Posts tagged Aqaba

Letters from Jordan: Aqaba and Dead Sea, Pearls from the South!

My dear travellers and lovers of unusual trips, I hope you are well and ready to continue our adventure in Jordan! Today’s post is special and a bit sentimental as this is the last travelogue in the series of posts Letters from Jordan. This post will wrap up my Jordan adventure and I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful messages and numerous questions about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I sincerely hope that I managed to solve all your doubts and that your next destination will be this unusual country!

For all my dear travellers and fashionistas who didn’t get to read my previous travelogues and fashion stories from Jordan on the Mr.M blog or want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following links:

  1. The story about Amman and Jerash (travelogue)
  2. The story of Petra (travelogue)
  3. The story from Wadi Rum with Fratelli Rossetti (fashion story)
  4. The Fashionable Royal Blue adventure in Aqaba (fashion story)
  5. The story of Wadi Rum, the Moon Desert Princess (travelogue)
  6. The story of Petra with Loro Piana (fashion story)

Today I will share with you my experience in Aqaba and Dead Sea and I would like to thank the Visit Jordan for the kind invitation and the amazing experience to get to know Jordanian culture and customs.

Aqaba is the only seaport in the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as the largest and most populated city in the Gulf of Aqaba. Located in the southernmost part of Jordan, Aqaba is the administrative center of Aqaba Governorate. Today, over 150,000 people live in the city. Aqaba plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy, through vibrant trade and tourism sectors. The port of Aqaba also serves other countries in the region. Aqaba’s ideal strategic location on the northeastern part of the Red Sea between the continents of Asia and Africa has made its port important for thousands of years.

The ancient city that was located in the area of today’s Aqaba was called Elat, adopted in Latin as Aela and in Arabic as Aila. Its strategic location and proximity to copper mines made it a regional hub for copper production and trade in the Chalcolithic period. Aela became a diocese under Byzantine rule and later became a Latin Catholic titular see after the Islamic conquest around 650 AD, when it became known as Ayla. The name Akaba appears in the Middle Ages. The Battle of Aqaba in the Great Arab Revolt, depicted in the film Lawrence of Arabia, resulted in a victory for the Arab forces over the Ottoman defenders.

Aqaba, next to Wadi Rum and Petra, is located in the famous golden Jordanian tourist triangle, which strengthened the location of the city on the world map and made it one of the main tourist attractions of the Kingdom of Jordan. The city is governed by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, which has turned Aqaba into a low-tax, duty-free city, attracting several mega projects such as Aila Oasis, Saraya Aqaba, Marsa Zayed and the expansion of Aqaba Port. It is expected to turn the city into a major tourist center in the region. However, industrial and commercial activities remain important, due to the city’s strategic position as the only seaport in the country. The city is located just across the border from Eilat, also Israel’s only port on the Red Sea. After the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace accord, there were plans and hopes for the establishment of a cross-border tourism and economic zone, but few of these plans came to fruition.

Since I know how much you love to read interesting historical facts, I made sure to find out how the only seaport in Jordan got its name. The name of the city was anciently Elat, Ailat. The name is probably derived from the Semitic name of a tree from the genus Pistacia. Modern Eilat (founded in 1947), located about 5 km northwest of Aqaba, is also named after an ancient settlement. In the Hellenistic period it was renamed Berenice, but the original name survived, and under Roman rule it was reintroduced in the forms Aila, Aela or Haila, adopted in Byzantine Greek as Aila Aila and in Arabic as Ayla, while the Crusaders called the city Elin.

The current name of Aqaba is shortened from ʿakabat Ailah – “mountain pass of Ailah”, which was first mentioned by Idrisi in the 12th century, at a time when the settlement was mainly reduced to a military stronghold, exactly referring to the pass northeast of the settlement.

