To cross a border between Jordan and Israel, it is a process. There are three crossings, the Sheikh Hussein Bridge is the most northern border between the two countries.
Before we started our descent down into the Jordan Valley we had to pass the first check point. Passport control and the compulsory question: “Where are you heading to?”. What do they expect one would answer? About 1 km before the actual border you have to change cars. You are not allowed to reach the border on the taxi you came with. So we said good-bye to Hossein, our Jordanian driver and jumped into the official border taxi – for an extra 2 Euros. 100 m later, next stop. Next passport check. First luggage check. We had to get off the car, unload the luggage, get it checked and put it back into the car. Then the ride continues for another 200 m and finally the driver drops you off at a huge square.
Departure building and bus stop. Inside the building you have to pay a departure fee of 10 JOD (= 11 Euros). Then you get your passport stamped. But still you are not ready to leave;-) You have to buy a bus ticket for another 3 Euros for a shuttle which brings you to the Israeli authorities. We had to wait in the heat of the desert for about 10-15 minutes – no AC in the bus, no breeze. Believe me, it was hot. Then the bus finally started to move. But only for a few meters … first check from the Israeli authorities. Bus check. 5 more minutes then the bus was allowed to continue the ride – another 200 m to the Israeli arrival hall. Another passport check, another luggage check inside followed by the Q&A with the immigration officers. Then your passport gets stamped. The last hurdle is customs.
Only then you are allowed to enter the Holy Land.
We succeeded. All in all it took about an hour – which is really fast!
What a treat!
What a welcome;-)