Driving in Jordan, especially close to Amman and busy villages, is organized chaos. A lot of roads don’t have lines that would determine where exactly you should drive, and many drivers don’t care about the concept of a full line. There are few traffic lights and roundabouts are created in a way that you don’t notice their existence until it’s too late, U-turns are actually marked (even in the middle of a highway …). I mostly left the car in my brother’s hands, only taking over the wheel on the last day on the peaceful road to the Dead Sea.
And then there are police controls. Already on our journey to the North of Jordan, we noticed tanks beside the road and soldiers walking up and down with machine guns. A scary view, I have to say, even though they are there only for the safety of the average Jordanian and tourists. On some parts of the highway, we were stopped by the police who often don’t demand documents but only wish to know where you’re coming from and where you’re heading. They were always incredibly nice to us because they immediately saw that we’re only tourists sightseeing their country. They wished us a nice journey and that was that.
But you’re never bored in the car, mostly due to the landscape that’s constantly changing. You go from desert to nature in less than an hour’s drive, and there is a surplus of tiny hills and valleys. The roads are winding but well-kept (despite the many holes), and the ride is pleasant.
On top of it all, there are shepherds you see with sheep and goats beside the road; wild dogs that probably belong to someone and are freely running around; you can even see a camel or two, which amused me greatly. Every once in a while you see an optimistic hitchhiker – we also picked up one, namely a uniformed soldier inside the Wadi Rum area who didn’t feel like walking the couple of kilometers downhill to where we were headed anyway.
If you wish to see entire Jordan, I think a car is probably your best bet. The country doesn’t have trains and you have to be lucky to catch a bus (sometimes you have to wait for them to get full before they leave). The only option that remains is a taxi. The car is thus elegant and comfortable, you can drive, and you see a lot of things on your journey. What more could you want!