Our flight path from Tallinn involved going backward to Frankfurt, then taking a late flight to Jordan, arriving at the logical hour of 1:35AM. On the plus side we got to enjoy Lufthansa’s Senator lounge (why they let lowly SA gold members like me in I don’t really know). So we spent four pleasant hours researching Jordan and sampling the various foods and alcoholic beverages on offer. Our flight to Jordan was uneventful, though plans to nap never happened. We breezed through immigration and headed to baggage claim. This of course is where the easy bit ended
We don’t typically check our bags, for both cost and convenience reasons. But this 6-week trip involved several climates and our insistence on keeping up our running routine. So we checked and hoped for the best. Alex’s bag came out pretty fast, but 30 minutes later my bag, and about two dozen others had yet to materialize. A few locals were handing their bag claim stickers to an official looking person, nothing was being announced, nor would anyone explain anything to us. Eventually we just followed a group of people to a back room that had a scanner. Turns out our bags were in security for extra screening, for no discernible reason. Eventually they started bringing out everyone’s bag, one by one. I was continually ignored, but since Alex is a man, he had higher success (while I internally fumed at the blatant, but expected, sexism). 2:30AM we depart the airport, welcome to Jordan! Luckily our driver from the hotel was still there and took us quickly to our hotel.
The next morning we had breakfast, picked up a sim, our rental car and some falafel for the road and headed out of Madaba towards the Dead Sea. Some people advised us to skip it, saying it was overpriced and not worth it. It is expensive, day passes to hotels are $50 and even the cheaper more public beach (our choice) was $25, though I don’t really think you need a hotel pass for this, the sea is the same and unless you use the spa you’re throwing away money. We thought it was worth it, aside from the super strange feeling of floating effortlessly in the water, the Dead Sea is disappearing and we might not have had another chance to visit. En route we also briefly visited Mt. Nebo where Moses was granted views of the Promise Land.
From here we headed to Petra. Meant to be a three hour drive it turned into four with a few confusing detours and the realization that google maps is far less reliable in Jordan. Exhausted from limited sleep and a frustrating drive we got to our hotel, ate dinner, and headed to bed, and hoped the rest of our time would go more smoothly.