MIDDLE EAST

A Photo Essay: Jordan

Jamie is a Junior at the University of Kentucky, studying in Jordan this semester! She will be writing a few blogs for ENKOMPASS about her experience, so stay tuned for more!

1. Amman

Amman is the capital of Jordan, and has activities for almost everyone. For the history buff, the center of the city hosts several interesting sites, namely the Citadel. The Citadel is beautiful Roman ruins next to a Byzantine church and Umayyad Palace. Furthermore, it is located atop a hill, which provides an amazing view of the city.

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2. Petra

According to our tour guide, Petra was named 2nd in a contest among UNESCO’s 7 Wonders of the World. This is the not the least bit surprising. This beautifully intriguing place takes three days to explore, but is worth visiting even for just an afternoon. Amazing architecture and hiking that leads to breathtaking views makes for a great trip.

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3. Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is the largest desert in Jordan and the location of the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. There is no light pollution in Wadi Rum, so there aren’t hotels, only camps. The opportunity to sleep in tents in the middle of a desert underneath millions of stars is unique and amazing. You can top off this adventure with a camel ride.

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4. Aqaba

Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan, and is located on the Red Sea. Just off the coast of Aqaba, one can see 4 different countries: Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. On top of this amazing fact, Aqaba also has some of the world’s best snorkeling and scuba diving.

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5. Madaba

Madaba is a city relatively close to Amman, but provides a much more laid back atmosphere. While it is still a city, it is smaller and more pedestrian friendly. Madaba is known for its’ mosaics, specifically a Byzantine mosaic depicting the region.

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6. Mt. Nebo

According to the Bible, Mt. Nebo is where Jesus revealed the holy land to Moses. Furthermore, Moses’ body is supposedly buried there. Religious and historical reasons aside, Mt. Nebo offers an amazing and expansive view of the region that is worth the trip.

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7. Castles

Jordan is home to several castles. I have visited Shobak and Kerak Castles, and I would recommend them both. They are both crusader castles, and like many of the sites on this list, they provide amazing views of the surrounding area because they are perched on hills.

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8. Dana

Dana Nature Reserve is a breathtaking place. It is home to plants and flowers that cannot be seen anywhere else in the country. This diverse area has great hiking and views to make for a relaxing day.

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Photo from: http://landlopers.com/2011/07/10/travel-spotlight-dana-biosphere-reserve-jordan

9. Bier Mathkour

Beir Mathkour is located in Wadi Araba, and provides the opportunity to spend the night in the desert and interact with locals. The housing at Beir Mathkour is homes that the Ottoman Empire built for nomads in order to encourage them to settle. In addition, guests are able visit with locals in their tents, and even experience Bedouin court.

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10. Ajloun

Ajloun is a city in northern Jordan, and it is most beautiful in the spring. This city offers a unique landscape compared to the rest of the country in that it has rolling green hills. It is a much higher altitude than most of the country, and has fertile soil and rich greenery. It is a beautiful change of scenery.

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Photos and written by Jamie Love

Jamie is a Junior at the University of Kentucky studying International Studies. She is participating in a semester long program in Amman, Jordan through the UK Partner SIT