How I fell in Love with Jordan… again and again…

By Zein Quandour

We were on our way to the Dana Biosphere reserve since 7:30 AM; the desert highway kept me thinking of how Jordan has few natural resources (except phosphate) and how tourism has become a main component to the kingdom’s economy. I thought of how vast the desert was, and how people love to spend a day by the sea, when I’d rather spend a day exploring the desert! It has always been a fascinating mystery to me and all through the way Zaid kept on telling me & Nabil “if you think you have loyalty to your job, wait until you experience Dana” Our plan was to visit Dana Reserve, hike to Rummana Campsite, spend the night at the Dana guest house, visit the Feynan eco-lodge the next day and on our way back to Amman stopover the Mujib reserve to do a short hike, and then home sweet home. I was extremely excited; it was my first time to visit any of RSCN’s reserves.

We were going down a road with amazing mountain views when Zaid stopped the car and told us to get out! We were laughing and wondering why Zaid’s being weird about everything, and then all of a sudden… Silence… literally silence… nothing… not a word. The most amazing view overlooking the old Dana village and the Dana Guest house surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, I was speechless! Again, Zaid looked at me with a smirk and told me “if you liked this view, wait until we finish our hike” I couldn’t believe my eyes, the village looked so authentic and old, the houses were all built to the same height, the village colors were beautiful, the fresh air was refreshing, I didn’t want to move. Nabil had the exact same reaction for he had never visited the reserves either. Zaid laughed and told us to move on. We took amazing pictures and carried on till we reached the Dana guest house.

We started our hike after having the deliciously addictive Dana Tea, a mix of nine or so herbs with tea and sugar. We walked through the calm Dana village, walking by the houses and then went through some bushes, a along a fresh water stream, of-course I couldn’t resist having a sip of the fresh, clean and cold water. Our guide was this young funny man from Tafeileh; he was simply entertaining and knowledgeable. A very nature oriented family was hiking with us, father, mother, daughter and son; it was their second day at Dana.
We reached a point were it looked like we were walking on the edge of a cliff, it was extremely exciting, and at that point the mountain scenery around us was mind blowing, the colours, the altitudes, the most amazing landscape, I was astonished, Nabil kept on saying “I can’t believe my eyes” and Zaid was smiling and telling us about the times that he came here for hikes. It was incredible; at one point we all walked to a high flat rock and sat there for twenty minutes. It was so refreshing the wind could revive a soul. The air was so fresh; I just wanted to sleep there. The calmness and smell of nature… we were trucked by the beauty of Dana; nature seemed to be in perfect harmony with everything around it.

Reaching the Rummana Campsite after almost four hours, the views around the campsite were also breathtaking; a huge Bedouin tent was set in the middle of the camp. We met the chef and the staff; again they were extremely friendly & hospitable.
Lunch was delicious; a variety of mouthwatering traditional salads, and the main dish was vegetable rice with grilled chicken. We all ate and moved to the Bedouin tent were we again had the traditional Dana tea, it was by far the best cup of tea I had in my whole life. I enjoyed every sip!

We went back to the guest house by a shuttle bus (No cars are aloud at lower Dana) the three of us couldn’t stay in our rooms, we were waiting for the sunset and the three of us sat in our rooms’ private terraces and watched the amazing sun-set behind the humongous mountains.

Night at Dana is a different experience, the calm night could hypnotize any one, you don’t really have to be a nature lover to enjoy Dana, it’s even the perfect place to run away from the hectic city life, it’s just a relaxing retreat, a place to revive your soul.
And then at nine PM we had the tasty Dana tea again, I was ready to sleep at that point, my body was so relaxed, I felt like I’ve been away from Amman for days. The night breeze was soothing, and the tranquil silence was simply ideal!
Zaid suggested going to the Dana Hotel, a very nice locally managed hotel in the middle of the Dana village to have some argeeleh, we walked to the village it was so peaceful and the warmth of the Cafe’s owner was incredible, he offered us some tea, and we stayed there and talked to the locals for almost two hours. When we asked for our bill the owner told us that brothers don’t pay money to each other, totally disagreeing of us paying our bill made me think of how all the locals I met today were generous, warm and hospitable.
Off we went for a sweet good night sleep…

This great trip doesn’t finish here… an outstanding experience, a trip I’ll never forget; I was greatly passionate towards the magnificent hidden treasures of Jordan.
I will update you with the rest of the trip… it was an experience to remember…

17 Responses to How I fell in Love with Jordan… again and again…

  1. samer says:

    Dana is such a beautiful place!

  2. lina says:

    very nice

  3. DANA says:

    Gosh! feels good readin this

  4. tala momani says:

    Spectacular blend of mountains and desert landscape, as well as an Extra ordinary botanic diversity and Bio-Zones , makes Dana one of its kind .

    Zein , what about the next day? Tell us about it

  5. Awni Quandour says:

    A beautiful land and a beautiful daughter!

  6. Neveen says:

    Dana is really a charming fanciful place which worth visiting, I’m happy that I’ve been there :)

  7. Laith Naber says:

    Great specifications!!! I love Jordan

  8. mohammad matoukh says:

    Best things in life r free :)

  9. mohammad matoukh says:

    Best things in life r free

  10. Fares Shaban says:

    after reading this am really thinking in going there to have a’DANA TEA’drink…..

  11. Khalid Shaban says:

    I’m proude of you as father & friend.

    waiting the next article.

  12. Khalid Shaban says:

    I’m proude of you as father & friend.

    waiting the next article.

  13. ramoy says:

    Looks like a lovely place…..

  14. wedadf says:

    Whats the feeling to fell in love with JORdan :S

    I really cant know !! Its a good country yaaa.. but whats the other side!!

  15. rakan says:

    Like in every country i am sure the other side is always there.. may be some things are more frustrating than other places but i guess Zein is trying to highlight one of the most beautiful sides of Jordan which unfortunately alot of Jordanians/Ammanions who keep complaining haven’t even experienced… believe me a couple of night in Dana or in Rum would wash away months of frustrating city routine and other negatives… at the end the glass is always either half empty or half full! HomePage:

  16. Zein Quandour says:

    I totally agree!! Jordan has a lot to offer, people HAVE to start getting out of their daily routines’ & start experiencing this country to the fullest… it’s a curative medicine for frustration and boredom!!

    Thank you

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