Whilst you can buy the work of the Bani Hamida Bedouin weavers in Amman, a visit to their headquarters near Mukawir is another experience entirely. Here you will not only find a huge selection of this wonderful work (the warp-faced flatweave style is uniquely Bedouin), you will also see the great piles of dyed but unwoven wool waiting to be collected - the weavers work in their own homes - and observe a very successful cottage enterprise at work. This is more than just another shopping trip.
Prices reflect the value of the work, which is of the highest quality (eg$75 for a piece 70x55cms)
Posted by leyle
Another detour off the King's Highway will bring you to the isolated Byzantine religious complex at Umm-ar-Resas - the most important section of which is housed nowadays in an ugly yellow hangar. Inside, however, are splendid mosaics in amazingly good condition. In the largest of these, scenes of rural and river life are framed by images of the cities of the the West and East banks of the River Jordan, many of whose names are still in use today - Jerusalem, Nablus, Gaza, Madaba, while others, such as modern Kerak and Amman are identifiable by their Roman-era names, Charach Mouba and Philadelphia.
Posted by leyle
Continue down the road from the Bani Hamida shop and, rising up in front of you, you will see the strange flat-topped mound of Mukawir, site of Herod the Great's palace of Machaerus, where Salome danced and claimed the head of John the Baptist as her price. Virtually nothing remains to be seen of the palace and the climb to the top is a stiff one, but the views of the Dead Sea and the surrounding countryside are spectacular and the still quiet of the place has a magic all of its own.
The road to Mukawir is signposted off the King's Highway about 20km south of Madaba.
posted by leyle
In your Jerash visit, you see three Arabic men in local costumes at ancient theatre. I call them "The Jerash Trio". When a group of tourist came into ancient theatre, they start to play most famous song of those tourists' country. They have a man at the entrance of theatre therefore they know the origin country of groups. It's fun. Tourists dance by their songs and sing together.
Festival of Jarash:
So Famous in Jordan!
Singers, Dancers, and show business famous persons!
It is like the Beit Al Din Festival in Lebanon and the Bousra Festival in Syria!
Each of those three countries has its own place for festivals.
The same idea, but local differences!
Also should say: any of the foreign groups which come to present in Middle East choose one of those three locations.
For example the Russian Ballet team came several times in the season of Festival to the three location I told you about!
Dead Sea is, a place under 400m. of sea level, a real must see in Jordan. There are fine spa hotels and beaches for having mud experience. Dead Spa Hotel is a nice place with pools, a red beach and goor food.
Protect your eyes when you play in mud. It hurts...
The most impotant thing is in Dead Sea get relaxed and float. Sea will do everything for you :)
Khirbet al Mukhayat is roughly between Madaba and Mount Nebo on a side road; it was originally the village near to the large Byzantine monastery of which the present Mount Nebo church is part of the basilica
There are several churches, mostly pretty ruined. There is a beautiful mosaic in the "Martyrs' Church" of Saints Lot and Procupius but there are also 2 specatcular mosaics in Preacher John's church which are less well known
One of the mosaics was placed above the other one which was completely covered and unknown until the newer one was removed for restoring. The figures on the older mosaic have thus escaped the iconoclasts. These mosaics are very attractive.
To get there you would need to take a taxi or hitch from the main road. The road to Khirbet al Mukhayat turns to the left a couple of kilometers from Madaba when going towards Mount Nebo. It's not very far.
Posted by Lulu
What a sensation, being drove in an old 4WD in that unique landscape.
That lasted for only a couple of hours, but it was enough to feel the desert, the adventure of vehicles sunken in the sand, the relief and hospitality of a Bedouin tent, and the comfortable expectation of a shower and cold drinks waiting us at the hotel.
What a surprise, the happiness and joy of my wife, facing the wind under the burning sun. But life is hard there, even with the income from the tourists, so common that it is hard to get out of the "beaten path".
The museum of the citadel is really great and it has many treasures from the Roman Period and Greek and Islamic too!
But the Amazing thing also is the Neanderthals Bones and tools!
This is the second museum were I saw such things after our museum in Aleppo.
More land has been opened to archaeologists at Um Ar Rasas and 1' churches have been discovered from the great mosaic period - all of them with magnificent floors. You can't see very much at the moment, these churches are just heaps of stones, but Father Piccirillo of the Franciscan Instititute at Madaba has succeeded in obtaining funds from the Vatican to restore all of them. It is hoped that these churches, which were all destroyed in a major earthquake, escaped the attentions of the "iconoclasts" and that the mosaics will not have been attacked before the destruction of the earthquake.
