Tag Archives: lowest place on earth

Journey to Jordan

Funny Flight to Amman   I reached the Royal Jordanian airline check-in counter to board the flight to Amman, capital of Jordan (Urdan). Lady took my passport, tapped in my name into the system and then disappeared into their office asking me to wait. I waited and waited, seeing all passengers finishing checking in. After 15 worrying mins she came back & enlightened me that I can not check in because I have already been checked in. What? I freaked out! Don’t worry, she comforted me; it is only a mistake done by my colleague who checked in someone else as Mr K Ali. So nice of her; as a result I was allocated a seat in theLAST row, right on the tail of the plane; meaning an uncomfortable and noisy flight. Luckily I managed to change my seat on board to a comfortable one.

Luckily I managed to change my seat once on-board to a comfortable one in the front!……And then flight got delayed by two hours.

In line with most airlines’ policy, RJ (Royal Jordanian) selected the MOST Boring Movie ever existed. And just like majority of Muslims airlines, alcohol was also served (PIA is an exception; they don’t serve alcohol, well done PIA!). I didn’t even touch it – promise – never did in fact in entire life. Food was bland & little, became even tiny as I successfully managed to pour some on the next seat passenger’s trouser. On top of it, girl sitting next to me was making noise while eating, putting me off completely (-:)

All in all; it was a ‘Great’ flight!

Beautiful Jordan

Jordan is a small country bordering Izra eel, Palestine, Iraq & Saudia, with 6 million people; 60% Palestinian origins, 30% locals and 10% others, all Sunni Muslims. No wonder everyone here hates izra eel deeply. Others do also but Jordanians have first hand experience of their aggression. As said by one Izra eeli prime minister, our (izra eel’s) first defence is muzlim leaderz in surrounding countries. This is true.

Jordan’s culture is similar to Arabs but Jordanians seem livelier. Country is greener & climate is moderate compared to the rest of Middle East. Nearly all houses are white / cream coloured and built with square windows & straight walls & (like a cube); a common sight in the whole middle east.

 

Houses in Amman
Houses in Amman

It was much colder than I had expected. I did not bring any warm clothing. I ended up buying a jumper from the city center. And I also bought a pyjama to use for swimming in Dead Sea.

City Center: I visited the city center area twice.  The reason was its busy local culture and great local food!

I asked a taxi driver for a decent restaurant to try local food. He pointed to a nearby one and I was not disappointed! I was so impressed that I brought two Swedish colleagues the next day.Amman’s city center has a Roman Theatre and other Roman remains. I visited the remains and then walked through the busy shopping streets of city center.

Amman’s city center has a Roman Theatre and other Roman remains. I visited the remains and then walked through the busy shopping streets of city center.

I tried a local dish Mansaf (lamb cooked in yoghurt & eaten with rice), it was really tasty. They eat many types of dressings & salads with the food, especially humous, lemon and vinegar pickled vegetables. Actually food here is quite nice. It is very meat oriented and has influence from Greeks, Romans & Arabs, who were present here at different stages in history.

Mensaf - A Traditional Jordanian Dish
Mensaf – A Traditional Jordanian Dish

 

There is a great local sweet dish (along many other) called Konafeh. It is made with cheese, noodles, sugar & nuts and eaten warm. Konafeh here was just sooo good. I ate it many times before leaving.

Kunafah
Kunafah

Visit to Holy Places

Holy places distance & direction from top of Mt Nebo

I went to visit Jabl-e-Nebo (Nebo Mountain) which was, as Christian history describes, visited by Musa (Moses) AS before his death. Allah promised Moses AS the land of Izra eel. However it was not granted to him but only shown near his time of passing away. Moses AS was buried somewhere here after his death; no one knows the exact location. Jesus AS baptising place is also few miles away. Many holy places of Palestine & surrounding area are sacred for Jews, & Christians & Muslims and are situated within 50 miles from here.

 

Memorial of Moses AS at Mt Nebo
Memorial of Moses AS at Mt Nebo

As narrated, there were two villages of nation of Hazrat Lut AS called Sodom & Amoorah (Gamoorah by Christians). Allah Ta’ala was displeased with their bad deeds. He commanded the angel to lift these villages on his wings, go high & then flip them down. As a result Dead Sea was created, which is the lowest place on earth, a place to learn lesson. Prophet Muhammad SAW used to walk away quickly from such places of punishment.

Pillar believed by Christians to be Lut AS's wife
Pillar believed by Christians to be Lut AS’s wife

This pillar of rock near the Dead Sea (image above) is believed by Christians to be the wife of Lut AS, who looked back at the punishment being inflicted on the people and as a result was turned into a pillar of salt. According to the Holy Quran, the wife of Lut AS was inflicted with punishment but her turning into a pillar of salt is not specifically mentioned. Allah SWT knows best.

 

Dead Sea 

Dead Sea (Behr-e-Murdaar), also known as Salt Sea or Lut Lake, is really a wonder of the world:

 

Dead Sea Shore
Dead Sea Shore

–          It is a salt lake in the west of Jordan and in the east of Izra eel & West Bank area.

–          Its surface & shores are 422 meters below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth’s surface on dry land.

–          The Dead Sea is 378 meters deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world.

–          It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity (salt).

Salt Rocks at Dead Sea
Salt Rocks at Dead Sea

–          Its water is deadly. There are no fish or any kind of swimming, squirming creatures living in or near the water.

–          Fish accidentally swimming into its waters from river Jordan that provide water to the dead Sea, are killed instantly, their bodies quickly coated with a preserving layer of salt crystals and then tossed onto shore by the wind & waves.

–          You won’t drown in this lake, rather you will float.

 

Floating in Dead Sea
Floating in Dead Sea

Initially declined but then my colleague persuaded me in; wow it was a once-in-life time experience!

I liked it so much that I got late to the airport and hence missed my flight. Taxi driver said it will take only 30 mins to the airport; it turned out to be more than 1 hour.

As I reached the counter I was informed the flight is closed now. I requested to the in charge but he replied we did not allow our own pilot how can we allow you? No, it was not the pilot who was supposed to fly the plane but another one who was also taking the same flight. Anyhow disappointed, I booked another flight for next day.

Luckily my colleague was waiting outside with the same taxi driver, who drove us back to the same hotel. And soon I was unpacking again:-). I enjoyed the rest of the day walking around in Amaan. And I was well early on airport the next day!

The End.