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Amman, Jordan

"Welcome to Jordan"

DSC_0347_1.jpgDSC_0280_1.jpg86B00371FBDEFF43BAAC63EBFB3F3673.jpgDSC_0285_1.jpgDSC_0286_1.jpgDSC_0290_1.jpgDSC_0293_1.jpg86C4BA5F966BACC3A81EF2197ACEE6C4.jpgDSC_0287_1.jpgDSC_0305_1.jpg86C96D27E9C195934B37A0B388612D5D.jpgDSC_0314_1.jpgDSC_0311_1.jpgDSC_0313_1.jpgDSC_0317_1.jpgDSC_0326_1.jpgDSC_0334_1.jpgDSC_0341_2.jpgDSC_0342_2.jpg86E7C871C69FC997E82966F54D444AFD.jpgDSC_0365_1.jpgDSC_0370_1.jpgDSC_0368_1.jpg86FDE69DA4F1B04EAAC0A48A80A0D6CB.jpgDSC_0373_1.jpgDSC_0382_1.jpg87001FD5C3E58166DA49B8231582B90D.jpgDSC_0387_1.jpg270_DSC_0394.jpg87048F6CA748990CEAAB43459AC56AA0.jpg270_DSC_0379.jpg"Welcome to Jordan" (everybody greets you with this). This vibe started at the airport when the information desk man went that extra mile to make sure we got to our hotel, gave us information about car hire and was generally very smiley & helpful. It then continued with our taxi man who was exceptionally friendly, and then our hotel receptionist too. In fact, its everywhere...beautiful Jordanians. A very good first impression to this amazing country.

Our hotel was in downtown Amman, where all the locals do business, go to mosque, eat and socialise. It's a refreshing change from Asia, a completely different feel and new culture to get excited about. The eery call to prayer rings out over the city, theres new food to explore and the smell of shisha pipes in the air. As you walk down the street everybody says "Welcome to Jordan". There was no time to sleep off the jet lag, instead we wanted to explore.

Our first visit was a food stop at Jafra restaurant... delicious! We sat out on the terrace to people watch and feasted on halloumi, spiced green beans, pitta and lamb pieces in houmus. I was in my element. Jason has also found a taste for Jordan coffee, served strong and infused with cardamon. A lovely anniversary meal.

We then headed down to the souk, the mosque and explored the ancient amphitheatre that sits in the heart of downtown Amman. We spent a good amount of time just sitting in the amphitheatre, soaking up the atmosphere and surroundings. The landscape is hilly and the houses line steep streets that make way for the amphitheatre at the bottom. We wandered up through the sand coloured streets that occasionally had a brightly coloured piece of art painted onto buildings in stark contrast and reached the top, the Amman citadel. By the time we got there it was probably about 5.30pm and we virtually had the place to ourselves. There are interesting ruins, but more impressive than that is the view. Amman looks beautiful at sunset. We sat and watched the sun go down, cast shadows over the ruins, listen to family parties in the streets and the call to prayer.

The next day we hopped on a local bus to Jaresh, an hour north of Amman and Jordan's second tourist attraction. And again, we were virtually the only ones there. We had a brilliant day exploring the ancient ruins of this city. It compared to Pompeii in Italy and Ephesus in Turkey, but in some ways more impressive as you didn't have to fight your way through the tourists and instead take in the enormity of this ancient city and how it used to be. I hope the photos do it justice...

It's such a shame...many people have told us that tourism has dramatically dropped due to the recent unrest in the Middle East. Jordan borders Syria, Israel and Egypt, all of which have bee, or are still at war, yet Jordan is a very peaceful country and nobody should be put off by its neighbours unrest.

Our second day was topped off with a cracking evening meal. It was a table of salad, pita, houmus, falafel and drinks for two all for just £2.40...bargain. It's Hasheem restaurant and its always packed with locals. There's not an extensive menu, but their falafal is the best we've ever had.

A brilliant first two days here and we're looking forward to hiring a car to explore the country ourselves tomorrow.

Posted by bloorsontour 04:53 Archived in Jordan

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The photos are amazing. Having been to Ephesus and Pompeii, I can see how the lack of crowds would make this even better. It's like exploring a ghost town. Quite eerie I would imagine?
(Jason's really rockin' the head gear again!)

by Ma and Pa

It looks and sounds wonderful. Good to see you both looking so well and happy. Xxx

by mutsi

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