My first stop was Amman in Jordan my original tour was meant to head straight to Syria followed by Jordan and Egypt but with all the conflict happening at that time, the Syria leg of the trip was cancelled. Therefore, I had quite a number of extra days in Amman so I did some research about heading to Jerusalem in Israel for a few days (this is not as easy as it sounds because of the border crossing).
I arrived at the hostel in Amman (Jordan) where I met one of my roommates who told me that a few of them heading to Jerusalem the next day and asked if I wanted to join – perfect! There were four of us in total which helped a lot with the cost of the taxis to and from everywhere.
To start our journey to Jerusalem, we got a taxi to the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge border crossing where we went through security and then had to wait (and pay) for a bus to take us through no-mans land (a solid 15 minute bus trip!) and to the Israeli border control.
Check out the Israel page for further information about the border crossing at King Hussein/Allenby Bridge crossing border crossing.
Once through the whole border crossing shenanigans, we caught a taxi to Jericho (the World’s oldest city) in Palestine where we went for a walk around the town and the ruins and then up to a mountain top monastery. We eventually managed to get to Jerusalem after a few change od taxis – as Israel and Palestine do not really ‘get along’, they do not go into each other’s territory which made things a little difficult.
Sandeman’s have a free walking tour around the Old City of Jerusalem which was perfect for me. This gave me a lot of history and a great insight into the religious city of Jerusalem. I did a couple of day trips to places such as Masada Palace ruins (1500m hike and 700 stairs to the top of a mountain), Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, the Dead Sea where we ‘floated’ in the extremely salty water and much more..
I really enjoyed Israel and stayed for as long as I could, heading back to Jordan on the day my tour started.
Some fun facts and info about Israel and the Palestinian Territories can be found here.
Once at the hotel where I was to start the tour, I met a small group of Aussie and Kiwis girls who (of course) ended up living only a few streets away from me in London! They were awesome and remain close friends to this day.
Our first stop on the tour was the Ajlun ruins followed by a night of camping under the stars in the Wadi Rum desert. The girls organised a surprise birthday cake here as it was my 22nd birthday – what a great way to spend my birthday!!
From Wadi Rum we went to Petra. Golly this place is incredible. Words just do not do it justice – you have to see it to believe it. It is that impressive.
Some fun facts and info about Jordan can be found here.
Our tour also went to Egypt so we crossed the border (going through Israel once again but without stopping) and straight to Dahab for some snorkelling at the Blue Hole.
Once in Cairo we were bombarded with the hustle and bustle of the capital city. From our hotel roof we could even see the pyramids of Giza in the background (they really are that close).
Going for a camel ride in the pyramids was a highlight for me and standing at the foot of the pyramids you realise how big they actually are although the Sphinx was a lot smaller than I had imagined.
Some of the other paces we went to in Egypt are Hurghada, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simble. A special mention to sailing in the feluccas on the River Nile which was another highlight for me.
Some fun facts and info about Egypt can be found here.
From Egypt I had a flight to Cappadocia (via Istanbul) in Turkey to meet up with a friend. We had a couple of weeks in Turkey where we had just one set plan – be in Eceabat for a small one day tour for Anzac Day.
Starting off in Cappadocia we went hot air ballooning over the picturesque fairy chimneys (we even slept in one) and then onto Pammukale and Fethyie to go paragliding (my birthday present from my parents) over the stunning Oludeniz.
From Bodrum we went for a day trip to the Greek Island of Kos to hire a quad bike and hoon around together – good fun.
We met the tour group in Eceabat from Cannakkale where they picked us up and took us around the Gallipoli Peninsular to the numerous war memorials and finally to Anzac Cove where we were to sleep with hundreds of other (majority) antipodeans ready for the Anzac Day Dawn Service. It was a pretty surreal experience to camp out where fellow Aussies had once fought a hard battle for our country and they had old war tapes and veterans playing all night ready for the Dawn Service.
After the Australian Service at Lone Pine it was a long bus trip to Istanbul where we hung out for a number of days in the cool city – there was so much to do in Istanbul.
Some fun facts and info about Turkey can be found here.
From Istanbul we caught a short flight to Athens in Greece where we spent a day in Athens wandering about and checking out the Acropolis and then a long bus to Meteora.
Meteora was stunning and well off the typical ‘touristy path’ which was prefect. We walked from monastery to monastery on top of various mountains.
After a couple of days here I broke off solo and caught the bus back down to Athens and then a short ferry to the closest Greek Island of Aegina. I had a great time relaxing and hooning around on a quad bike going from beach to beach for the last few days of my trip.
After six weeks on the road it was time to head back to London where I was jobless yet again. After a trip like this though I had no worries and was ready to get back into the swing of things and start planning a lot more weekend trips and catching up with new friends..
Some fun facts and info about Greece can be found here.