Phew, yesterday was a bit rough- the long travel day combined with only about 6 hours of sleep meant that we were pretty tired. We woke up this AM and grabbed a nice breakfast at the hotel – Israeli-style- before making our way back to the airport for yet another flight.
Brief breakfast aside for the Sephardi party from Atlanta- the hotel buffet had 2 types of burekas- cheese and potato- they were pretty good but nothing tops the ones coming out of the kitchen from OVS. They were long and cylindrical as opposed to the moon shape that we all know and love- that said, looking forward to eating more when we get back there in a few days.
We made our way to the domestic terminal at Tel-Aviv for the Shabbat flight to Eilat- we were the first flight of the day and the airport appeared to be a ghost town. We got the usual security questions and checked our bags and hung out at the gate for the hour we had to wait before boarding. We passed the time with the Conan O’Brien special on Israel- would definitely recommend a watch for a good laugh and some solid information.
The flight was about as short as it could be – 35 minutes – then we began our adventure to cross the border. The theme for the next 90 minutes would be getting ripped off but having no other avenue aside from forward. Given that it was Shabbat and we couldn’t take the bus, the 12 minute cab from the airport to the border was an arm and a leg. Then, upon reaching the border, the departure fee from Israel was north of $60 for the two of us followed by another 12 minute cab ride that broke the bank. Before we knew it, it cost us nearly $125 to leave the airport, pay to leave Israel, cross into Jordan, and get to the hotel.
Thankfully once we arrived at the hotel in Aqaba the day picked up a little bit. SPG had opened a new property here in Aqaba about 8 months ago and the new building is beautiful. They were kind enough to upgrade us to a nice suite with a great ocean view and even brought us a nice cake for our honeymoon (the reason for the vacation and free hotel amenities never gets old).
Debbie posted up by the pool bar for a quick snack while i adventured off-site to an ATM and then we made our way into the water to watch the sunset and enjoy the nice set-up at the hotel. After a quick refresh, we walked 10 minutes into town to get to a mall full of restaurants and found a nice Jordanian specialty- Buffalo Wings & Rings- for dinner on this lovely Saturday night.
Given that we had a big day ahead tomorrow, we were back in the room by 9 pm and watched a movie before calling it quits in excitement for our day at Petra & Wadi Rum tomorrow.
We have high hopes for our day tomorrow- we’ll try to get some good pictures for the record books!