If you missed the start of my adventures in Jordan, worry not. Catch it all here: Jordan: Day 1 — 3
And now for part two…
This is my first time in the Middle East and Jordan is definitely one of the best places I’ve ever visited.
I touched down in the capital Amman on Sunday night and I’ll be here for a week in total. I’m staying at the InterContinental Hotel, a wonderful 5* hotel in the heart of the city centre. The little Arabic that I know has been super handy whilst navigating about and greeting people. Alhamdulillah!
I find that Jordanians are extremely friendly and hospitable which means learning about their country, culture and history is enjoyable. Amman is spread across quite a few steep mountains, so the landscape is really beautiful and looking down on the city from above is just magical.
Though I’m in Jordan for work, I’ve actually had quite a lot of free time which has turned this experience more into a holiday. Lucky me, ay!
On my first day I had a wander around the old city and the famous Al-Rainbow Street with lots of cafes, restaurants and shops. Life basically starts in the evening over here so that’s when you’d find most people out grabbing a bite to eat, socialising or doing a bit of shopping. The colourful street lights and shop windows also make Amman feel particularly vibrant and lively.
My second day was spent at the Dead Sea. It was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel, and on the way my driver Emad recommended we stop at a store called Black Iris Handicrafts which sells mosaics, carpets, art work, carvings, souvenirs and dead sea beauty products. Lots of great items for decorating my future dream home. (Fun fact: the Black Iris is Jordan’s floral emblem.)
On arrival at the Dead Sea I got a day pass to Dead Sea Spa Hotel & Resort for only 20JD (£23) which allows private access to the beach, pools and the hotel’s restaurant. The Dead Sea itself was a dream. Because the water is soooo salty, about 10 times saltier than normal sea water, your body just floats and it’s basically impossible to swim. So I just spent a long time floating about, enjoying the warm sunshine and living my best life.
Later on I gave myself a good scrub with mud found in the various pockets along the beach. They say that this mud is very good for the skin and health in general, and I can’t lie I was feeling fabulous afterwards.
In the afternoon I had a delicious meal at the hotel restaurant – I couldn’t recommend it enough. Jordanian food is great for vegetarians and vegans because it contains lots of fruits, healthy sauces, vegetables and grains – similar really to the mediterranean diet.
That evening I had some light snacks at the funky Books@Cafe in downtown Amman.
Day three was mostly spent discovering the history of Amaan. I had a guided tour of the Citadel where I learned about the making of the city, how different civilizations governed it, the ancient ruins, Jordan’s independence, and how the country has changed in modern times. My tour guide Faysal was a great photographer too so shout out to him for the cool photos.
Faysal went on to teach me about the Roman and Greek influence in Amman as we toured the Roman Amphitheatre. It’s about 95 steps to the very top and seats about 6,000 people. I can only imagine how electrifying it must have been to perform on that stage back in the day!
As sunset began so did the hustle and bustle of the city. Echos of the Adhan (islamic call to prayer) could be heard from all over and people came in great numbers to gather and pray at the King Abdullah I Mosque, the famous blue-domed mosque of Jordan.
Faysal took me to a street food stall where we bought falafel wraps and ate sugary Jordanian desserts.
I feel so lucky to be abroad (once again), experiencing a new culture, language and a different way of life. I can’t wait to see what else is in store this week.
Here are more pictures of the adventures so far.
Earlier this month my friend and I decided to go to Avignon Festival in the south of France. We ended up staying in the small town of Avignon for about 4 days, and we watched about 2-3 shows per day covering a variety of genres including improvisation, drama, comedy and dance. It was a cool to experience so much art in a really beautiful, vibrant and sunny town. During our stay we rented bikes too and cycled up to the the Fortress and Abbey of Saint-André to get a strong dose of history. Continue reading
Greece was amazingly, fantastically, exceptionally, incredibly, beautifully brilliant and it was an unforgettable first visit to the country. The weather was divine, the beaches were stunning and the people were exceptionally friendly and warm.
I visited Athens, Serifos and Syros during an 11-day adventure which was plenty of time to explore everything as a solo traveller. Whilst on the islands I stayed in small apartments that were all walking distance from the ports, good beaches, historical sites and decent restaurants.
It’s day 7 and I’m just over halfway through my trip in sunny Greece.
I spent the first 3 days in the capital, Athens, and the rest on the peaceful and mesmerising Serifos Island. Later this afternoon I head to Syros Island which is a little bigger and busier than Serifos, but should be quite tranquil, nonetheless, as it is not high season.
