A week in Jordan

We are inspired to travel to destinations from all different ways whether it be through word of mouth, advertisements, TV shows, magazines, books or movies. Jordan may be a bit off the beaten track to some, but it has been on our hit list since we saw Indiana Jones: the Last Crusade (and this year was the 25th anniversary!). It may seem weird but the landscape, the outfits and the incredible history made us want to visit Petra and if there was a few extra places to see while there then why not? Here is our guide to a week in Jordan.
10376262_10152531345340185_4080645999531545190_n
Amman – the capital
Sites
Citadel
Roman Amphitheatre
Mosque
Day trip to Jerash – This is an entire town in ancient ruins. Make sure you have plenty of water when walking through the site as it can take a couple of hours to complete.
10455313_10152531346750185_9086599044537859658_n
Do
Shopping Malls (air conditioned) – like City Mall
Essentials Spa Amman – Offers massage, manicures, pedicures, hamman and many more options.
unnamed
Eat
Wild Jordan Cafe – go here for lunch, on top of a hill overlooking the city
Hasheem – go here for dinner – no menu, no meat, a cheap option
Fakhrel Din – go here for dinner – a fancier option with delicious food in a gorgeous old house
Wadi Musa – the City of Petra
10462905_10152535181410185_3169810632485510548_n
Sites
Petra – Go in early when the gates open so you aren’t spending the hottest part of the day in the sun. Make sure you wear good walking shoes and wear a hat. The Treasury is amazing but there is so much more to experience. Make sure you walk right to the very end and climb the 850 stairs to the Monastery – it is worth every single drop of sweat. Drink lots of water.
10520855_10152535181350185_1770884599421701876_n
Do
Petra by night – Only offered on certain days of the week. Walk along the candle lit pathway through siqs all the way down to the Treasury. If you can do this the night before going in to experience the entire site by day it will be even better.
10426857_10152534782665185_5924647474749425982_n
Eat
Three Steps Restaurant & Cafe – lunch or dinner – great local food with good service.
Red Cave – go for lunch – great sandwich wraps, we recommend the falafel wrap.
Reem Al-Wadi Restaurant – great for dinner – more of a local restaurant. Tasty food and cheap.
Drink
Cave Bar – Under the Crowne Plaza Resort a 2000 year old tomb has been converted into a bar.
Movenpick Rooftop Garden – Head to the top level of the Movenpick to a gorgeous rooftop bar and a view over Wadi Musa. They offer drinks, tea/coffee and ice-cream. More expensive.
Wadi Rum – the desert
Do an overnight trip into the desert and stay in a local camp hotel. All meals will be included while at the hotel.
10409762_10152541199840185_2900254499177654786_n
Do
A 4×4 Jeep safari in the desert – A 2-3hr ride in the desert will take you across sand dunes to show you different areas, markings and landscapes of the amazing Wadi Rum.
A camel safari – Wake up early (like 4:30am early) and do a sunrise camel trek. Don a camel and ride around to view the sun rise over the dunes while you enjoy a cup of tea.
10500490_10152541199820185_816110457841535572_n
The Dead Sea area
10525868_10152541200140185_8025598318315475266_n
Do
Float in the Dead Sea – the Marriott Hotel has a 60JD entrance fee for the day which includes a 25JD food and drink coupon. Head here to have access to a pool, a private beach, lunch and more. If you would rather, you can go to the Amman Tourist Beach, which has a 20JD entrance fee and a buffet lunch on top of that.
Mujib Valley – Get a guide, buy some waterproof shoes and enter the valley. You will splash through water, climb over water falls and scurry over rocks but what you see along the way is totally worth it. This was one of our favourite parts out of the whole country and is a must do!

 

homemade dips

Dips are so easy to make and taste so good. They are a great way to start a dinner party, are easy to bring to a party and are a healthy snack. Here are some of our favourite dip recipes.
photo 1 copy 3
Hummus
Ingredients:
- 1.5 cups/1 can cooked chickpeas, liquid reserved and set aside
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1.5 tablespoons reserved chickpea liquid (or water)
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Paprika, for garnish
photo 1
Method:
1. Place all ingredients into a food processor (except the salt) and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed.
2. Now add in salt gradually, stopping to taste as you go.
photo 2 copy
3. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with a good quality olive oil and garnish with paprika.
photo 2 copy 2
Lao Smokey Eggplant 
Ingredients:
1 large fresh firm eggplant
A handful of chopped coriander
1 garlic clove
1 chilli
1 teaspoon salt
1 spring onion, chopped
photo 3
Method:
1. Poke holes in the eggplant, chilli and garlic clove and char grill over a direct flame or roast in the oven until skin has blackened.
2. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel carefully.
photo 1 copy
4. In a food processor blend warm eggplant, chilli (de-seeded and roughly chopped), peeled garlic, coriander and spring onion.
5. Add salt or if you want, fish sauce or soy sauce to taste.
photo 3 copy
6. Once smooth with a good consistency scoop into a bowl and serve with warm pita bread
photo 1 copy 2
Carrot and Cumin
Ingredients:
500g carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove
Ground salt and pepper, to taste
photo 2
Method:
1. Cook the carrot in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 30 minutes or until tender then drain.
2. Place the carrot, oil, cumin and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
3. Scoop to a bowl and serve with warm Turkish bread.
photo 3 copy 2

