Amman, Jordan

We flew into Amman late on Saturday.  The air crew announced that the ground temperature was 6C.  We weren’t expecting this kind of cold, however we now understand that the city sits at 700m to 900m above sea level so those clear blue skies are deceptive.

We also learned that Amman had two days of rain just before we arrived.  That is quite an event in this dry, desert land.

The old part of Amman has the obligatory mosque and souk (market).  It was particularly hard to find places to eat.  We learned to look up to the second or third floors for the cafes and then hunt around street level, up lanes and behind juice counters for the stairs that lead up to them.

Most cafes are meeting places for young Jordanians, who smoke the Sheesha pipes.  The aroma in these cafes is sweet, as the pipes are flavoured with various fruits and herbs.

Of course smoking (cigarettes and Sheesha pipes) is common everywhere.  Our Aussie outlook of smoking confined to dark alleys is out of character with this world.  We have had to relearn to eat alongside smokers.  No wonder we are both coughing!

Bruce was in need of a haircut and braved a small barber in the old part of town.  It was as much an experience for the barbers as it was for us.  A very neat haircut for the princely sum of JD4 = $AUD5.

Of course exploring the largest Roman ampitheatre in Jordan, which seats 6,000 and the citadel which has ruins dating back 7,000 years but particularly Roman, Islamic and Byzatine ruins was our highlight.

See further pages for our adventures outside Amman for the Desert castles, Roman ruins, Islamic castles and the Biblical pilgrimage.  As I write this we haven’t even hit Petra!