It has been a long few days, hence my lack of posts. Not entirely all work, I’m pleased to say and some of my time has been spent with time ashore. having been to Aqaba before, I’ve done the ‘Petra’ thing (and all you have to do is search the archives to see the photos). I had never been into Aqaba itself and that appealed immensely, so it was with anticipation that we jumped on one of the complementary shuttle buses for the 20 minute ride into town.
The city is Jordan’s only outlet to the sea and is thus an important commercial port. Phosphate is exported in large quantities, goods and cars imported. To the west lies Israel, to the south, Saudi Arabia and just across the water, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsular. Cruise ships have precedent and I’m sure the officers and crew of the 4 cargo ships anchored off the port, when we arrived, were mightily displeased. 3 cruise ships were berthed, us, the Island Princess and the Thompson Celebration, (the old HAL ship Nieuw Amsterdam), so no room at the inn for the cargo boys.
I wandered off the subject there, so back to the bus and the short trip into town. As is the norm, alighting from it, one is at once approached by taxi drivers, offering tours of the city, or a drive to Petra. They aren’t obnoxious about it and once firmly told ‘no’, they leave you alone.
I spent my time outside the shops, while my travelling partners for the morning were more interested in what was inside, so while they browsed, I was off, camera in hand.
The men’s club, watching soccer, talking and a puff on a hookah pipe
I later rejoined Karen and we had a further stroll around town. There is no Souk as such, it’s more alike to small areas selling the same variety of goods, clothes. jewellery and so forth.
Then, Day 2, I was off to Wadi Rum, a particularly beautiful desert area, inhabited for thousands of years and perhaps also well-known as the area where ‘Laurence of Arabia’ frequented during the time of the Arab revolt against the Turks, or Ottomans as they were referred to. A 1-hour bus ride out into the desert and then 4-wheel drive across the area, one of the best and most fun tours I have ever experienced.