The sun hat

For the last week we have been making our way around Jordan and the one thing we could not have gone without is a big hat. 20140704-083154-30714075.jpg With 40 degree plus heat every day, it was hot! A hat will not only protect you from the sun, as we have mentioned previously, it is a statement piece that can tie your whole outfit together! 20140704-082953-30593719.jpg

What to wear on the plane

We are saying Bon Voyage for the next few weeks, as we are heading over to the Middle East and the European summer. We are all packed up and ready to go but the last thing we thought about was what we were going to wear on the plane. From the many years of past experience, here’s what we recommend.
photo 2
Layers
You never know what the temperature is going to be on the plane. It starts hot, then gets cold and then gets hot again. To deal with this we recommend wearing and bringing layers. Think a tank top, a shirt, a cardigan or jacket and a scarf.
photo 1
Pants
Remember you are going to be on the plane for a while, so it is best that you are comfortable. Jeans can be good but they can make you feel a little cramped and restricted sometimes. Cotton leggings or pants are great and super comfy. We wouldn’t recommend shorts, if it gets too cold then what will you do?
Shoes
Wear easy to put on shoes, like ballet flats. When going through security it will be more convenient to get through, and it is also good for when you want to get up to go to the toilet or walk around the cabin in the middle of a flight. But BRING SOCKS in your carry on!
photo 2
Accessories
It is definitely recommended to wear a watch. Going in and out of time zones along the way, it will be easiest to change a watch on your wrist as you land in a new airport. The flight attendant always says the local time upon arriving, or you can look at the flight information TV once you have departed the aircraft. It also won’t hurt to wear a bit of jewellery. Why not?
photo 3
OK – so now we are ready to go! Grace + Alice will be posting randomly throughout our holiday but until then, ciao bella. xo
photo 4

 

Outdoor Feature Wall

It is only a new concept and one still developing but we love the idea of an outdoor feature wall. Whether you are painting it, tiling it or even using outdoor wallpaper bringing bright, interesting patterns and shapes to the exterior really is an artwork in itself. From graffiti through to large-scale graphic designs, the outside of a building can be brought back to life and look completely different. Here are some fabulous examples of the outdoor feature wall to inspire you to do something a bit different.
outdoor feature wall

the game of tennis

We have played tennis ever since we were little kids. Mum always told us it was a great social game to play with friends and family (as well as good exercise). We, of course, enjoy the more social side to it but like the idea of while we’re playing we are getting in a good workout without even realising. If you play a full, one-hour long game of tennis it is estimated you will burn around 600 calories for men and 420 calories for women. That’s pretty good for a bit of fun.
photo 1
photo 3 copy 5
As well as being a great cardio workout (especially if you are playing singles), you are also improving your muscle tone, strength and flexibility, increasing your reaction times, lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure and improving metabolic function. Those are just the health benefits.
photo 2 copy 3
photo 3 copy 4
The other things we love about tennis is the fact no matter how old you are, you can play. Down at our local courts there are always families playing with young kids, people our age, people our parents age and people our grandparents age. It is a lifelong sport with no restrictions. And the fact that it is sociable means a drink after a game is always in the mix.
photo 3
photo 4 copy 3
If you haven’t’ played tennis for a while make sure you get out there and give it another go. If you’ve never played before, it’s never too late to try!
photo 1 copy 5
photo 4 copy

 

Being a tourist in London

We have been to London quite a few times but taking a couple of days to head out and do the toursity things never seems to get old. London is a city where you can have any amount of time in the world but you will never run out of things to do. Although the weather can get a little bit dreary in winter, when you are out visiting the local sites nothing will stop you. Here are some of our favourite things to do when in London, over and over and over again.
IMG_1712
Buckingham Palace
1927624_119449595053_5117_n
Big Ben
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
IMG_1716
The London Dungeon
10400224_47786751486_1599_n
Image by Sarah Reid
The London Eye
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
IMG_1711
IMG_1710
Southwark Cathedral
IMG_1705
Borough Markets
IMG_1708
IMG_1704
Abbey Road
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Changing of the Guards
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
10400224_47786701486_8048_n
Image by Sarah Reid
Madame Tussauds
2478_83523890184_9365_n
1918776_184965625184_3891537_n
Portobello Road
IMG_1738
IMG_1736
IMG_1734
IMG_1732
Hyde Park
IMG_1742
IMG_1699
IMG_1702
Platform 9 and 3/4s – Harry Potter
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA