - Petra

Set 3 - Wadi Rum & the Hejaz Railway

Set 4 - The Dead Sea

The story the pictures don't tell is our failed attempt to drive the hire car out of night-time downtown Amman to the airport. Navigation was difficult enough without bearings or a sense of direction, but probably possible had it not been for all the unexpected roadblocks caused by security around the summit of Arab leaders convening in Amman that week, and the fact that so many of the security police had been drafted in from out of town, so despite their perplexed, polite concern at our predicament, they were little use for directions to the airport.

Anyway, every Jordanian we met was very friendly and helpful and mindful that middle-east security was a concern holding back many potential tourists from visiting their trove of natural and archaeological treasures. Well worth a much longer second visit, and more.