To kick off my series of musings about Jordan, I thought there is no better way than to show the visuals. So when I was nominated by the delightful Katy of Starry Eyed Travels to take part in TravelSupermarket’s Capture the Colour Photo Contest, I figured this was the perfect way to introduce you to a country I fell in love with.
A feast for the senses. A vegetarian’s utopia. A classicist’s dream. There are so many phrases I could use to describe Jordan, and every place we visited took my breath away not only because of the history, but because of the spirit of the people. Some of you will recognize that this was the trip that several people told me not to take because I was 28 weeks pregnant. I will say I am so grateful that I did, because it changed my life and my view of the Middle East forever.
To visit Jordan is to be immersed in history that spans centuries, from as far back as 10,000 BC to the post King Hussein era. It is to understand that Jordanians treat their fellow countrymen with utmost respect and cordiality, especially the women. More than anything else, I felt welcomed as a tourist in Jordan, and not particularly pressured or cajoled in any way.
Here are five photos that I thought best captured the colors of the royal kingdom of Jordan.
A view of lego-like Amman, the capital city of Jordan. Most houses are made with silicified limestone in order to preserve a certain sense of homogeneity. In this respect, Amman reminded me a lot of Santa Fe, New Mexico and the adobe-style housing in its desire to remain architecturally consistent. The result? A sparkling sea of white/ off-white. The enormous Raghadan Flagpole is unmistakeable, and stands towering over the city like Gulliver. It’s over 400 feet tall, and I loved the way you could see it fly unbridled from a great distance.
A view of the Dead Sea, with its aquamarine, navy blue and turquoise colors and salt-licked edges. The Dead Sea, aptly named because no organism can survive in it, shocked me with its rocky coastline and sparkling, over-the-top contrast of white and blue. It is quite possibly the most beautiful marriage of Earth and water, and the sea itself is shared between Israel and Jordan.
The stark landscape of the desert and the glowing pale yellow light of the setting sun make this one of my favorite Jordan photographs. Taken in Feynan, which is well known for its ecolodge (set deep in the mountains of the Dana Biosphere Reserve), this photo will always remind me of the simplicity, starkness and depth of the desert.
You’d never think that the ancient city of Jerash, Jordan could have quite so many vestiges of the Roman conquest, nor could it be so green. Jerash is north of Amman, and beautifully sculpted by rolling hills. Once a rich, thick forest, the city is mostly limestone (like Amman) but the ruins are flanked by well-irrigated grass and trees.
While there’s not a lot of street art that I saw in Jordan, these words written in red (presumably spray painted) stood out in contrast to the brown tones of the desert. One of the most beautiful aspects of the desert is the night sky: the stars seem closer and more shiny. The colors come alive and you NOTICE anything that’s not brown.
These are my starter photos of Jordan: hopefully, they’ve whetted your appetite for more. As part of the Capture the Colour code, I’m nominating five bloggers to take part in this series?I cannot wait to see what they’ll come up with. And they are: