"I was touched by the extreme kindness and warm welcome of everyone. We could feel a real and sincere enthusiasm with meeting a lot of and sharing among people that comes from the heart."
Jordan is renowned for its otherworldly beauty that sees thousands fantasise over its pensive landscapes - so much so it's a frequent for Hollywood sets. French music producer and photographer, Darius - who has recently collaborated with Nigerian-born, Berlin-based future soul artist Wayne Snow on a track called ‘Equilibrium’ - had the opportunity to visit this treasured land last year. He shares with us some of his favourite photography from his trip along with his fondest memories.
What was the reason for this trip?
I had been dreaming for a few years of going to visit the city of Petra in Jordan and explore the Wadi Rum desert. We understood from the photos and opinions of people on the internet that there were many of the most prestigious remains in the world hidden there and that we absolutely had to go and check it out while there was still time.
Only with my girlfriend. Every year we try to find a new destination that combines romance and adventure. It has become a ritual that we try to organise once a year to find peace and quiet, to cut ourselves off from the city and discover other cultures with breathtaking places. Jordan was the perfect place for this kind of moment we were looking for.
Was this your first time in Jordan? If yes, what were your first impressions? If not, what made you want to come back?
It was my very first time in Jordan and my first impression was immediately very positive. One of the precious points I keep in mind about Jordan were the Jordanians. I don't think I've ever been so well received in a foreign country in my entire life.
I was touched by the extreme kindness and warm welcome of everyone. We could feel a real and sincere enthusiasm with meeting a lot of and sharing among people that comes from the heart. We were often invited to drink tea or coffee with cardamom in the homes of people we met. It was very pleasant and very funny because they have endless welcome formulas.
We were even invited to a wedding by a family! It was very touching for us and it made us feel that we kept in touch with some of the people we met. For me it's a precious element that will push me to come back without hesitation.
How did you organise the trip? Was there a lot of advance planning?
We only had 10 days and Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and the Dana Valley were our key points of the trip. From these destinations we planned everything else around them.
We needed hotel nights for the first part of the trip only, and a rental car as Jordan is a small country and 3/4 of it is overrun by desert. It took us barely 3-4 hours for each trip. Everything was quite simple and fluid in the organisation.
How would you describe Jordan to someone who has never been there?
It is a small country with a vast culture. For me, Jordan embodies the magic of the Orient in its purest form with historic sites of incomparable beauty that abound with archaeological wonders, sand dunes and canyons.
Is there anyone you met during your trip who left a lasting impression on you?
Attalah was our guide in Wadi Rum, the kingdom of the Bedouins. During four days, we had the chance to visit and live like them in this desert. It was the most memorable experience of the whole trip. On the program we had hikes in spectacular landscapes and incredible views, we also had our most beautiful ride in 4x4 with a super nice driver and cook who prepared us remarkable dishes lost in the canyons.
We had a long discussion, getting to know each other a little more each evening, sharing our experiences that were so opposite but exciting for each other, before sleeping under the stars. Being alone with a guide in such a vast and beautiful desert is something unique that I will never forget.
We kept in touch and I hope to be able to meet him again one day, and even welcome him in France.
What is the best thing you had eaten, seen or experienced during the trip?
Quite frankly it's hard to choose, every place has something special in the kitchen. But I remember eating Maklouba in the desert, it was one of the most satisfying things I've ever felt after a day of hiking under a strong sun.
Of course, there was hummus and local eggplant caviar that I couldn't stop eating. I think I gained 2-3kg during this trip, I was eating it at every meal...