Monday, June 21, 2010

Aqaba, Jordan - Arab Revolt Plaza




One of the most beautiful little cities in the world has to be Aqaba at the southern end of Jordan and at the northern tip of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba. I taught English to government employees (ASEZA) for four months. I just loved them though they were sometimes an emotional challenge. Across the gulf to the west lies Egypt and Israel, and to the south, Saudi Arabia. Even though Jordan is beside a gnarly nest of neighbors, the country is at war with nobody. Almost everyone I asked if they were Jordanian replied 'nope, Palestinian.' There are so many Palestinians living here, refugees, or sons and daughters of refugees from one war or another. Aqaba's the place to go if you want to go scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, or just plain old hang out in the sun. The people are absolutely divine, and have I gone on enough about how extraordinarily good looking the men are?
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The drive to Aqaba from Amman was about 4 hours. The land pretty much looked like this the whole way. Once we got near the special economic zone (Aqaba) there were a few checkpoints.



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You don't appreciate a clean city until you've lived in a really filthy city. Aqaba is CLEAN humdelaila! And inshallah it will stay that way!






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Aqaba has a beautiful promenade where you can go walking any time of night or day. How great is that to feel safe? You don't know what feeling safe is like until you've lived in an unsafe city. I LOVE Aqaba! Inshallah it will always stay this way. See what this writer has to say about the promenade.









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How incredible is this pastry shop? I got fatter just looking at this stuff. You can't appreciate this great food without having lived in a city with bad food. But I had to have at least two pieces of my going-away cake that my students got for me. How sweet is that?






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The Jordan Yacht Club. You can rent one of these boats to go fishing or scuba diving, or else take a sailing cruise for three or four days, which would include a stop-over in Egypt. The cost was pretty reasonable for both. Or, you can do the glass bottom boat excursion. Dive Aqaba has a pretty good set-up, too.








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If you want to go for a short camel or horse ride you can do that by the beachfront in Aqaba, or you can go for tea and watch all the locals beside the Aqaba Flagpole, which is the fifth tallest free standing flagpole in the world at a height of 130 meters (430 ft). It flies the flag of the Arab Revolt and it can be seen from Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.









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Don't worry about parking, you can park wherever the hell you want.


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Ships in the gulf, the shot on the right shows Eilat, Israel.




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Just 15kms south of Aqaba is beautiful South Beach. There are snorkel rentals and scuba diving shops down there.












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If you go a further 20kms down the gulf coast you come to Tala Bay, a rich resort of condominiums and hotels. Here's the pool, avec bar.