Great news! I’m going to Greece in September and I cannot wait. Woohoo!
This will be my first solo trip in about a year so I’m super, super, super excited to explore, meet new people, discover a new country and enjoy my own company.
I’ll be in Greece for about 11 days in total which should be enough time to discover Athens and perhaps one or two islands – I have yet to decide which.
I expect this trip will be a good balance between cultural activities, adventures and catching some sunshine on the beach – this chocolate is definitely ready to melt!
From doing a bit of research online I hear that there are a few impressive hiking trails to discover, which I know is going to be an unforgettable and absolutely beautiful experience.
Only 8 weeks to go!
Last month I decided to do some exploring in Scotland and so I made a day trip to the small island of Inchailloch, which is really a gem located in the heart of Loch Lomond and only about 1.5hrs from Glasgow by public transport.
On the island I walked for a few hours, took plenty of landscape photos as well as a few selfies, had a picnic on the banks, climbed a few trees, reached the summit and I even made a friend during my visit.
It was sooooo refreshing to be away from the city and be all alone in nature. I had the opportunity to reflect, meditate and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It’s definitely a place I shall be returning to in the near future, and I hope to go camping in Scotland this autumn.
Voici les photos:
Three days ago I returned from a wonderful getaway weekend in the south of France. On the whole, the trip was far better than I had expected and it will definitely go down as one of my highlights of the year.
I arrived in Marseille on Saturday evening, and from the airport I headed straight to my friend’s house; he had just finished work so my arrival time was convenient for the both of us. When I got to his place we didn’t stay for long; we quickly packed our camping gear, enough water for the evening and soon headed off. However, before leaving Marseille we went to a bakery to get some delicious food for the evening and for breakfast the next morning. We bought loads of fresh, organic fruits like cherries and blueberries, and from the bakery we got some delicious pastries and a freshly-made baguette. With all the food packed in the car we were ready to set off on our 2 hour journey.
In under 48 hours I will be living life somewhere in the south of France.
Because I have Monday off I decided to pay a visit to a friend who lives out there. I’m heading for Marseille but my friend and I will be renting a car in order to get to another town whose name I have forgotten – oopsie! We’ll be doing some hiking, hanging on the beach and enjoying all that southern France has to offer. Hold tight for the juicy summer photos.
So excited I cannot wait!
On Tuesday evening I returned from a fabulous trip to Portugal where my friend and I spent some time in Lagos, in southern Portugal, and a few days in Lisbon. The weather was magical, the food was delicious and the landscape was extremely picturesque everywhere we looked.
In Lagos we stayed in Chez Blue Rentals where our host José was extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the town. From the start we felt very welcomed and at ease in Lagos. This coastal city is a small one so everything was within walking distance: bars, restaurants, stunning beaches, museums and other notable landmarks, and the local fish and fruit market. As a whole, I felt extremely relaxed and completely free, and it was definitely the perfect escape after a rather hectic term at school.
Although Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, it was surprisingly very beautiful and captivating. It is a city located on the Mediterranean coast so naturally there are some fantastic beaches worth exploring. Due to insufficient time in the capital we were unable to explore many of these beaches, but the views onto the sea from the city centre were still breathtakingly beautiful, nonetheless. As we were staying with one of my good friends from school, she was able to give a private tour of the city. The tour included the town of Belém which is renown for its unique pastel de nata (Portuguese pastry) and the ornately-designed monastery – naturally we took a ton of photos.
Whilst in Lisbon we also went on a free walking tour of the Moorish neighbourhood which was especially interesting because our tour guide took us through a brief history of the Christian crusaders and the Arab occupation in Portugal, the wars fought in North Africa, Fado music and its origins, the architecture of the neighbourhood and the overall effect of the Moors on Portuguese culture. Given that this was mostly new information, I found the tour fascinating despite it lasting close to 3 hours. (Time flies when your having fun…)
We also went on a day trip to the little city of Sintra which is truly a magical place. There was a rather steep, uphill hike in a extremely large park that led us to the Castle of the Moors and fairytalesque Palace of Pena from where we could see the entire city.
I’m very happy that I had such an awesome experience in Portugal – I laughed a lot, meet some wonderful people along the way and finally spent some quality time with the sun (see glowing skin below :D). And, of coure, I’m looking forward to the next overseas adventure.
Voici some cool snaps from the trip. Enjoy!