Iran is everything we’ve been taught the Middle East is not. And we have proof.
Goodlooking, humble and hot – Jordan’s got all the right qualities for a perfect travel date.
At a time when much of the region sadly seems to be wracked by upheaval and unrest, the Middle East might not seem the world’s most alluring travel destination. And then there’s Jordan…
Jordan is hot by nature and conservative by inclination. Its capital Amman is a world away from the new-money glitz of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but it’s still got a great cosmopolitan vibe, with trendy cafes and art galleries popping up on the palm-studded boulevard of the aptly named Rainbow Street.
When our felucca with its flapping sails and smiling Nubian crew pulled up at the dock of our Aswan hotel, we knew it was the beginning of a truly magical journey.
Who better to ask about travelling to Iran than a local?
Reza Poorhoseini has been leading Intrepid trips in Iran since they first started in 2006. He’s passionate about his homeland and has a wealth of information about the region, so we asked him what should people expect to see and discover in his country?
What is it about Jordan that has world-renowned photographer Steve Davey eager to return, again and again? Seems like the answer is simple, it’s a complex country with a bewildering beauty…
“For what is basically a large patch of sand in the Middle East, Jordan is a surprisingly varied country. Sure there are some incredible patches of desert here. Wadi Rum, which is seemingly most well-known for Lawrence of Arabia who travelled extensively in the region, is home to some of the most stunning desert scenery you will ever find. Great gouts of rock, eroded by wind and ancient water into fantastical gnarled shapes that bedeck a carpet of bright red sand.
Could Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut have been an explorer at heart and a tourism trailblazer? In 1493 BC she commissioned an expedition to the ancient land of Punt, known today as Somalia, and this first female pharaoh commissioned public buildings and temples that continue to attract visitors to Egypt. Even her own temple adds wonder to the Valley of the Kings, as Intrepid’s Sameh Tawfik discovers…
“Plodding up the undulating hills on the back of a placid donkey has a tendency to become monotonous. However, glancing over the cliff to my right, I have a reminder of where I am and where I am heading. At the base of the steep cliff lies the great temple of Queen Hatshepsut and I know just over the next ridge is something even more spectacular.