Aqaba has a number of luxury hotels, including Tala Bay Resort, that cater to those who come to have fun on the beaches as well as to dive. It also offers activities that take advantage of its desert location. Its many cafes offer mansaf and knafeh and baklava desserts. Another very popular place is the Turkish bath (Hamam) built in 306 AD, where locals and visitors come to relax after a hot and tiring day.

Aqaba has been chosen as the site of a new waterfront construction project that would renovate Aqaba with new artificial water features, new high-rise residential and commercial buildings, and more tourism services to put Aqaba on the investment map and challenge other centers of waterfront development throughout the region. Aqaba was chosen as the best Arab tourist city in 2011.

During the five-day holiday at the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, Jordanian and Western expatriates flock to the city with numbers reaching up to 50,000 visitors. During that time, the occupancy rate of most hotels there reaches as high as 90% and they are often fully booked.

The fact that Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan has successfully created a distinctive cuisine compared to other Jordanian cities. Main dishes include Saiadeiah, a combination of rice, fish and spices, a dish common in Arabian coastal cities. Kishnah is a famous dish that includes fish, tomatoes and onions cooked together. Bukhari dish consists of rice, meat, hummus beans, ghee and spices popular in wedding ceremonies. Treats in Aqaba include Al-Hooh, which consists of layers of pastry filled with nuts or dates that are then fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup. Dates and ghee, which consists of fresh dates dipped in ghee, is a simple dessert that is also commonly presented to all tourists.

The Dead Sea, also known by other names, is a salt lake bordered by Jordan on the east and Israel and the West Bank. It lies in the valley of the Jordan River, and at the same time its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The lake is located about 430 meters below sea level, which makes the shores of the Dead Sea the lowest altitude on Earth. It is 304 meters deep and is the deepest hyper-saline lake in the world. With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2%, it is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, almost 10 times saltier than the ocean and has a density of 1.24 kg/l, making swimming akin to floating. This salinity creates a harsh environment where plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The main, northern basin of the Dead Sea is 50 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide at its widest point.

Since you know that I can’t swim, you must be wondering how I dared to enter the lake, since we know that lakes can be quite deep… After reading numerous articles in which scientists claimed that it was simply impossible that due to the salinity of the lake itself a man drowns, I decided to see for myself.

There are rules that you must follow if you want to feel the beauty and healing of this lake in a healthy way. Staying in the water is limited due to salinity.

What does it actually look like to have a Spa relaxing day on the Dead Sea? When you get to the lake you can stay in it for between 10 and 15 minutes, don’t get the area around your eyes and mouth wet because of the salt! After that, you can apply a layer of healing mud from the Dead Sea, which has many positive properties that can help people who have problems with some skin diseases. It is recommended to leave the mud on the body to dry for up to 20 minutes and after that period you can re-enter the Dead Sea to remove the mud more easily with the help of salt from the lake and take a good shower with plain water. It is recommended to do this once, maximum twice a day. If you have sensitive skin like me, my honest recommendation is to do this once a day or once every 2/3 days due to the salinity.

The interesting thing is that it was the Dead Sea that attracted visitors from the entire Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. It was one of the world’s first spas and supplied a wide range of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizer. Today, tourists visit the lake on its shores in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.

The Dead Sea area has become a location for numerous health researches and a place for potential treatment of some diseases. The mineral content of the water, the low content of pollen and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth can have specific health effects. For example, people who have reduced respiratory function due to diseases such as cystic fibrosis benefit from increased atmospheric pressure.

The climate and low altitude of the region have made it a popular center for certain therapies:

Climatotherapy: A treatment that uses local climatic characteristics such as temperature, humidity, sunshine, barometric pressure and special atmospheric constituents
Heliotherapy: A treatment that uses the biological effects of solar radiation
Thalassotherapy: A treatment that uses bathing in the water of the Dead Sea

Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea can be a therapy for psoriasis by prolonged sunbathing in the area due to its location below sea level and the subsequent result that UV rays are partially blocked by the increased thickness of the atmosphere.

