Aqaba is the southernmost town of Jordan (its only port) and is close to the borders of Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This closeness means that it is a Freeport in its own customs area and is very popular with local tourists who head there to buy electrical goods, gold and silver and other items at special prices. It is said to be the hottest town in the country during summer – we certainly believe that to be true. It was in the region of 40C when we were there and was said to have been hotter the previous week.
Visually, it has nothing to boast about being packed full of new concrete buildings and large number of construction sites. Never-the-less, tucked away at the back of the town are the remains of an old
Souk and many small shops run by very friendly people, who manage to hold long conversations with you even though you may only have half a dozen words in common. I held a detailed conversation with an Egyptian about the strengths and weaknesses of the English football team and their chances against Germany the following Sunday. I suspect he knew a lot more about the English team than I did. I think the conclusion we both reached was that if Allah was minded to allow it, then England might beat Germany or Germany might beat England.
Fashion is not a strong point in the Souk – we now know where all of the old models which used to grace English clothes shops have gone to.
Vegetables are fresh and plentiful and nuts are a particular speciality of the town.
Diving is popular here and the Royal Diving Club offered the chance for a
dive on a local reef called The Aquarium. Dive 85 of my career offered limited coral and fish but a couple of nice nudibranchs and a sea snake.
There is not much more to say about Aqaba, it is not a place we would recommend for a holiday unless you like concrete hot towns.