Viaggio in Giordania da Petra a Amman

Journey to Jordan: what to see from Petra to Amman

On your journey to Jordan you will surely arrive at a hill, in the north, from which history seems to flow. The textbook story of the ruins of Gadara, Roman city of the Decapolis, grandeur from the time of Herod mixed with the stones of a forgotten Ottoman village. But also the story of man’s desperate search for the infinite, that of the sacred books and of the pilgrims who come from everywhere to mirror themselves a little further down, in the trembling waters of Lake Tiberias and of the Jordan. Looking for the reflection he saw the face of a man called Jesus.

And, again, the ferocious history of our times, the one that explodes from the front pages and tiggì, images of tanks with the star on the heights of the Golan, so close that it seems to touch them, sealed towards the horizon by a haze of yellow dust. Because a voyage in Jordan, from Petra to Amman, it’s not just moving in space. But also wander among a thousand stories.

Journey to Jordan: a thousand stories

A thousand stories that are breathed here and overlap as has always happened in this rectangle of little land and lots of sand which is the current kingdom Hashemite of Jordan. Where armies and peoples have passed, where different languages ​​have hybridized, mythical riches have accumulated and, finally, empires evaporated. Here the Crusaders marched and the cohorts and legions bivouacked. Here the Nabataeans carved the incredible rock dream that it is Petra. And yesu these tracks have paraded the caravans of Ottoman merchants. While the warriors on horseback of Lawrence of Arabia they charged towards the legend. Meanwhile, in the silence of the desert, nomadic Bedouins, then as now, sat in their tents called, without irony, “fur houses”.Journey to Jordan from Petra to Amman - Amman from above

From the dunes to the fashion clubs

The result of all this, and much more, is a very ancient country in terms of culture and almost a child in age, where half of the population is under sixteen. And where in just a few minutes you can go from the dunes to the cocktails and lounge atmospheres of the fashion clubs Ammanfrom men-only steam bubbles to a Turkish bath to sushi dinners and English pubs. Where veiled women walk with downcast eyes in the markets while the queen Raniawith a degree from an American university behind her, presides over the “Summit for the promotion of women” throughout the Arab world.

Contradictions and contrasts that don’t scare in a voyage in this country, discovering how even the traces of a past “ours”, like the Roman one, are here so strong as to excite. This is what happens, for example, a Jerashone of the most beautiful remains of a Roman provincial city of the East, an amazing site where you can abandon yourself to the fascination of a walk along the paved road, punctuated by huge columns, pretending, and it’s not that difficult, that in the shops on the side and those who sell spices and fabrics in Latin that arrive from overseas.

Travel in Jordan from Petra to Amman theater

The street of the Sultan

While walking along the «Strada del sultano», the tortuous path that crisscrosses the town for its entire length, from the border with the Syria until Aqaba and to the corals of Red Seait is worth stopping at intervals to discover millenary traditions and a nature that can only appear ferocious.

Thus, if the Book says that from Mount Nebo Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time, and now the shadows of Jericho and Jerusalem, is by the banks of the Wai Mujibthe grand canyon that wounds the country, which collides with the soul of dust and sand of the Jordan. A nature to be interpreted by letting the gaze run over this valley more than a kilometer deep and which sinks well below sea level and on whose slopes live, following the slow migration of the flocks, small groups of Bedouins, heirs of a world that fights for resist the pressures of the new world.

That change that is found everywhere, among the houses of towns and cities, but which resists in areas where the desert continues to mark the times, an immutable flow and decline of all shades of ocher and grey.

Journey to Jordan from Petra to Amman - folks

The stars of Wadi Rum

For us Westerners, accustomed to greenery and the myopic perspective of an overcrowded land, those expanses of nothingness are almost frightening in the same way incredulity is unleashed in front of a man on a camel who is seen traveling in the distance, walked into nothing. But then, just the flickering of the stars on the night of Wadi Rumone of the most extraordinary desert landscapes of the Middle East, in which to sleep in fields of four-star tents, to go back to thinking that despite all that emptiness here the heart beats faster. As happens when seeing the sun set behind the Petra mountainsa place so incredible that it seems fake, and which it is no coincidence that even the writers of Indiana Jones robbed, aware that not even the Californian dream factory would have dared to invent so much.

TO Petra are the tombs and temples, the markets and the palaces of a people who had shut themselves up in a valley but ruled a large part of the world at the time, a lineage made rich by the incense trade and who 2000 years ago had built a pink city where everything was, and is, made of stone. A huge lost city at the bottom of a path dug into the mountain where an emotion awaits you at every turn and where you can feel a little like an explorer, at least for one day in your life.

Trip to Jordan from Petra to Amman

Journey to Jordan from Petra to Amman: tea in the desert

A possible experience during a trip to Jordanwandering in this country which is well aware of the hardships of nature but tempers them in the smiles of its people, in that “welcome” that whoever meets in the streets and markets he immediately offers to the foreign interlocutor. A welcoming approach that comes from the tradition of peoples used to meeting other peoples and, even more, from the awareness of desert people who know that hospitality is an obligation and a duty in a hostile world where even a cup of tea or of coffee are a sign of brotherhood capable of saving a life.

Lawrence of Arabia, romantic hero, archaeologist and soldier who lived and loved these lands, wrote: «All men dream, but not in the same way». It is certainly true but here, overlooking the infinite extension of the deserteveryone’s dreams, even the most banal ones, seem bigger.

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