Have you been to Umm Qais?

Still on our path to discover every nook and cranny of Jordan’s sites, my friend and I went to Umm Qais. We booked to go to Beit Al Baraka. It was about a two hour drive from Amman and easily routed through Google Maps.

The scenery getting there was amazing. A blend of greens and browns that warm the coldest hearts. The sky was a wonderful blue and the clouds entertained our way as well.

 

 

We arrived to Beit Al Baraka BnB and were pleasantly surprised with its ambience and wonderful colors. As you enter there was a shoe rack for the shoes, since the site specifically says, no shoes in the house; a simple reminder that this is a home and not a strangers house.

As you enter and go to the right, you will find the bedrooms, a bathroom and the kitchen and as you go to left you will find the living room and another bathroom. The home is very clean and well prepared for guests. You will find towels on your bed and soaps in the bathrooms. It is a well balanced blend of modern and traditional furniture that relays comfort and modernity.

After we checked in by the wonderful Rania, who made us tea to rest from the two hour trip, we met up with Roody who is the coordinator at the BnB. Roody is a wonderful scotsman who moved to Umm Qais to learn Arabic and ended up running Beit Al Baraka. He is such a wonderful spirit who you have to meet and get to know.

As part of the activities we chose to do at Umm Qais, we decided to play with the bees. We met with Youssef who is a passionate bee keeper. Youssef used to work for a fiber optic company before making the switch to become the best bee keeper in Jordan. He settled in Umm Qais, studied bees and regularly shows his visitors how important bees are for our existence.

It was amazing to watch him explain to us how bees live, work and make honey. For example, did you know that besides having a queen, bees also have a parliament that makes decisions on the bee kingdom? Did you also know that all the bee workers were female? That should tell you something about women.

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We saw the beehives, tasted the honey, honey tea and the royal jelly; they were all very good and we bought some honey. We then went home, got dressed and went to dinner at Romero. It was a walking distance and we walked through the ruins, it was really calm and serene.

We sat at our table at Romero, gazed at the view and had a wonderful dinner. The food was delicious, the view was exquisite and the music was just perfect. The whole setting was superb.

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We walked back to Beit Al Baraka from behind Romero. Don’t do that. There were no lights, it was very dark, scary and any simple noise was very creepy. We were scared to our bones. Note to self, take the ruins path next time.

Next day, we woke up to a marvelous breakfast. Rania outdid herself. There was cheese, jams, labaneh, yogurt, fresh bread, freshly baked manaqeesh, eggs, fresh coffee, tea and freshly squeezed orange juice. We ate till we couldn’t eat anymore. We met with one of our housemates too, an American traveller who was also visiting Umm Qais to write about it. We chatted and went on to our next activity.

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The other activity was basket making. Roody took us to Alia’s house who taught us how to make a basket. There were banana leaves, straws and a display of Alias work. We had our spicy tea, got to know Alia and got to work.

Basket making was not an easy task, let me tell you. It required a lot of patience and a lot of skill. It took us two hours to make a small squared basket and that was with the extensive help of Alia. The finished product was one of my proudest works, not for its shape but for all the sweat, tears and blood (not really, but you get the idea) that was put into it.

After we finished, we were picked up to go to Beit Al Baraka where we packed, said hello to the new guests and went on our way back to Amman.

Visiting Beit Al Baraka and seeing Umm Qais was a wonderful experience. It was really enjoyable to get away from Amman, take on new activities, meet wonderful people and learn something new.

Is it worth it? Yes. Beit Al Baraka is such a nice escape from the city.

Should you go? Definitely. All you need is one night and you will really enjoy it. It won’t cost much and it is wonderful to get out of the city, support internal tourism and experience something new in Jordan.

Till then, I leave you with this:

 

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