I saw a lot in my two weeks in Jordan, and one of the questions that I have been asked the most since I returned is: “Why did you come back? We were really enjoying the fact that you were gone.” Hmmmm… ;) Let’s however concentrate on another popular question that I’m getting, shall we? That questions is: “What did you enjoy the most on your trip to Jordan?” Not an easy question to answer since there is so much to see and do in Jordan. When I think about where I smiled the most (always a good measuring stick) I would have to say the Dead Sea area. Not only is this a special place for Jordan, but it is one of the coolest places I have ever visited anywhere. From the moment I first caught a glimpse of the salty lake on the way to Petra, I knew that I was going to be in for a treat. I was right! Just a few days after quickly driving by the Dead Sea, I arrived along with Khaled my fearless guide, and Rami our driver extraordinaire, at a small nondescript area at the side of the road where we were able to park the car safely on the banks of the sea. You’d have to know where to sop in order to get a good look at some of these incredible salt formations, and luckily for me Khaled knew exactly where to go.
It was a rather precarious climb down on steep rocky terrain, and often the rocks would slightly give way as I stepped on them. One bad slip and a tumbling down I’d go, along with some pretty expensive camera gear. Needless to say, we got down safely and I started to snap away, taking photos as quickly as I could. It is only a 30-40 metre climb down, but the temperature difference was astonishing. Immediately I was dripping wet with sweat and it was just going to get worse, so I knew I had to press on rapidly. This was not a place that I wanted to hurry so I just kept saying, ok… One More Photo! After saying this a dozen times, I was beginning to get lightheaded from the sun and incredible humidity, so we packed it up and made the climb back up to the car. The above image was one of the last ones that I shot in this incredible location, and I’m sure glad that I did. It was well worth the risky climb to be able to experience this unique environment first hand. As I returned to the car, I must have drank a litre of water in 10 seconds and poured another one over my head. If you’re visiting the Dead Sea area, make sure that you have plenty of water on hand, dehydration can be a very miserable experience, and who wants that when they are in such a wondrous place?
The Dead Sea is situated an incredible 423 metres BELOW sea level and is the lowest point on the planet on dry land. The waters are some of the saltiest of any body of water on Earth at 33.7% salinity. To contrast that, the world’s oceans are a mere 3.5%. The water stretches 67km North/South and 18 km East/West. I’ll have a lot more information about the natural wonders of the Dead Sea and surrounding areas, as well as some scientific facts and history of the region in future blog posts.
The Dead Sea is now a finalist in the ongoing competition for the new 7 Natural Wonders of the world. I know it gets my vote, and it can get yours too. Just visit the New Seven Wonders Official Site to vote and read up a bit more about this unique place.
I have to take a moment to thank Royal Jordanian Airlines for the outstanding flight and service that I experienced on this trip. I had the pleasure of visiting their offices in Amman and meet with Mr. Atalla who is the airline’s director of marketing, and he gave me me the whole history of the airline, and some great facts about his native land as well. I’ll be sharing some more info about Royal Jordanian in some future posts. When they heard that I was coming to Jordan to shoot for the tourism board, the good folks at RJ worked it out to fly me there in style. I was fortunate to be placed in “Crown Class” and I felt like a king. It’s nice to be able to sleep well on a seat that turns into a flat bed in a plane, and arrive at your intercontinental destination refreshed and ready to work. Thanks Royal Jordanian, it was a pleasure to fly with you, hope I can do it again soon.
If you’re looking to book a trip to Jordan, check out the RJ site by clicking on the banner below.
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