Click on photos for larger view
No ticket or pamphlet
Aqaba is situated on the edge of the Red Sea, opposite the Israeli city of Eilat. Aqaba boasts Islamic ruins that date to 650 -1100 AD. Aqaba is also home to Mamluk castle, which was build in the early 16th century. A coat of arms belonging to the Hashemite family is above the entrance which consists of two large wooden doors which are still operational. Aqaba dates back to the 4th millennium BC; and was original known as Ayla.
Tell Al-Khalifeh, an area inside the Jordanian-Eilat border, 3 km north of Aqaba, was originally linked with Ezion Geber, which was mentioned in scripture (King Solomon built a fleet that sailed to Ophir and returned with 420 talents of gold).
Ayla (Aqaba) once thrived because of annual pilgrimages to Mecca and continued to prosper until the end of the 12th Century, when a series of earthquakes, Bedouin raids, and Crusader attacks damaged the city unmercifully. During the 12th century, Crusaders took Ayla from Muslims and built a castle. When Saladin captured it in 1182 AD, the castle became known as Saladin's Castle.
By the beginning of the 16th century Aqaba had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, Ottoman forces withdrew from the town after the Arab Army of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the Hashemite Leader of the Great Arab Revolt, attacked them in 1917. T. E. Lawrence, popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, took part in this campaign and Aqaba stabilized, becoming what is is today.
When Scott went there (stationed in Jordan 3 plus months), it was strictly for business; so the photos below are limited and I left out the ones of the Jordanian Army and Security and the base; I didn't want to cause problems with security. Anyway, the unique thing for Scott was seeing the Red Sea which in Biblical stories, is where Moses parted the sea to help free the slaves from Pharaoh. From the point of view shown below, you can see the shores of Israel. In another photo (not shown but almost identical to the one below) you can also see the shore of Egypt. So this alone was pretty awesome. He didn't visit the castle or the fort...oh well!
Left to Right: 1) A view of the landscape and port where Scott did business 2) A large Cargo ship 3) The Red Sea; you can see the shores of Israel from here
Sites you might like to visit:
(I cannot vouch for truth of this site; shows 'proof' the crossing is real)