There’s a place where I can’t wait to go back to. Traveling through the Middle East is always an interesting process to say the least, but there’s one place that just gives me a sense of peace. That place is the Dead Sea in Jordan. The Marriott at the Dead Sea is one of my absolute favorite places in the world. When I would travel in and out of Iraq, I had the choice of traveling into Dubai or Jordan. Jordan was always my first pick. Dubai is certainly the business center of the Middle East and certainly appears to be more wealthy, but Jordan has history and is calming.
As you fly into country and look down, the one thing you will notice is that all of the buildings are various shades of tan. When you look down from the plane as you travel outside of the Middle East you will notice colors everywhere. As you fly in all you see are browns, very few trees, and the new construction looks a lot like the old construction. I believe they do this because the neutral colors don’t retain heat like the deeper colors. Since Air Conditioning appears to be fairly rare, it may just help to keep the house cooler.
I generally had a VIP concierge service (Amana Tourism Services) pick me up to be able to walk me through the visa purchase and customs process. It sped up the process considerably. I would fly in and would have to go to one station to pay about $15 to acquire the visa stamp. From there, I’d have to go to the customs line to have my passport stamped. Then of course the wait at baggage claim. The service basically moved me to the front of the line and pushed me out the door in no time. They also were pretty darn reasonable for services. My travel representative picked me up walked me through, carried my bags and drove me to the hotel. It made my life so much easier. the other piece was that I could request my consultant and the same individual would pick me up every time. It was awesome to see a friendly face every time I traveled through. I knew I’d be taken care of in I was in their hands. From there, the individuals would certainly be willing to help me get reservations wherever i needed them, booked and rebooked my plane tickets if necessary, and took me out to eat if I asked, They would literally take me anywhere I wanted to go inclusive of salsa dancing. Yes, there clubs to dance in, even in Jordan.
From there, they would take me out to my hotel. I would alternate between the Marriott downtown and the one on the Dead Sea, and if I had a choice I would travel out to the Sea which was about an hour drive. It was well worth it. It was so quiet, so peaceful and the flowers bloomed all over. The Sea itself was pretty darn nifty. You could walk into it and lay down to float without effort. You could literally spin like a sea otter without touching the ground.
The technicality was that you couldn’t stay in the water very long due to the high salt content and minerals getting into your skin. If you did, you would probably break out rather than enjoy the youthful effects that it provides naturally. Also, you need to make sure not to dunk your face in the water. It’s super salty and your eyes will not appreciate it! Another little interesting tidbit is that if you look directly across the water, you will see Israel. I’ve never been on the Israel side due to the issues of acquiring a stamp from Israel and then attempting to travel throughout the other Middle Eastern (Muslim) countries. I was always told to use my Government passport if I did choose to this so it wouldn’t show up on my other passport. Always an interesting concept.
There are so many amazing things about this city that I will tell you about a little later in my journey!
Happy Travels for now!