Jordan-land (via Qatar)

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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman
August 23rd 2012
Published: October 9th 2012
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After leaving Koh Tao in Thailand at 9.15am on the 22nd august, I finally arrived in Jordan on the 23rdAugust at 4pm (after going back 4 hours in time). So all in all I had been travelling for about 36 hours to finally reach Jordan. Along the route I had a brief stopover in Qatar where I disembarked the plane and it was over 50 degrees!! Everything went very smoothly at the airport and I made it, finally to my destination. As I have learned a lot on my travels, things change and at very short notice. My friend, Fez, whom I was visiting in Jordan, was meant to be picking me up from the airport but unfortunately he got a flat tyre so I made my own way to the hotel. Not a problem, I’m a traveller now and there was no need for me to flap! So here was my first experience of Jordan, sat in the back of a cab with a rather overfriendly driver who after five mins pulled over by the side of a shop that was basically a shack made from corrugated iron. I thought to myself well, this is the Middle East; maybe my time is up already. Fortunately not, he went to buy me a coffee and some water. After what seemed an eternity, I finally pulled up to the Intercontinental in Amman and Fez was waiting for me in the reception. After over two years, it was amazing to see him, almost on a level par with this was finally the opportunity to have a shower! Due to the nature of the places I had been staying in Thailand, cheap and not so cheerful, this was a welcome change of surroundings but it took me a few days to get my head around everything that was going on.

After a few hours Pete (my pal from London) arrived and we picked him up in our pimped Range Rover Sport. (I hasten to add that Fez didn’t like this car he had been loaned as the horn didn’t work and he said he would be happy with anything other than this ‘piece of s**t’). I can kind of understand why, the roads are absolutely crazy, there doesn’t seem to be any rule about undertaking, overtaking, using the hard-shoulder or anything but having a horn is a necessity to warn people of your intentions. So we spent the next couple of nights in Amman and then made our way to the Marriott Hotel at the Dead Sea. This place was incredible! The Dead Sea was by far the highlight of my trip to Jordan, nothing compares to floating in the sea and covering yourself from head to toe in mud! We stayed here for two nights in a great duplex suite with a balcony overlooking the sea with a view of Palestine on the other side. We spent all our time basking, eating and consuming Amstel in the glorious 45 degree heat.

After our return from the Dead Sea, Fez ordered a change of car so we were now cruising round in some sort of Merc Limo style car where I had control of the passengers’ seat from the back. As you can imagine, this amused me greatly and I spent more car journeys making Pete move backward and forward! We were also back in the same room at the Intercontinental. For lunch on one of the days we went to the hotel restaurant and saw the staff taking some photos of one of the biggest steaks I have ever seen. Jokingly (or not) I said I could eat it to myself. Within 5 mins, Fez had called the manager and asked if we could have it. We were told a non-negotiable no as it was for a promotion starting the next month and the chef was going to eat it to test out the produce. Not one for taking no for an answer, Fez called over the head chef and we were told we could have….result! It was a 48oz steak, which we shared, but it was by far the best steak I have ever eaten. It’s amazing what you can get with a little persistence. Other restaurants we visited included a Syrian place where they cleaned the tables with Sambuca and stared at me and Pete the whole time, I was not such a fan of this place. We also ate at Chester’s restaurant which was in the Royal Jordanian hotel. It was an amazing setting with panoramic views of the Amman skyline. We went to a bar in the Bristol hotel where you are given monkey nuts and encouraged to throw the shells on the floor. This amused me greatly!

Also on our trip we went to Petra. We started off with beer for breakfast at the Movenpick Hotel just by the entrance to Petra. This, as you will find out later was a bad move for me. So after consuming three beers in record time at 11.30am we made our way across the road to Petra. We started our journey off with a horse ride. This would have been much more enjoyable had I not have been so intoxicated. Those of you who know me well, know that one pint of beer and I’m sozzled, so imagine the state I was in after 3! So here’s where beer for breakfast backfired, we were now on foot and making our way through the vast network of walkways that is Petra and all of a sudden, I fall over. Yep I fell into a hole that was about 2m squared with a depth of about 1mm.’ how was this even possible?’ I kept asking myself; ‘because it’s you’ I was told! So after being patched up we were off again and the sights were incredible. The other notable highlight was the donkey ride we took. It was great fun!

All I can say about Jordan is that I am definitely going back there again one day and I loved every moment of it. But now onto bigger and better things for our romantic honeymoon for 3 in Thailand!

(I will upload photos when I can but this silly computer won’t let me!)

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