My Final Hours in Jordan

Wow what a day my final day in Jordan has been. Haven woken ready to leave this turbulent country, I am now sad to depart.

With only one day left I had to see as much as I could in my last remaining hours, and despite warnings from the foreign office to stay away from tourist areas, I hired a driver (who doubled up as my own personal tour guide) and did a ‘Challenge Anneka' around of the rest of Jordan, avoiding the main hotspots.

My first stop was Jerash – the second most popular tourist destination after Petra, known as ‘a Rome away from Rome' with its ancient Roman ruins.

Roman ruins in Jerash

But there was no time to stop and marvel at these ancient ruins as it was time to head further north through Mediterranean scenery to the ancient town of Umm Qais. Past olive groves, citrus fruits and banana plantations to an old Roman town 378 metres above sea level that used to serve as a key trading route from Syria to Palestine.

At one point we were only 30 minutes away from the Syrian border and less than 2 hours from its capital, Damascus.

The way to Syria

Umm Qais is 110km north of Amman and is the perfect viewpoint to see the surrounding borders; the Sea of Galilee in Israel, Syria and Lebanon. The old Decapolis city is made out of black basalt and is the only place that has a black and white amphitheatre and church.

For anyone visiting Jordan, this place is a must see and shouldn't be overlooked.

The black and white Amphitheatre

Syria & Lebanon

Then we drove south through Jordan Valley to the creme de la creme – the Dead Sea! I was not going to go home without floating in that baby!

Ruins of the basalt church

With only 45 minutes until I had to leave for the airport, I threw myself straight into the lowest spot on Earth and bobbed about, smiling and laughing at the dead sea monsters entering the sea (careful not to swallow any salt).The Dead Sea is lined with luxurious 5 star hotels all cashing in on its natural health spa properties. Some even charge the equivalent of £50 for access to their private sections of the sea. As a backpacker I chose Amman Beach, a private beach that is more suited to a traveller's budget of £15.

You may need a magnifying glass but I'm the one waving

With the sun beating down and cooking my face, it was time to wash off my salty muddy mask before heading off to the airport. Just before I was in the safety of the airport, we passed the burnt out embers of a car in the motorway – evidence of the protests the day before. Eight hours after my tour began, I left Jordan happy that I had accomplished my sightseeing mission and happy that I was still in one piece.

 

Do I look gorgeous yet?

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