Travelling to Jordan and getting to know this country, surely is journey which made the greatest impression on me, because of all the circumstances which made it happen, and also because of the energy which shines from this small, proud country on Near East. As if in everything else in life, we get to the places where we should be, meet those cultures, people and civilizations exactly when we are ready for them.
I am sorry that I didn’t meet Petra earlier. It was recognition at first sight, with my very first step on the ground of that magical and mysterious country. Even its rocks, with the shades of red, go well with the shades of red and gold in my hair. I could not stop the tears. It was a feeling that I came home after long wandering and searching. After centuries and centuries.
I knew that I belong there, that I have lived in that mysterious Nabataean kingdom, 3000 years old, maybe even as one of their princesses. Not only that Petra enchants you with its landscape of red rocks which seem as if they are trying to reach clear blue sky above, but also walking through corridors of this canyon to reach the Treasury makes your excitement grow with each step. Treasury is one of the strangest and most beautiful buildings in the world. The feeling of belonging grew stronger and stronger while I was walking around and meeting local inhabitants, who look as if they just came from some fairy tale, with their eyes underlined with black coal crayon, as protection from sand. My transformation was quick and easy. In one move, I turned my wrap into a turban, and despite white skin and fair hair, I felt as If I am completely theirs.
Camels, horses, donkeys, which local people lead by reins or ride, chariots run by locals, fossils and magical souvenirs sold by boys or young man who look like pirates, the whole surrounding lures you to keep coming back to this place. After spending one whole afternoon there, I wished to come back to Petra following morning, at dawn, and next time (hopefully soon), to stay there whole night and feel the magic of that city in the light of torches, fire and candles. It is on more reason to come home again, to Petra.
Hummus and Lemomint
I always wondered: what does it feel like when you can’t sink in the water? The experience of floating in the water of Dead Sea (which is not actually sea, but lake, around 400 m below sea level), is also very special. With the certain amount of fear that the extremely salty water doesn’t get into your eyes, you float on the surface, and while your efforts to swim are completely unsuccessful, you can easily read newspapers or a book.
Healing mud and clay made us laugh and have good fun, and our skin was soft and velvety after that. Fed by minerals from outside and joy from inside!
Food in Jordan is enjoyment for all senses, and to me as a vegetarian, the most agreeable things were spreads like hummus, baba ganoush made from aubergine, wonderfully prepared vegetables, special breads and falafel. I was delighted with lemomint, beverage which is the best in the world, refreshing and healing at the same time.
Dry desert climate absolutely suits my sensibility, and Wadi Rum desert is another magic place. No wonder that the greatest movie hits are made exactly here. The feeling of freedom while you are racing in open jeep through endless vastness of red sand, spotted with some rock in the same colour here and there, is something invaluable.
And while the sun is slowly setting, you come across Bedouin settlements, nomads, who found the meaning of their life in wandering. And then I have realized. I am a nomad.
When you place your foot on the Nebo mountain, on the hill from which Moses was looking upon “promised land”-Palestine, in the place where this prophet ended his 120-year long life, you feel part of the history yourself, connected with all these souls from centuries and thousands of years ago. In the place where Moses left his famous stick, you realize that it is time for you to decide-what is your “promised land” and, boldly, as every brave man of his age, you head there.
Because the sea opened and unbelievable wonders happened. If you have honest faith, anything is possible, nowadays, just as it was it those olden days, because we also write history. It is up to us to decide what kind of trace we are going to leave behind us.
After Dead Sea, Red sea is easy thing. Delighted that I can finally swim, I have tried sea diving for the first time in my life, with mask, but also without it! I couldn’t resist exploring tank and airplane which sank near the coast of Aqaba. Red sea, full of life, dark blue… somehow, it was exactly what the sea should be. True sea. I shall come back to it again, to continue bravely facing my fears.
I am grateful to it because it is so beautiful that I couldn’t resist it. Although I am sorry that I didn’t try it before, I am positively sure now that every experience in our life comes to us when we need it, not only when we are ready for it.
Arrogance and tolerance
Citadel in Amman, capital of Jordan, holds history of these parts and the country itself. From the sunny hill, the view opens to the city, with houses and buildings, which are of the same color, but still there is distinction and variety in form , as if the architects were competing how to make up for the lack of colors in the landscape with their creativity.
Colors, intensity, boldness that is almost at the verge of audacity, pride and firmness, and in the same time tolerance and flexibility. These are the values that shines out of every inhabitant of this small, impressive country. I will definitely come back to it, because I feel that I only scratched the surface, and yet I could discover many things, about this country and myself, too. What we see and meet with open heart becomes part of ourselves. Our heart becomes bigger and wider, as well as our mind. And nothing is the same anymore.