Oasis of Jordan
“Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty.” ― Jalaluddin RumiThe significance of Red and Dead Sea is incomplete without the people who admire it and the tourist circuit in Jordan is incomplete without watching the waves at these two beautiful creations of mother earth.
AQABA: The door to Red Sea
Aqaba, located at the north-eastern tip of Red Sea, is the only coastal city in Jordan and plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy, through the vibrant trade and tourism sectors.
The golden sand and the barren lands told many unspoken tales as we travelled through the scenic Desert highway. There were two more highlights of this journey: first, the watermelon fields from where our guide Salah got us fresh watermelons. Relishing on them on the highway by the watermelon fields was an experience in itself.Second memorable experience was the railway track running parallel to the highway. There’s only one passenger railway in Jordan and to spot that is pure luck. We were in pure luck and got a chance to stop by and click pictures. The railway we came across is called the Turkish Rail track while the passenger railway is named Hedjaz Jordan Railway.Moving from the mountain desert of Wadi Rum via Desert Highway to Aqaba was a pure contrast. As we reached Aqaba, the true blue Red Sea welcomed us.We boarded the luxury boat “Barakah Whilesome of my fellow travellers went onto to try snorkeling, the others decided to stay on-board and enjoy the ride.I was one among the latter and got a chance to indulge in a beautiful story narration by our guide who revealed to us that from Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba section (there are two more sections which borders many other countries) one can easily spot Israel and Eqypt while Saudi Arab was a mere 2 kms away. The information itself was quite overwhelming. I could see the inhabited Israel while only one huge building from Egypt was visible (a hotel resort which was attacked by terrorists around 5-6 years back). The major part of the continent Africa started from behind the mountains in picture.After storytelling and chit chatting I retired to deck area. It was so peaceful to watch waves and feel the sea breeze. I just couldn’t help but wonder that how a peaceful place like this can be racked by some dim witted people who on the name of God create havoc.The waves had a calming effect one. As they touched my feet I was assured that the beauty of nature is untouched from beneath, it will always rise. The golden sand and a few buildings on the shore reflecting the colour of surroundings was a sight to behold and the colour of the water, was the bluest I had ever seen.
The experience was followed by Live barbeque on the boat and a hearty meal in the small dining area.Post lunch we checked in to Movenpick Hotels & Resort, which is a true example of incredible hospitality and luxury. The view from my room was amazing (More about the resort will follow in another post)Later at night we dined in open at Royal Yacht Club. The view was lovely! Light breeze, yachts dancing in water and twinkling lights from Israel made for a perfect evening.The evening had just started. Post dinner we left for a trail in the city of Aqaba. The night was beautiful and adorned with the city lights.
While strolling through the market, we heard a beautiful music but it was not coming out of any musical instrument instead from an Ice cream parlour, Bakdash. Mohammed was making Ice cream by way of music, he was beating the dough with a long wooden log while creating music, and one could not stop but name it the Musical Ice cream. It was not like any other regular ice cream but had a typical fragrance of the dessert country with various dry fruits garnished on top. Here’s a small video
We decided to take a little detour and enjoy the night a little more. Walking by King Al-Hussein Bin Talal Street we saw a beautiful mosque (Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali mosque) which was all white and green with lights. We also saw graffiti on the walls which ran parallel to the wide road.The day ended on a starry note while the stay at Aqaba was a wavybreezy affair.
For second half of “sun, sand and sea” stay tuned for the next post!
– article by Stuti Shrimali