When I booked my trip to Jordan and Israel I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE TWO COUNTRIES! The only thing I heard about was PETRA. THAT’S ALL! I was sure it’s going to be a horrible and boring trip and I would be disappointed about signing up for an organized trip. Guess what? None of the above. The trip was amazingly rich in experiences, new acquaintances, places, tastes, and great fun.
So Jordan and Israel here I come…
Day one: Aqaba on the Red Sea.
We landed in Aqaba – a Jordan resort located on the Red Sea, but unfortunately, we couldn’t enjoy it as we had to head to Petra early in the morning the next day. But for a reason. The ride from Aqaba to Petra was mind-blowing…literally. I felt like watching ”The Martian” but for real – the surroundings were exactly the same. We passed by Wadi Rum – a famous spot among the tourists and stopped for a coffee/tea at a local shop with a great view on the canyon of Petra. Petra is not only the Instagramable spot you scroll regularly – it’s a massive canyon made of different stones and with a myriad of caves on its way. This is one of the greatest places I’ve ever been to. We made it to the Amphitheatre only (located in 7km. walk from the visitor’s entry to the Petra site), but the whole experience was AMAZING! Bedouins, donkeys, cats, and dogs made my journey even better! I met great people on my way and got a lot of great shots with. Petra is a dream came true for me and if it’s on your list, just do it!
After the historical city of Petra, it was time for us to head to Amman – the capital of Jordan.
Day two: Amman, Madaba and the Dead Sea
Well, well well, Amman surprised me with its beauty and great historical spots. We visited the Amman Citadel, located on a hill with a great view over the whole Jordan capital. Roman ruins, historical artifacts, mythological figures made us travel in time and empires. After the Citadel we admired the Madaba Map conserved in Saint George Church in the city of Madaba. This is the oldest mosaics map in the world and is very precious for the people of the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem.
After the lunch break, it was time for the highlight of our second day. We visited a mosaics factory in Madaba. It was not an ordinary factory, but a place where people with disabilities work and produce pieces of art with their hands – mosaics which qualities are guaranteed for 1400 years!!! Amazing place with great people! I bought the Jordan tree of life which (according to the legend) brings happiness and prosperity to the place where it remains. Don’t buy the cheapest souvenirs, support the locals and their causes, that what sustainable tourism is all about!
After Madaba and the great mosaics, it was time to get baptized in the Jordan river!!!
I was absolutely not aware of the ritual of baptism at the Jordan river and was not prepared at all…But…When we approached the Jordan river where everybody enters the waters and gets baptized I shared with the people around me that actually I am not baptized. An amazing lady – my future Godmother got so excited, so she offered to become my Godmother. That was totally unexpected to me…The entire group reunited around us and participated in my first and only baptism. I also had a video shot of the ceremony. The first ceremony ended, the two great guys I met in our group asked me to become their Godmother and we repeated the same ceremony twice. What a great experience it was!!! I felt blessed and happy!!! Great people make your greatest moments (you can quote me):
This blissful afternoon ended guess where??? at the Dead Sea. It was time to get dirty….. We read a newspaper (well someone dropped the newspaper in the water -c’est moi), got muddy and salty, felt twenty years younger due to the rejuvenating qualities of the mud and had so much fun!!! If you visit Jordan and Israel, don’t miss it out – the Dead Sea is an absolute must-see-and-get-muddy-experience ever!!!
Day three: Jericho and Bethlehem
We said Goodbye to Jordan and crossed the border to visit Jericho and Jerusalem in Israel.
Jericho is the oldest city in the world and only the ruins remind us for its existence. Ruins and artifacts. We passed by the Mount of Temptation and tasted the best dates in the world – cultivated in Palestine. Jericho is a historical spot nowadays and for those interested in history it’s worth visiting. We stayed in a hotel in Bethlehem (Palestine) and got a night tour in Jerusalem. We saw the Jewish neighborhood, the Arab neighborhood, the parliament and all the holy places at night.
Day four: Jerusalem and Terrae Sanctae
The next day we visited Christ’s Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the old city of Jerusalem, the Western “Wailing” Wall, the Mount of Olives, the city of David, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem at the end of the day. All these places of holiness reminded me of how many people suffered because of their faith and religion. If you are a pilgrim, don’t miss out Jerusalem – the crossover of all the religions and historical events.
As the fourth day was our last day together, we organized a get-together party with music, Bulgarian folklore dances, drinks, and local delicacies )
Day five: Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Tel Aviv-Yafo is definitely the place to be for me! Sun, Mediterranean breeze, terraces on the beach, great atmosphere and you name it for the best vacation ever! I will definitely come back to Tel Aviv-Yafo for a long weekend to enjoy this cosmopolitan city and to dive in its blue waters!
That was my spontaneous, unplanned and awesome trip to Jordan and Israel. See you soon on my next adventure!
Thanks for reading!