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Gulf of Aqaba, Egypt, and Jordan

You'll be pleased to know that I am safely back from my trip to the Middle East. For the record, putting "writer" on your registration card can help get you a room upgrade! I had an amazing time scorching in 40°c temperatures, and I'm looking and feeling much happier and healthier... albeit I'm now very cold experiencing the UK's "summer" temps!

I've been out in the Gulf of Aqaba region, based at the Marriott in Taba Heights, which is a great area to explore Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia from - or you can merely melt on the beach and by the pool. (Watch out for the sand fleas if you plump for the beach!)

There are great views across to Jordan and Saudi Arabia from the beach (with military planes often flying over to Israel... plus there were lots of bomb searches because of the Hilton bombing back in 2004, and we were tested for swine flu twice!), but Taba Heights is a purpose-built resort and not a place to go to if you're after the full Egyptian experience (Nile cruises are best for that).

Looking in-land towards Mount Sinai, it's actually quite dramatic:

Or, if you're into snorkelling or diving, the Gulf is part of the Red Sea so the water is crystal clear and perfect for exploring under the sea.

The Red Sea doesn't compare to Jordan however. I absolutely fell in love with Jordan the moment I stepped into the Marina at Aqaba. Look at how pretty it looks! Aqaba is the only port Jordan has - gained by swapping some desert with Saudi Arabia - so that's why it's so lovely, I suspect.


Jordan is quite a Westernised country, but like all of the Middle East it has very dramatic scenery. I could have stared out into the Wadi Rum desert for hours, a popular filming location as it looks so alien. It's mesmerising, though when I was flying back over the UK's green picture-perfect countryside, I was equally amazed at how lush the countryside is after being exposed to never-ending rocky desert landscapes!

Another strange thing, compared to the UK anyway, is that they don't have deer warning triangles like we do. Oh no, they have camel signs and, sure enough, I spotted camels on the road to Petra, as well as mountain goats and Bedouin tents.

Petra is definitely worth seeing, but by mid-afternoon the heat makes it less enjoyable, not to mention being a Western tourist seems to suggest it's OK for you to be persistently hassled for money. I know at some point though, I will definitely head back to Jordan to go to Amman and see more of the country.

All in all, I had a wonderful trip. I've not shared a fraction of my tales (or photos), so if anyone has any questions/wants to see any more photos, let me know... but I'm sure I'll post more anyway! Hope you're all well, and hi to my new followers/subscribers!


7 comments:

  1. It seems you had an amazing time and the pictures are amazing. Thank you for taking out the time to post them up.

    I have always wanted to go to Egypt! And reading your blog post has made me want to rethink my vacation plans.

    Glad you had a safe trip =]

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  2. Hi Elle,

    I normally detest reading about people's holiday stories and photos, but how could I not like your post? You are a great photographer and it does look very hot! Lovely. I'm so happy you had a great holiday as I know things haven't been great for you since your birthday but I'm so glad to hear you're now chilled out and happy again!!

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  3. Your pictures are awesome! I want to go now!

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  4. wow, your pics are AMAZING!!! :)

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  5. The photos with the building carved into the rock is that where they filmed Indiana Jones and the holy grail?

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  6. Moar Egyptian photos please!

    MOAR!!!

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  7. @ B.Minelly - Thanks for stopping by and your comment! I thoroughly recommend Jordan; I've not seen enough of the real Egypt to be able to recommend there (yet!). Hope you have a good vacation wherever you choose to go!

    @ Amy - Well, thank you for reading and commenting (since you usually detest these sorts of posts)! But yes, I am feeling much better, thank you, and I'm ready to continue the publishing quest now I'm back! :0) Hope you're OK!

    @ Pam - Then go! :0) Tee hee!

    @ Paula - Cheers! Hope you also had a fabbity hol (I'm way behind with my Reader!). :0)

    @ Han - It is indeed where Indy Jones was filmed (as well as many other films - Jordan is a prime filming location). In fact, there was even an "Indy Jones Snack Shop" at the start of the site!! I bought a Pepsi from there!

    @ Scarlett - Oh ... go on then. ;p I'll get some more up next week! :0)

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