(10/10/2011) Jordan: Dead Sea
The highlight of this day is Dead Sea visit. Madaba is very
of it and we could make a quick stop before leaving the city in St.
George church for watching its mosaics. We could stop at Mount Nebo in
our way too. The idea is arriving to "O Beach" resort where we will be
able of enjoying its pools and Dead Sea private beach. We would even
After lunch we would leave to our way to Petra. We could stop
somewhere in Dead Sea shores if the views makes us do so or even in
castle in our way to take Desert's Highway.
The hotel is in Wadi Musa and we will go for
dinner around it.
The expected expenses for this day are:
"O Beach" entrance with lunch: 30 JOD
Karak castle ticket: 1 JOD
We don’t have the obligation of waking
up early this morning, so knowing that, we go downstairs to breakfast
at our leisure. After breakfast, I go to the terrace outside in hotel
entrance to smoke a cigarette and watch local people live, which is
passing off peacefully by walking or car across ramshackle streets of
Madaba. These streets look worst at daylight. When my wife comes out to
tell me something I live a surrealistic moment: suddenly, I notice all
the people in the street are stopped staring at us, whether pedestrians
or persons inside a car. Everybody is male and feeling all of them in a
crowded cross of two streets is staring at you frights the life out of
anybody. I put the cigarette out and go into the hotel directly to ask
to receptionist about what Eva is wearing: it’s a summer dress with
miniskirt and shoulder straps. She answers me it is ok but warns me
about men in this country: they’ll keep staring at her.
I wonder the chicken or the egg question: they
stare like this to outsider women because locals are always covered or
local women are covered because if not they would feel the intimidation
I’ve just felt one minute ago?.
My wife covers her shoulders with a scarf, just in
case, and we take the car for beginning our journey at 10:30h.
Our first stop is close to the hotel, in Madaba
itself: St. George church. We park the car in the street and go into
this greek orthodox church famous by its mosaic with the first map of
the area (the picture below is showing the part of it representing
Jerusalem’s Old City). Entrance fee is 1 dinar and we like the colorful
inside. It is decorated very different than our churches
This visit is expected to be quicker but it is
taking longer because of stores around the church, where we can find
souvenirs by 1€ and Dead Sea world famous cosmetic products which we
guess will be more expensive later, in more touristic places.
Once at road we do a quick stop in Mount Nebo in our way to
Dead Sea. This mount is famous because it is mentioned at Bible as the
place Moses could see Promised Land and where finally died. His tomb is
still being searched but the views are still here, with its infinite
We arrive to O Beach at 12:30. They have no
promotion with meal included and we pay 25 dinars per person to go in.
The resort is spectacular, but it is short of activity. We put our bath
suit in a big and beautiful change rooms divided by gender and don’t
see any other person until arriving to Infinity pool. This pool end is
merging with Dead Sea at its bottom and we feel the call of go inside
A bit later, we go downstairs for the Dead Sea
experience. This sea is very special due to its salt high percentage
which makes no live can be on it and gives its name. So, a swim here
gives you a unique feeling. Its floatability makes you can take any
position and you’ll keep in surface with no effort. The water is kind
of oily as well until the point it seems doesn’t getting wet. It
trickles down the skin and you get dry and salted in no time. One
typical symptom from a bath on these waters is any little scratch will
burn a lot when going out from the sea. All of us try this sensation
and take pictures with the effect of these salty waters in rocks at
shore, making them white, completely covered by salt which is forming
even little stalactites.
There are showers everywhere in order you can
take salt off your body. We spend the rest of the time at pool area,
taking sun or water bath or a cocktail.
The resort is huge bur we’re not more than 10 people on it, so we are
absolutely in peace. At lunch time we notice they only restaurant
opened there is Tex-Mex, that was the reason wasn’t any promotion
including meals. Furthermore, we can only choose between two options
from the whole menu: chicken Burger or beef Burger.
There are a lot of flies around. They were bothering a
little bit when laying in our deck chair but now, while lunching,
they’re unbearable, making us eating faster in order of end as quick as
We leave the place around 16:00 and drive
following Dead Sea coast until it ends. At that moment we must take
Karak road. Around 17:00 sun is leaving for today and we can make some
pictures of Karak castle from road because we only stop for filling car
up with gas, at 0.7€ per liter of 95.
Night arrives while taking Desert’s Highway, main
highway of the country, and we drive following Petra signs on it. The
trip takes a little more than three hours. Roads are in good condition
but driving in Jordan introduce some problems: some vehicles have no
lights or extremely weak lights, country is full of speed bumps
everywhere which makes you reduce quite sudden but when you meet them
at highway you must be very aware of small signs announcing them or
understanding is going to be one every time you see a group of houses.
Another point to know here is the amount of police controls. We’ve pass
by six today. At least, at the moment they can see we’re tourists the
step is just this:
- Where are you from?
- Welcome to Jordan.
And they move the arm in a clear sign to
We find Hotel Cleopetra quickly at Wadi Musa’a
but they explain one of our rooms is flooded and cannot be delivered,
instead we’re offered these options: one couple can sleep here tonight
while the other couple sleeps in another similar hotel and come back
tomorrow, when they’ll have free rooms, our all four go to that hotel
tonight, and come back tomorrow or all four go to that hotel and never
come back. We decided to take a look at rooms in that hotel first. At
the moment we see the first room we know we’re going to stay there next
two nights at same price we had for Cleopetra: 35 dinars per room. This
hotel name is “Al Anbat II”.
Once settled into our new room we go out for some dinner. We order four
soups and two dishes of a local recipe called Shabah Lagabiya. It is a
broth with three sorts of meatballs which taste just as our meat with
potato spicy balls we call “bombas”. It is served with rice with herbs
It’s been a long road day and tomorrow we
want to be early at Petra entrance looking for being one of the first
people, before tours appears, so we’re in bed around 22:00h.