Wadi Rum: Road to Heaven
In the most Southern tip of the Jordanian Kingdom lies Aqaba. Located on the Red Sea Gulf, this resort city forms the perfect starting point to visit some of the world's most unique natural and man made wonders, such as Wadi Rum and the city of Petra; considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
A mere 45-minute drive takes you to the 'Valley of the Romans': a 280 sq. mile sandstone and granite canyon desert. Made infamous as filming location for the 1962 Hollywood Classic Lawrence of Arabia, the area is still used for movies such as Matt Demon's The Martian, as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Driving along Wadi Rum leaves visitors at awe. The spectacular vistas, mesmerizing golden hour colors and hospitable local beduins turned this into a trip to remember. And to make it even more memorable was a ride in one of the two worn-down Toyota pick-ups that were stationed at one of the camps. Driven by an old smiling beduin whose hand gesture communication, heavy foot driving and flawless navigation led us to see the most beautiful areas, while also having some fun in the sand dunes.
Further up north, the ancient town of Petra is said to have originated in the 5th century BC. Its proximity to the trading routes made it an ideal trading post. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, it has been described as one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage. Pick the time of day right and you will be rewarded with spectacular color schemes and light/shadow plays that highlight this rock carved city.
Once back in Aqaba, an invigorating swim will wash away the desert dust while you get ready for dinner time under the stars. Jordan is a beautiful country that should be on your bucket list, and a photographer's road to heaven with opportunities around every corner.