|We visited Aqaba a few years ago on a land tour we did through Egypt, Jordan and Syria and never imagined we would be back. For most of our fellow cruisers this is the stop to visit the Beautiful Rose Red City of Petra. Because we had 2 days there on our land tour we didn’t feel the need to join the 500 cruisers on the buses to go again as lovely as it is there.
We had a free shuttle from the port into town and just went wandering around looking for internet to catch up with our emails after 4 sea days. Aqaba is a duty free town and has become a sort of seaside place for Jordanians. It is strange to see the beaches very busy but with only the men and children in swimming gear and going in the water. The women of course are completely covered – this is not the area for western folks to be on the beach!
We felt very comfortable looking around the town and got friendly response from the local people.
We walked by a newer shopping and restaurant area with of all things a Coronation street pub (all hope is now lost here). We did feel like a beer at that point but it wasn’t open until later. From there we walked along the Corniche to the ruins of Ayla, the site of the ancient port of Aqaba. The ruins are limited but the signs are in English as well. The fort and museum area were closed as it was Friday, their weekend and Good Friday for us by coincidence. We had seen the fort on our previous visit.
A walk around the small souk area didn’t entice us to buy anything especially the large cow’s head hanging outside the butcher shop. (see the photo).
We headed back to the ship for a nice quiet afternoon around the pool as most people were off on their tours.