Day 20 - Off to Aqaba
Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
105Trip End Jan 09, 2013
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After a rather reduced breakfast offering at the hotel due to Sabbath, we were picked up by our taxi and taken to the King Hussein bridge to get back into Jordan. After some research and light panic and annoyance yesterday, we found that we couldn't travel to Eilat, theirs Red Sea town and the ideal point to cross the border for us, as none of the buses run on Sabbath. So we decided to get back into Jordan and rather use the Jordanians transport system, which actually was a cheaper option. The biggest cost was the $50 that it cost in departure tax to leave Israel.
The border is a very strange thing. It is a different process depending on which way you travel through it, and the border post is marked in a way you need to sniff what you need to do next.
That said it was not a real hassle at all and went quickly. From our hotel in Jerusalem to leaving the arrivals hall in Jordan took around 2hours.
The Jordanians seem to be a very helpful bunch of people. We have had a couple of instances that they have helped out just to help, which is always great.
We had an Australian travelling angel help us find a cheap local bus to get from the border to Amman. She has lived in Bethlehem for the last 16 years and so can talk the talk and knows the local tricks of getting around.
From Amman, we took a 4 1/2 hour bus trip to Aqaba. Tickets cost 8 JD or R100 each, very reasonable and in a very respectable bus. Jordanian transport seems to be cheap, even the Taxis are very reasonable.
So after arriving at the Aqaba bus station, we found our hotel and headed for a good dinner after a number of days of not eating much. After which we went for a walk around the city.
It looks as though a lot of work has gone into making Aqaba nice, and its a big tourist destination for its Red Sea diving. Interestingly the Battle of Aqaba was a turning point for the Ottoman Empire in World War 1, with Lawrence of Arabia being instrumental in suggesting and arranging the attack.