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Aqaba, Jordan


27th Day


During its history, Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, witnessed numerous civilizations including the native Nabatean civilization, and influenced by both western and Arabic cultures. Since the seventh century, it has been ruled under the Muslim except when the west part of the area was included in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and when under the British rules, both of which were just a short period. The area was included in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1919 and Transjordan (meaning the land beyond the Jordan River) was created later. Transjordan was under the British Mandate rule until after World War II. After the British withdrew from ruling Transjordan, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan was established in 1946 and renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to include Arab Palestine. Jordan is a modern and pro-Western regime with close ties with the United States. Jordan is now one of the freest and most competitive economies in the Middle East.

Aqaba was very beautiful and had an atmosphere of the developed country compared to Safaga in Egypt. There were many luxury cars running here. I was surprised that the atmosphere was quite different between Egypt and Jordan though they were next to each other.
The big flag on the 40m-tall flagpole was seen from anywhere in the town and served as a landmark. I walked around the town in the morning on the first day of Aqaba, and in the evening on the second day. In the morning, there were only a few people walking on streets and most shops were still closed. But in the evening on the next day, streets were crowded with people and shops were open until late hours. I later got to know that the local people tended to stay in buildings during the daytime because it was a hot country. During the Ramadan month, streets would be less crowded in the morning and much more crowded in the evening.

*DMC-ZS10/TZ20 records images in max.14-megapixel and DMC-ZS7/TZ10 in max.12-megapixel.

I joined a tour of two-hour drive by a jeep to Wadi Rum known as the area of exploits of “Lawrence of Arabia”.
I was almost intimidated by the spectacular scale of scenery of Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum means the “valley surrounded by lofty jebels” and it was really true to its name. When the jeep started moving, the jebels in the front and the rear moved in a different way. I felt that I was seeing the film set or an animation film. The reason I felt so might be because the jebels were far separated from each other and that I just did not realize it due to its spectacular scale.
We drove on and on, and all we saw was the towering jebels and desert. I felt I would die for sure if I was deserted here. On the way, there were nomads called Bedouin with camels. They were good-hearted men selling souvenirs and offering a camel ride to visitors. I heard that they originally earned a living by nomadic herding but were asked by the government to do such jobs for tourists.
I was amazed at how spectacular the scenery was! I wish that this extraordinary scenery would be conserved for ever!

We went to the shooting site of the film, “Lawrence of Arabia”.  A human face was carved on the rock. 

The last destination of our drive was a camping site. Visitors can stay overnight in the midst of the desert. A man in the camp said it was cool at night and visitors could enjoy a star-filled night sky there. He also told us that we could enjoy a barbecue for a dinner and dancing an Arabian Night’s kind of dance at night. Wadi Rum was so wonderful that I felt like staying overnight here if I had another chance to visit here.
We stayed at a hotel located at the foot of Petra Ruins. The hotel was beautiful and clean, and dinner was delicious.

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