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Published: April 11th 2018
Early morning arrival in Doha, Qatar airport after a 15 hour flight where we managed to get some sleep thanks to new travel pillows just purchased from Kathmandu. I'm not sure why I never tried them before as it's the first time I woke up without a stiff neck after a long flight. Food was good on Qatar and the hostesses were very nice and accommodating. 3 hour wait in Doha went quick while we had coffee in an Illy cafe and had free wi-fi.
Plane took off on time for the 3 hour flight to Amman, our final destination. There was a money changer just before you get to Passport Control where you buy your visa but there is also an ATM where I managed to successfully withdraw cash using our Citibank Debit card. Also discovered that you can also pay now with card which apparently wasn't the case before. Anyhow, we needed cash for the taxi. As predicted by forums I read, a driver came up asking if we wanted a taxi bit I just said no and proceeded to the official guy who looks after the taxis. Similar to Bangkok, the taxis from the airport are regulated
so that tourists don't get ripped off. We knew exactly how much to pay before setting off (23 JOD) and it was just as well as he went a slightly longer way than what my navigation app was saying. If it wasn't a fixed price I would have thought he was scamming us. perhaps he thought traffic was lighter the longer way. He drove very fast and spoke on his mobile phone nearly the whole trip as well. I think he was talking to the hotel for directions. I read that Jordan has a high incidence of road accidents as well and I can see why. Always such a culture shock when you first enter a Middle Eastern country, we both felt like we had entered an episode of Homeland.
Our hotel for the first night only is the Gallery Guest House. I had decided against staying an extra night in Intrepid's hotel as it is further away from attractions I want to check out in the Jordan downtown. As it turned out we didn't get moving from the hotel until about 2.30pm and we found a really interesting pathway going down stairs with interesting shops and street art
which we didn't expect at all.
We then got to the Amman Citadel after a climb up a very steep road. The footpaths (if they exist at all) are not exactly in pristine condition so you have to watch your footing plus they had some rather high steps going up the road to the Citadel. I was worried we wouldn't have time to look around because it was 3pm by the time we got there but during Summer time it doesn't close until 6pm.
As soon as we got in we were accosted by the official tourist guides who were very nice but we thought the initial 30JOD (around $55) was too steep for us plus I prefer to look around at our own pace anyway. They brought the price down to 20JOD but still politely said "no". In fact there were sufficient English signs around explaining things in any case. We found the Citadel very interesting with a small Archaeological Museum included. Well worth a visit.
By the time we finished around 5pm we decided we were too tired to walk to the Roman Theatre which we could see from the Citadel, so went back towards
the hotel and found a local restaurant where we ate the stock standard meal that everybody else seemed to be eating, pita bread, three different dips, salad, falafels and french fries. We couldn't finish it all and it was only 7JOD ($12) and very good. Funny thing is, I had read about a recommended local restaurant in this area but couldn't remember its name, and it turned out it was Hasham and to my surprise, it was the restaurant we had just eaten at. Daisy is already asleep as I write this and I will hit the sack now as well and it's only 9pm. Considering the long journey here, thats pretty good I think.
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