Today I visited my second Middle Eastern country and crossed into Jordan. Leaving Israel and entering the Kingdom was fairly easy and straightforward, so we explored downtown Aqaba for a while.
Around sunset, we had an amazing evening relaxing on the shore. Compared to Israel, the boardwalk and actual beach area were not as clean, but the area teemed with life. Mothers unfolded checkered picnic blankets as children splashed in the warm embrace of the Red Sea. We bought several cheap drinks as others smoked the seemingly omnipresent hookah and watched the sun spread its fleeting light over the purple mountains.
Here, the waves, sun, and mountains tell tales of a storied past that speak past those told by their mortal counterparts…
One of three border crossings between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
After clearing Israeli customs, we had to walk to the Jordanian passport check area. My question is: What country has jurisdiction over this seemingly no-man's land? If there was a crime committed there, which nation would deal with the consequences?
The no-man's land between Israel and Jordan is heavily guarded and apparently mined.
Approaching Jordanian customs
Jordan Post kiosk before immigration
Visa for both Jordan and Aqaba (Aqaba, along with Eilat, are in special tax-free zones to encourage investment and development)
First step into Jordan
Jordanian soldier guarding the border
Welcome to Aqaba
A nice day to explore Aqaba
Even though being over 95% desert, Jordan was full of beautiful flowers
Aqaba has been titled the "crown of Arab tourism" in recent years after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to develop 5-star hotels and gourmet restaraunts. However, the city still retrains its old, Jordanian, market feel.
Cow and goat heads hang from a local butcher shop
Aqaba city map
Descending into the busy family beach area. The land across the sea is Eilat, Israel.
Aqaba Red Sea boardwalk at sunset
Cruise ship docked in the Port of Aqaba, presumably coming from the Perisan Gulf and continuing around to the Suez Canal to southern Europe
Walking along the beach in Aqaba at sunset
Comparison to the cruise ship to show the enormity of the flag pole, which is almost 50 stories tall
Another beach shot
Lots of small glass boats took people out to examine the magnificent coral
Looking across the Red Sea from Jordan, Israel is on the right and Egypt is on the left