Hopping the Border to Jordan

Shalom from Israel! This past weekend, Ariel, Emily, and Kalyn traveled to Jordan with 14 other GTL-Israel students (so most of GTL-Israel). We booked the Petra & Wadi Rum 2 Day Tour from Tourist Israel, and we left the Grand Beach Hotel in Tel Aviv at 4am. We slept well on the bus ride throughout this entire trip since we were all sleep-deprived.

Border crossing to Jordan was an interesting experience. We had to pay the border fee, get an exit visa from Israel, go through luggage screening, pay for a Jordanian visa, go through customs, etc. and it took a long time for the whole tour group to go through everything.

We spent most of the first day at Petra, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a beautiful walk through the rock walls, and we reached the Treasury (from Indiana Jones!) Here’s a fun fact: Ariel and Emily have the same Myers-Briggs type, and Kalyn’s is the exact opposite. Ariel and Emily are the thrill-seekers, and Kalyn is not. Majority of the tour group decided to pay extra to have a random local tour guide take us to hike up to get a better view of the Treasury, and of course Ariel and Emily wanted to do it, so Kalyn agreed to come too. Kalyn was really scared and careful through the climb (to be honest it wasn’t hike, it was more like bouldering), but it was super worth. As they say, “You wouldn’t have done it without us right” ๐Ÿ™„ And it’s true, Kalyn actually had fun and is thankful for them for bringing her out of her comfort zone.

Kalyn and Emily at the top of the viewpoint
View of the Treasury from the top
Hello from fancily-clothed camels in Petra

The unfortunate thing about this trip was that most of the time was spent for transportation; nevertheless, the sights and experiences we got were super worth ๐Ÿ™‚

Second day, we spent the first half of the day at the Wadi Rum desert. We got to go on the back of trucks through the desert, and it was such a cool experience that I feel we might not get again. We had three stops during the jeep ride through the desert: the pyramid-looking thing, the Red Sand Dune, and the Burdah Rock Bridge. Climbing up the Sand Dune was super fun! We were all barefoot, and the sand was cold a few inches below surface and it felt so good on our feet on such a hot day. Climbing the Rock Bridge was slightly scary (for Kalyn), but it was also super fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Emily, Kalyn, and Ariel at Wadi Rum! Spot the fake pyramid in the back-right
From the top of the Red Sand Dune!
Locals playing music for us
Ariel and Kalyn at the Rock Bridge area (I didn’t take pictures of the bridge oops)

We stopped by Aqaba City on the way back to Israel, and then we were back at the border. Border control again took some time, but we all made it back to Israel safely. We had a couple hours in Eilat, where we got to see the Red Sea (yay conquered four seas in one IAP, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea, and Red Sea!) and have ice cream. Also, Eilat was suer warm, like 25 degrees Celsius at 6pm.

Emily and Kalyn didn’t make it back to Nazareth until 3:30am, and we were exhausted, but it was an experience we believe we won’t get again. It was a weekend packed with memories and sights! Ariel and Emily really dragged Kalyn into their thrill-seeking activities, but Kalyn really enjoyed the weekend (though her whole body was in pain after all the climbing).

We’re sad to leave Israel this week, but we’re also determined to make the most out of our remaining time here!

Our adventure continuesโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ™‚

Written by Kalyn Bowen

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