Day 3 - Our own Walking Tour of Amman

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April 12th 2018
Published: April 12th 2018
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Woken by the first call to prayer which is suppose to be just before sunrise so I'm guessing 6am but didn't know for sure as I just went back to sleep. Ended up waking around 7am and there was a knock on our door at 7:50 for our breakfast. The man informed me we could have our breakfast on the roof top which we duly did and it was quite lovely. Amman is a very hilly city and we had quite an expansive view. After a good tasty breakfast we arranged for the hotel to look after our luggage and said we'd be back around 4:30pm to pick it up.

We found our walk to the Roman Theatre interesting in itself and passed a section with jewellery shops which apparently has been the site of jewelry trading for centuries. Had a great time exploring the Roman Theatre, always fascinating to see these remarkably preserved remains of these structures, which are scattered throughout Europe and the Middle East. There were also two small museums in the theatre complex including an interesting folk museum.

We then walked over to the Roman Nymphaeum which was fenced off but you could still see it all. Then wandered through the downtown markets which are right opposite, selling mainly fruit and vegetables but also other typical market fare. Made a couple of food purchases. Daisy was curious and entered a Women's Prayer Room near the markets after covering herself up sufficiently. We then continued our way to the Jordan Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls which was also very interesting. Unfortunately, a lot of the museum's permanent collection is closed as they are doing renovations but there was a special exhibition called "1001 Inventions That Changed the World" (which cost extra), which looked interesting but we decided to go to the King Abdullah 1 Mosque and Jordan Fine Arts Museum instead.

This would have been a very long walk so we decided to catch a taxi to save our legs and got one for 4 dinar which was about double what it should have been but we didn't really care. Daisy was given a skirt to wear and dressed up like a Muslim lady and the young lady there helped her wrap her scarf in the traditional manner. The mosque is relatively new and modern so I didn't find it nearly as interesting as the mosques we saw in Turkey but interesting nonetheless.

After that it was a short walk to the Jordan Fine Arts Museum and after thinking we had finished discovered there was a second building. The art is actually all fairly contemporary and did not have any traditional Islamic art at all which is what I was expecting, but that was OK, as we enjoyed looking at the art that was there and we have seen plenty of traditional Islamic art before.

From there I worked out it was "only" 1.4kms back to our hotel so we decided to walk, which took us 30 minutes because again lots of ups and downs. The interesting part was that we noticed the area around the King Abdullah Mosque was a lot more civilised looking or "suburban" looking than the area we were staying in which is known as "downtown". We then noticed for the first time, some modern looking high rise buildings. So as we walked back, we noticed an almost immediate transition from new to old as we walked on. Suddenly the footpaths went from very reasonable to ramshackle and we noticed the difference in the buildings.

After collecting our bags from the hotel, the manager told me to go down the hill and get a taxi with a meter while he waited with Daisy. That was easier said than done, as none of them had meters and the first driver didn't seem to have a clue where our next hotel was. I ended up with another driver who reckoned he knew, so a price of 5JOD was negotiated and off we went. Well, I was following him on the GPS and he seemed to be going a long way around and when I told him, he said not to worry as he was going a longer way to beat the peak hour traffic. He then confidently drove us to this hotel which of course was not our hotel. That hotel was kind enough though to find where ours was and our driver then drove off quickly and finally arrived at our hotel at 5:30pm, just 30 minutes before our Intrepid tour meeting. We did have an interesting conversation with him though as he had been to Australia in 2008 and has a sister living in Melbourne.

We then checked into our room and went downstairs for our meeting after a friendly reminder from the reception desk. The group of 12 consists of Aussies, Americans, an Irish couple and one young Brazilian man. After the briefing we all agreed to go to dinner at a local restaurant with the help of our guide Lana, and we met again at 7:30 for the short walk there. Food was great and the people on our tour are all lovely so we're sure it's going to be a great experience for one and all.

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