In Amman, there seems to be a sweet shop on every corner! While Habibah (حلويات حبيبة) might be one of the most famous confectionaries, at least in Swaifyeh, Nafeeseh Sweets (حلويات نفيسة), which is pictured here, is also a popular stop and some locals say it is one of the best confectionaries in all of Amman.
During our summer program, CET took us on a 2-day excursion to visit Wadi Rum and Petra. Pictured here is the camp we stayed in overnight while we visited Wadi Rum. While here, we got to explore the desert and experience a traditional Bedouin dinner.
At Wadi Rum, we got to explore and crisscross the desert in the back of covered trucks. While it was a bumpy ride, it was also a lot of fun, and our drivers blasted Arabic pop music the whole time. I will say that trying to take a clear picture might almost get you thrown from the truck if you’re not careful!
Part of our tour at Wadi Rum included going to see some ancient petroglyphs. Pictured here are just a few of the examples we saw on our tour, but you can clearly make out two human figures and a pair of feet, along with some sort of animal. The petroglyphs at Wadi Rum date back thousands of years and are from multiple different people groups.
Wadi Rum is extremely large, at 720 km2 it is the largest wadi in Jordan. Wadi Rum has become extremely popular since the last half of the 20th century, due to it being the filming location of Lawrence of Arabia in 1962. Since then, popular movies like Star Wars, The Martian, Aladdin, and Dune, have all been filmed here.
Being able to climb over, though, and under the rock formations at Wadi Rum was exhilarating. Pictured here is a combination of CET students, language partners, and CET faculty. This is where our tour guides took us so we could watch the sunset over the desert landscape.
Continuing on our journey to Petra, we got to see even more ancient ruins. While Petra is known for its famous treasury, there are actually quite a few more ruins at Petra than one might expect. Pictured here are the ruins of the final resting place of ancient civilizations. The top half of this burial site was constructed around the 1st century BCE, and the bottom half was built around the 1st century CE.
After quite a bit of walking, we finally made it to the famous treasury. Pictured here is just a small part of the larger CET contingent, along with our tour guide. Our tour guide informed us that the treasury was actually never used as a treasury, and instead gained its’ name because the Bedouins who lived in the area thought there was treasure in the globe-shaped space that is at the very top and in the middle of the façade. For years Bedouins used to shoot at the globe, but no treasure was ever found, although a lot of bullet holes were left. We also learned that the façade of the treasury was crafted by multiple different people groups. Everyone from the Nabataeans, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Byzantines all had a little bit of a hand in helping create what is now the finished and very recognizable treasury.
While I am typically the one behind the camera, my friend was insistent on making sure that I got a picture in front of the treasury. Since I was a kid I always thought the Treasury at Petra was such an interesting and beautiful ruin, and it’s carved onto the side of a mountain, so pretty cool too! It’s been on my travel bucket list since I was about 8, so it was definitely a dream come true for me.
After all the walking at Petra, and trust me, it is a lot of walking, it was finally time for lunch. And like any good traditional Jordanian meal, there was a ton of food present. While in Jordanian you will probably eat more bread (خبز) and chicken (دجاج) than you have ever had in your life.
Bailey and Friends.
View of Jordan.
Feature Photo Caption:
During our adventure at Wadi Rum, we were able to catch the sunset with a spectacular view of the desert. After spending the day in a combination of buses, trucks, and dunes, this was a perfect way to begin our evening.