Patients with rhinosinusitis who received nasal irrigation with Dead Sea saline showed improved symptom relief compared to standard hypertonic saline spray in one study.

Dead Sea mud therapy has been suggested to temporarily relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. According to researchers at Ben Gurion University, treatment with mineral-enriched mud packs can be used to augment conventional medical therapy.

What does relaxation and rest look like when you apply mud from the Dead Sea. The picture was taken with the permission of all family members.

In the picture above, you can see a family enjoying their vacation at the Dead Sea and what the drying period of the mud looks like when applied to the skin. Today, the Dead Sea has become an ideal tourist destination for generations because everyone wants to experience the healing properties of the Dead Sea.

A clock located at the entrance to the lake where you can track your time in the water.
This is the area for swimming in the Dead Sea at the Kempinski Ishtar Hotel Resort

My dear travellers, we have come to the end of the last special fourth travelogue about the Kingdom of Jordan where we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the only sea port of Aqaba and the lowest point on Earth – the Dead Sea. This series of travelogues would not be possible without the selfless help of the Jordan Tourism Board – Visit Jordan in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Jordanian culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Jordan.

I would like to especially thank the staff of the Kempinski Aqaba and Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea hotels for their warm welcome and having me in their incredible hotels. The stay in their hotels was exceptional, where I felt the warmth of my own home! Top full service that can be expected in 5* star hotels, pleasant staff, exceptional food, I have to put a special emphasis on the sweets! 🙂

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual country in Western Asia in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about Aqaba and the Dead Sea? Have you had the chance to visit Jordan so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With love from Jordan,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Visit Jordan, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

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MALO: One Royal Blue Fashion Story on the Red Sea Coast…

My dear fashionistas, today I have a special fashion adventure from Jordan for you. The pictures in today’s post were taken in wonderful Aqaba, Jordan’s only seaport.

For all my dear travellers and fashionistas who didn’t get to read my previous travelogues and fashion stories from Jordan on the Mr.M blog or want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following links:

  1. The story about Amman and Jerash (travelogue)
  2. The story of Petra (travelogue)
  3. The story from Wadi Rum with Fratelli Rossetti (fashion story)

Today I will share with you my fashion adventure in Aqaba and I would like to thank the Visit Jordan for the kind invitation and the amazing experience to get to know Jordanian culture and customs.

For all lovers of travelogues and unusual travel, the Aqaba travelogue will be published in the first half of September on Mr.M blog, so you know you will soon learn more about this unusual coastal city and the only seaport in the Kingdom of Jordan.

In today’s post, we are meeting again with the Italian brand Malo in a slightly different seaside landscape. This brand is known for its innovations and combining modern technology with traditional handwork, the reasons why this brand is at the very top of the fashion industry, especially in knitwear.

Malo (word comes from the Latin ego mālō, meaning “I prefer”) is a famous Italian luxury brand of cashmere, which was launched exactly 50 years ago by the brothers Alfredo and Giacomo Canessa in 1972 in Florence. All Malo products are exclusively made in Italy. Their collections are seasonal and distributed through a direct sales network that includes Malo stores, multi-brand stores and specially selected luxury department stores in different parts of the world.

Choosing Malo products means prioritising the quality of the most noble materials, high craftsmanship and artistic forms, absolute standards of excellence linked to a long artisanal tradition in creating unique garments, made to last over time.

The Malo brand has been developing since its inception and has perfected its products while improving its image policy to conquer the American market. The creative direction of the brand is followed by important fashion names such as Gianni Bugli, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Saverio Palatella, Fabio Piras. The first appearance was in New York in 2006, which was a great success with the press and international buyers. Anna Piaggi defined the Malo brand during an interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph as “the best producer of cashmere in the world.”

