Given how much we hear about Jordan on the news at the moment you might be forgiven for thinking it is not the best place for a holiday. After all, I have just come back from a few days visiting a refugee camp there and all my photos show city scapes or endless miles of desert. But there is so much more to Jordan than just that. Whilst this trip recently was my first to Jordan I spent several years living in Saudi Arabia in the early nineties and the middle east is somewhere I am hugely fond of.
I hadn’t been back to the region since I left, pregnant with Ellie, with Caity and Jonnie aged 4 and 3, back in 1998. So I had forgotten just how much I love it. I came away really wanted to go back and visit. Late one night we got the chance to do a quick visit to the Citadel in Amman, though sadly it was closed but it gave me a real glimpse into the history of the city. As did the site of ruins right in the heart of town.
The Jordanians, and Arabs in general, are the kindest, warmest people I have ever met. Very gentle and completely at odds with who the media believe Arabs to be. Ditto the muslims who quietly go about their daily lives in the country, happily working alongside Christian colleagues. It makes me want to show everybody that this is the really what Islam is about. What the middle east is about, and Jordan in particular.
An email popped into my inbox this week advertising a holiday resort in Aqaba, the only coastal city in Jordan. Normally I would have deleted it, certainly at the moment when I am swamped with requests to publish things on here. But this email resonated with me and made me think about the country I had fallen in love with when I visited.
How gorgeous does this resort look? Called the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba I just want to go now!
Jordan’s leading family resort, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, has enhanced its family offering further by creating several new activities for parents and children to enjoy together, including ‘Famolympics’, treasure hunts and private cooking classes with the resort’s chefs.
The resort’s 150-metre stretch of private beach is the location for the ‘Famolympics’, which tests a family’s teamwork, agility and coordination at five stations involving mind games, relays, swimming and sandcastle-making. Treasure hunts make the most of the resort’s Red Sea beachfront location and see teams of parents and children work together to find hidden treasures. Both activities are available at the weekend.
For families who enjoy cooking together, the resort’s first-class kitchen is the perfect place to learn five-star culinary techniques. Supervised by professional chefs, the private midweek cooking classes give families hands-on cooking experience as they create one of three local Jordanian dishes: Maqloobah, Sayadieh and Mansaf, the country’s national dish.
You really wouldn’t think of Jordan as the place to go for a family holiday, I am sure it gets overlooked in favour of places like Dubai or Abu Dhabi, which is a real shame.
I would love to go back and take Mr B and the teens. If only to share with them my amazing array of Arabic words.
I have about twelve in total, including all the phrases you need to get a discount in the shops or to say / hello / goodbye / please / thank you / let’s go / slower and no problem.
What more do you need?