Most visitors to Umm Qais take the road from Irbid, but there is a more scenic route along the Yarmuck Gorge road, which takes you from the River Jordan Highway up into the hills via a spectacular winding route with switchbacks.
The views of the Jordan Valley and the Yarmuck Gorge are spectacular while you can also catch an occasional glimpse of the Golan Heights to the north. The drive starts from the village of Shuneh in the River Jordan Valley.
The turn off is signposted only in Arabic, so it's very easy to miss. We drove through the village and ended up at near Baquora, an area close tot he Israeli border patrolled by the Jordanian army. The army guy spoke no English but he pointed us back to Shuneh. Once back in Shuneh we finally worked out the way to the Yarmuck Gorge road by comparing the Arabic writing on the signposts with what was in our guidebook!
It took about 30 minutes to reach Umm Qais along this road, but we did stop a number of times to take pictures and to admire the view. We also caught a glimpse of the huge Wihdeh Dam, a joint engineering project between Jordan and Syria.
This whole area is very close to the border so we also had to stop at a couple of checkpoints. But despite the security presence it's a wonderful drive and a good alternative route to Umm Qais.
From the Mt. Nebo Franciscan Monastery you can walk down to the Dead Sea. It's a long walk (about 25 kms) through some terrific landscapes. No real path to follow: just head down towards the Dead Sea. Keep always track of where the main road is: if you're tired you can try to find a lift. Take care of some aggressive stray dogs around. There are no villages along the way, so bring enough water with you.
A visit to Jordan is incomplete without a visit to Wadi Rum. Only an hour from Aqaba this vast desert provides a stunning backdrop to desert adventures. On the day we visited, only 10 tourists had been in total. The threat of war has reduced tourist numbers to a trickle, which is sad for the locals who often rely on work as desert guides, but for tourists, there is none of that pre-packaged battery hen type trip which is so often experienced when travelling abroad. We were dropped of at the rest house by our driver and allocated a young Beduin lad (Khaled) as our driver and escort. Khaled informed us that he was one of 27 children he attributed the success of his father to his regular intake of camel's milk. We visited Lawrence's spring, and the Sunset site where Khaled made a small camp fire and brewed a pot of tea. We sat around the fire (by this time his friend had joined us) and drank tea and ate pistachios whilst putting the world to right. The sky was blue and clear, the wind light, and we sat and savoured the silence, watching eagles soaring in the evening sky. Magic...
Before we left the Wadi Rum area, the chief of Police insisted that we take tea with him in the rest house. (Very clean with all mod cons). He informed us that as the number of tourists was dwindling by the day, it was important that he speak to us all to maintain his language skills. It really puts us to shame, how many Chief Constables in England can speak Arabic, French, German, Spanish ?? Not many I think. We spent a leisurely hour learning about each others lives, jobs, and families before bidding farewell.
Next time we visit we will definately stay overnight as I feel we really missed out on a wonderful experience here.
Petra has it's man made wonders but Wadi Rum - built by God and loved by the Bedouin far surpasses the beauty of Petra.
After staying overnight in the Pella Countryside Hotel, we hiked to the summit of Jebel Sartaba (309m) the following morning. This is a fairly straightforward hike though finding the summit took us longer than I would have thought.
The hike starts from the Pella resthouse, and descends to the Pella ruins (40 metres below sea-level), before climbing steeply to Sartaba. This hike is especially nice in spring when flowers cover the hillside. It took us just under two hours for the whole hike - ie to the summit and back to the Resthouse. The mountain was deserted other than for a couple of shepherds and their sheep and goats.
From the summit there are excellent views down to the River Jordan Valley and across into Palestine. Also on the summit are the ruins of a Hellenistic fortress. We learned about this hike from the useful trekking book "Jordan: Walks, Treks, Caves and Canyons" by Di Taylor and Tony Howard.
facing to israel,egypt (as in this pic facing taba) and
not very far from saoudi arabia...
you may cross the israeli border between 8 am and 6 pm excepted alot of days as friday,saturday and sunday....(religious days)+public holidays on both sides!
I was moved to this hotel in Wadi Musa, after the hotel I booked did not have a room available. The...more
The Four Seasons Hotel in Amman is definitely fit for a king (or queen). An Arab sheikh would like...more
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Good for: Couples
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