Malo item is an exclusive piece that should be used and left for generations to come, that way you will understand that it is the product you are looking for. Materials and form are always connected, from the choice of raw material to spinning, from dyeing to turning the yarn into a product, each Malo cashmere sweater has almost fifty years of history and will continue to evolve while respecting tradition.

Every step is subjected to constant checks carried out by Malo company’s expert teams, because this is the key to success and excellent results are achieved. So true that Malo bases its production on artisan processing techniques handed down over the centuries. There is no stage of production that can be fully entrusted to a machine or a computer, certain stitches, a certain loop or complex processing can only be done by the hands, experience and skills of highly specialized craftsmen.

The turning point in the modern history of the brand is 2019, which marks a new course for the historic Florentine brand, because in life our roots are the past, and the future is made for dreams. Today, the company is returning to its first love, the premium cashmere knitwear that made it famous worldwide, and aims to take the brand beyond knitwear into a pret-a-porter line where the same effects can be created in different fabrics.

Handmade knitwear is the pride of the Malo brand, it takes eight to sixteen hours to make one garment, an alchemy that transforms precious fibers into very soft fabrics and then into sweaters by the skilled hands of specialized artisans. Superior materials in combination with rigorous craft techniques guarantee exceptional aesthetic results and absolute comfort, the Malo sweater was created to be worn and passed on to new generations. Cashmere in its purest form is actually one of the most resistant yarns in nature, how soft it is, how durable it is, how strong it is, it must be respected, taken care of, appreciated for its unique qualities, for the sensations it gives to the skin that go straight to the heart.

The Malo brand has been dedicated to developing the art of fine knitwear for generations, each garment is entirely produced in Italy in Campi Bisenzio in Tuscany and in Borgonovo Val Tidone in Emilia Romagna, regions that are the repository of a long artisanal tradition at the heart of Made in Italy. The finest yarns arrive clean in the company’s laboratories through a completely transparent supply chain, from green Mongolia to the icy steppes of the Andes mountains to Italian factories, every step is subject to constant checks.

Absolute quality is the first selection criterion for Malo, then it will be the experience, skill and careful eye of craftsmen dedicated to turning precious yarns into exceptional garments.

Why is the Malo brand so special? When buying any luxury product, the after-sales support and services provided by the brand are very important and that is why the Malo brand has developed a special service for its customers called “Malo Forever“.

Every item that comes out of the Malo Workshop is made to last. The art of the Florentine laboratory perfectly made in every single detail, after which the story of the new owner will make it unique. Whether you opt for a cozy sweater, a warm wrap scarf, a gift, a gift, worn over and over again, everyone has that special item of clothing that can bring back memories or stir up forgotten emotions.

Malo offers its customers several services of manual repair of branded items of all materials, whether they are made of wool, cashmere or any other natural fiber. If well maintained, high-quality knitwear can last for decades, and Malo’s professional regeneration service is part of the Malo product care process.

The most precious objects are made to last, they are a part of one’s life, like any other element of memory. In the Malo laboratories, every detail is taken care of: each garment will be carefully inspected, mended, washed only with very mild soaps that will make the fibers even more sensitive to the touch. After washing, the garment will be “shaved” to remove the “bunch” that has built up over years of use. At this stage, the entire garment will be carefully combed by hand. Each item of clothing is renovated by Malo expert craftsmen and your product is ready for a new life.

How can you take advantage of this “Malo Forever” service? This service can be used by bringing the item of clothing you want to regenerate to one of the Malo boutiques. Malo staff will be happy to take it over, from in-store delivery all the way to the hands of a Malo Craftsman to work their magic.

In today’s post you have the opportunity to see one special piece from the latest men’s Malo Spring – Summer 2022 collection that is my favourite this season. The polo shirt is perfect for the man who pays attention to details and leaves nothing to chance. This unusual Malo Makò Royal Blue Polo Shirt is a perfect example of the care and dedication of Malo artisans. This polo shirt is made of precious details like the French collar and the refined mother-of-pearl buttons make this polo shirt in Makò cotton special.

