Arriving at the Jordan Israel border crossing early in the afternoon was not a part of our plan at all. We had planned to go to Wadi Rum, a desert made famous by Lawrence of Arabia. I also learned that more recently, Transformers (Revenge of the Fallen) and Prometheus were filmed there as well. So, we woke up and were down in the lobby by six in the morning to catch our bus. It picked us up and then parked in the bus lot and told us that if we wanted to go, instead of paying 7 JD each, we’d have to pay 30 JD total because we were the only ones on the bus.
“Why did you wait to tell us this?” I asked, perplexed that they picked us up, drove us across town (the town isn’t so big) and then parked until randomly breaking the news to us fifteen minutes or so later.
“We told your guesthouse.” I narrowed my eyes. The same dude that told us there would be heat (when there wasn’t) didn’t deliver this bus news to us. I relayed this to the bus driver. He apologized and I assured him it wasn’t his fault. Andrew and I mulled it over, and decided we may as well save Wadi Rum (along with Jerash) for the next time we’re in Jordan. Instead, we crossed the border.
Which, is probably the most expensive crossing we’ve encountered yet. Not only did we have to pay a Jordanian exit fee, but we had to pay a luggage fee on the bus over to the Israeli side! We thought we had it bad, and then we met an Australian who was denied entry into Jordan because at this particular crossing, you needed to already have a ‘multiple entry’ visa. He didn’t. Not only was he “detained” on the Jordanian side, once he got back to the Israeli side, he was accused of looking nervous and his bags were confiscated to be searched. We left him at the second (of three) security checks before Passport Control.
Once at Passport Control, I went first and was asked twenty questions regarding our visit to Israel and why I didn’t want the Israeli stamp in my passport. I played the naive tourist (ok, so maybe I didn’t have to try too hard on the naive part) and walked out ten minutes later with a stamp on a piece of paper and my passport clean. (If I decide to go to Lebanon in the future, having an Israeli stamp in my passport would guarantee problems and most likely getting denied entry. Given that my current passport is only three years old and that I would love to go to Beirut in the future, I didn’t want an Israeli stamp inside.)
We walked around The Old City in Jerusalem for a bit, before I nearly fell asleep in my hummus and Andrew had to drag me back to our very fancy (not. at. all.) hostel outside of Damascus Gate.