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A round the world trip in more than 80 days.

Why this blog ?

Our aim : travel and discover the world during 353 days and through some fifhteen countries. We are hoping that this blog will allow us to share the experience with our family and friends thanks to the posts and photos that we will be publishing and also thanks to their comments.

Currently ...

now. For the moment, we are gently readapting from nomadic to sedentary life.


The Holy Land : to the Est of the Jordan river.

Back in Jordan, we started our visit with Amman. Taking each individual building separately one would hardly call it a beautiful town, but the fact that they spread across several hills and they have a homogeneous coloring adds a certain charm to the whole. A few Roman remains, dating from a time when the place was known as Philadelphia, also embellish it.

It is the kind of town that I love visiting. Walking around downtown we passed in front of a mosque where day labourers waited, tools in hand, for an employer to show up. We walked next to fresh and dry fruit stalls, herbalist's, bakeries, coffee mills, butcher's shops, barber's. In a side street we found a shop selling sexy underwear, while a bit further another one sold traditional clothes and kefis. Between the tiny perfume and lottery stalls, we stopped for a freshly squeezed juice in a refreshment shop and then went to eat some falafel and humus at 'Hachem’s',a no-frills restaurant that is so famous that it has become a landmark within the capital.

We moved then south to Aqaba, by the Red Sea, for a last dive before returning home. I must say that both the fauna and the temperature did not measure up to the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. The worst was that there were enough plastic cups and plates on the sea bottom to serve diner to a full army. We enjoyed better the night life. As soon as the sun set and the heat became tolerable, everybody headed for the beach : to bathe, to smoke on water pipes, to ride a camel or, in the case of a group of guys from Oman, to dance to the rhythm of popular music, dressed in traditional clothes up to their sabers.

We also did a little incursion into the Wadi Rum desert, an amazing landscape that hosted Lawrence of Arabia and where one of the Indiana Jones films was shot. The place is really beautiful and the experience is worth it, even when the calm night under the stars we were expecting turned into a big noisy event. As it happened, it was the week-end and the camp had organized a big party that draw plenty of people from the capital. They wished certainly to experience the beauty of the desert, but overall they seemed interested in the dance and the food.

The party followed us to Petra, where we spent a couple of days walking around the remains of the Nabatean capital. It is easy to imagine, while walking around the historical site, how magnificent it must have been before being devastated by a couple of earthquakes and abandoned by all except a few Bedouins. The nights were differently filled, among the music of nearby weddings and the muezzins' calls to prayer, surely not wanting to be less that their Indonesian colleagues, showed enviable energy at such an early hour.

We spent the last two days in Madaba, conveniently situated between Amman airport and the Dead Sea. Madaba is Jordan's Christian town and has a few old mosaics and Byzantine churches, plus weddings as noisy as in Petra.

It is a really funny experience to swim in the Dead Sea. You feel as if you were made of wood : you can not sink even when you try to. Better this way, since the water is so salty that a single drop in your eyes stings really bad. And if by any chance it touches your lips you think you are drinking battery liquid. To make the most of it, I wrapped-up myself in Red Sea clay, which is supposed to have a few beneficial properties and make your skin baby-smooth.

So, at the end, even if we chose to include Jordan in our itinerary only because it was convenient stop-over between Southeast Asia and London, it has revealed to be a great decision. It has been one of the highlights of our trip, and a very good way to finish it : already tasting a bit of home and Mediterranean summer but still quite different.

It has been a long return journey. First a stop in London where we had the chance to see Neil and Natasa, friends that date back to the time we were living in Strasbourg. A second stop in Marrakesh, enough time to wave hello to the Koutoubia and we are now and finally on board of the train that will drop us in Casablanca.