If you want to be up to date and find out which models the brand Malo has in its offer from the men’s and women’s collection, visit their official online store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

Armand Nicolet is one of the few independent watch brands that is still active in the territory of Bern and in Tramelan itself, known for its traditional watchmaking. The company has adopted the latest methods of work, while respecting the oldest watchmaking tradition. The entire process of creating and manufacturing Armand Nicolet watches takes place within the company from creative vision, design and production process to quality control. This independent method of production provides an unrivaled guarantee of quality. The company guarantees a perfect product, a watch that every satisfied customer will proudly wear on their wrist.

In today’s post, I present you a watch from the M02 collection with a mechanically automatic mechanism with chronographic and date functions. Model A844AAA-AG-M9742 has caliber AN500 (based on VAL 7750 or SW-500 modified according to Armand Nicolet brand specifications). The case is made of the highest quality stainless steel. Guilloché decorated dial 42 mm diameter with applied indexes and Arabic numerals.

if you want to know more details about this unusual brand of watches, read one of my previous fashion stories on the blog by clicking on this link.

Techical Information

  • Case Size: 42mm without crown
  • Case Thickness15mm
  • Movement: Mechanical, automatic with a power reserve of 46 hours
  • Calibre: AN500
  • Dial: Guilloché decorated dial with applied Arabic figures and indexes
  • Case Material: Stainless steel 316L
  • Glasses: Sapphire crystal with antiglare treatment and sapphire crystal on see-through screwed back
  • Bracelet: Stainless steel 316L bracelet
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 Meters

If you want to be updated and find out which models Armand Nicolet has to offer, visit their Official Online Store and follow them on the social networks Facebook and Instagram.

OUTFIT

Polo Shirt: Malo

Trousers: Loro Piana

Watch: Armand Nicolet

High-Top Sneakers: Christian Louboutin via MYTHERESA Men

Everyone who follows the Mr.M blog knows that I am a big fan of quality, comfortable and interesting shoes, regardless of whether they are sneakers or elegant shoes, I always try to pay maximum attention to fashion details such as footwear. Today we’re meeting again with a famous French house whose creations I adore and you’ve seen before on the Mr.M blog.

Today’s fashion story is special because I have the opportunity to show you a re-edition new collection of certain Christian Louboutin shoes that marked the work of this famous maestro whose masterpieces adorn the shoe closets of many celebrities from the world of music, film and entertainment, and even politics! There is no person who has not resisted wearing this designer, regardless of whether it is a person of female or male gender, Louboutin shoes are loved by the whole planet.

I can’t find the right words to describe my gratitude to my friends from MYTHERESA shopping platform which is a real fashion heaven for all men and women fashionistas. I must say the fact that these shoes wouldn’t be in this blog post on Mr.M blog today if there is no help of my beloved friends from MYTHERESA. I am very grateful to the MYTHERESA platform for their trust and wonderful collaboration, and I would like to thank them once again from the bottom of my heart for my new Christian Louboutin Louis Roccia Electric – Aurora Boreale Strass shoes, which are made of a combination of genuine python leather and Swarovski crystals.

My dear fashionistas, we have come to the end of this special fashion story from Jordan where together we discovered the beauty and splendor of true elegance with the luxury Italian brands Malo and Loro Piana, the Swiss watch brand Armand Nicolet and the French shoe brand Christian Louboutin via MYTHERESA Men platform, with these fashion friends every fashion story is a real adventure. I sincerely hope you got some inspiration for your ideal outfit! See you soon and continue our fashion adventures on the Mr.M blog! How did you like my outfit today?

I really tried my best to prepare today’s post with lots of love and I hope you like it!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media channels, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon, stay tuned!

With Love from Jordan,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Loro PianaMaloArmand Nicolet and Christian Louboutin (via MYTHERESAbrands and represents my personal and honest review of their products.

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