We purchased our tickets 6 months ago, but our departure date is quickly approaching and last minute prep is in full swing. Most of the details are ironed out, our accommodations are booked and we know where we will be on what days - with the exception of a new little stick in our spokes, our President recently decided to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank on the exact same days we planned to go. So, we may have to be flexible and adjust our activities to avoid the circus surrounding his visit. It's a bit funny really, it's as if he got ahold of our travel itinerary and thought, "Oh that looks nice, I think I'll join them!"
I’ve also, as a woman, been doing some research on what I should wear in these countries. It’s a bit tricky to navigate. I’ve read some conflicting information on other blogs in and travel books - and I’ve yet to read another blog that includes information for women traveling there during the spring and summer when temperatures are high. I’m planning to pack a variety of layering options so that I can add and subtract as needed. As a result I probably won’t be able to pack as lightly as I normally would. For those that might be wondering what to wear there, I'll be sure to write another post about how that all works out when I get back.
Onto the itinerary -
So much to fit into 15 days, this was a challenge but I feel good about what we’ve come up with – take a look:
We’ll start with a short stay in Tel Aviv – I have a feeling we may be regretting not staying here longer!
With only one day and one evening, we’ll barely scratch the surface before we’re off to Jerusalem. We’ll be in Jerusalem for 3 days and we hope to take a day trip to Bethlehem - which will hopefully include a visit to the bar in Banksy's Hotel. After that we’ll head south, stopping to check out Masada for a few hours before arriving in the southern town of Eilat where we will cross the border into Jordan. We’ll spend the following day in Aqaba on the edge of the Red Sea before heading to a Bedouin Camp in Wada Rum for a couple of days spent hiking in the desert – and perhaps a hot air balloon ride as well! Then off to Petra for two days, quite possibly the highlight of the whole trip. We’ll try to do the Petra By Night tour which has gotten mixed reviews – I’ll be sure to report back on that. From Petra we’ll head to the Dana Biosphere to spend two nights at the Feynan Ecolodge before pampering ourselves at a resort at the Dead Sea – we’ll need it after so much desert hiking! Though, we’ll aim to fit in one more day hike at the Mujib Nature Reserve – a unique hiking experience that also involves wading through some deep water. We’ll end the trip with a day an Amman before boarding our evening flight back to the US.
A whirlwind for sure – let’s see how this all goes…!