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October 13, 2011 - 23:23

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is just soaked in this special ambience that dreams and adventures are made of—the air scented with traces of spices, desert flowers, charcoal and tobacco smoke from the water pipes and where the past and the present seamlessly weave together. It’s a mystic place that seems to exist in a time and dimension of its own. Relaxed, exciting and always intriguing, Jordan is a true getaway, yet also a place that plays with all six senses.

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This first impression has stayed with us ever since. With great topside adventures and sights to balance easy and wonderful diving, Jordan is clearly one of the most under-appreciated dive destinations around.

Ancient land

Jordan’s history as modern state may be relatively short, but this land is ancient. It is also a biblical land revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews, and the country seems to be peppered with pitstops with some reference to the holy books, which always calls for a pensive moment even for the non-believer. It is said that half of humanity views this land and the river of Jordan as the geographic and spiritual heartland of their faith. Here, the prophet Abraham arrived in the Holy Land; Moses saw the promised land, which he would never enter; John the Baptist preached, baptized Jesus and was killed by King Herod; Jesus received the Holy Spirit and resisted the temptations of Satan; and the Prophet Muhammad made his night time journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.

Here, you can experience the magnificence of Wadi Rum where the legendary Lawrence of Arabia during the first world war led the Arabs in a revolt against the Ottomans (Turks) and their 400 years of occupatio, and of course, Petra, the mystic rose city, which lay hidden for centuries deep in the forbidding mountain range between the Jordan river valley and the eastern desert expanses. Also we find here the Dead sea, the lowest point of the Earth and saltiest sea in the world with it’s eye-stinging 30% salt content.

Here, the tales of a thousand and one nights co-exists with mobile phones and the Internet.

Much more than diving

Calling Jordan a dive destination might thus be somewhat a misnomer though we, obviously, also went there to dive. Surely, you can enjoy some good diving there, and the country makes no small marketing effort in making this statement too. But let me get back to the diving in a minute... It is all the other stuff that truly sets Jordan apart and makes it not only worthwhile but also a must-see-at-least-once-in-a-lifetime destination. As for the diving, viewed out of the overall context, it is absolutely decent, though clearly not in the same class as the southern Red Sea, or the unique remote locations in Southeast Asia. But let’s not compare apples to oranges here. With only 25 kms of coastline tucked away in ...

Originally published

on page 30

X-Ray Mag #12

July 22, 2006 - 19:39

From cool blue wilderness of the Canadian high Arctic to the red hot deserts of Jordan - from Beluga whales close to magnificent wrecks. Also in this issue lots of Ocean Art including Chihulys Seaforms. Vi have a talk with photographer Kurt Amsler and AP Valves Martin Parker. Dives: 200m on CCR in Thailand and explore caves in Bosnia. Technique: Leigh Cunningham tells why we should watch our partial pressure and Jason Heller and Dan Beecham explains how we can rig your photogear.

Lots of other news and new gear too - as always.