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Published: January 28th 2013
Here we go again! Wake up call at 6.00am, breakfast at 6.30am and on our way to the airport by 7.15am. I hate cleaning my teeth before breakfast, but it's either before breakfast or not at all with the these early starts and having to leave our bags outside our room before we go to breakfast.
We only found out that we were being dropped at a different terminal from Meredith and Alex as we neared the airport. There was no opportunity for a long, emotional farewell as Amal bundled us and our luggage out of the minivan while Meredith and Alex stayed on board. Meredith and Alex have been wonderful travel companions and the four of us have really enjoyed each others company during the last 20 days.
Amal escorted us into the airport, but had to leave us at the X-ray screening point after pointing out to us where we would find the counters for Royal Jordanian Airlines and Passport Control. We checked ourselves in without any trouble and then filled in our departure cards. On the way to Passport Control Bernie was able to change our Egyptian Pounds into Jordanian Dinars. After being stamped out of
Egypt we found a place to sit until boarding time.
Whoa! We thought that Jordan was in the same time zone as Egypt and Turkey and we had a two hour flight from Cairo to Amman but, no, after only an hour in the air we landed in Amman where we were surprised to discover that it is an hour later than it is in Cairo. We purchased our entry visas and cleared immigration very quickly but, even so, we arrived at the baggage carousel to see our bags disappearing out the back again after (at least) one circuit on the belt!! Our two bags reappeared quickly and we exited via the Customs X-ray machines.
After our experience arriving in Turkey, where there was no Bunnik's Rep to meet us, we were very relieved to see a man with a Bunnik Tours sign waiting for us. Ahmad introduced himself as our driver and guide for the next week. Ahmad also confirmed that the time in Jordan is an hour ahead of Egypt. Apparently at the end of last year the President decided that Jordan would adopt the same time zone as Saudi Arabia. The World Clock app on
our iPhone hasn't caught up with that yet!
Aargh, our itinerary said that we would be met for our transfer to our hotel and the rest of the day would be at leisure, but this was not to be. It was another case of hitting the ground running as Ahmad whisked us off to the Greco-Roman amphitheatre and the Temple of Hercules.
The amphitheatre was built during the 3rd century BC and today is partly original and partly restored. With it being holidays at the moment in Jordan there were many local families enjoying the amphitheatre. There were children clambering around all over the steep steps of the theatre. We popped into the Jordan Museum of Popular Traditions and exited to find a circle of onlookers and some paramedics tending to a child who had taken a tumble. Hopefully not too badly injured?? The Tourist Police were having their work cut out for them trying to stop other children coming into the theatre to sticky beak.
After the amphitheatre, Ahmad drove us up to the Citadel that sits high on a hilltop overlooking the theatre. On the hill we once again found an example of a pagan
temple, a Christian church and an Islamic mosque sharing this vantage point over the city. Unlike at Ephesus, Ahmed told us that the earlier buildings were not dismantled to construct the later buildings.
After this unanticipated, but enjoyable sight seeing, Ahmad took us to our hotel - the Grand Palace Hotel. Although perfectly adequate this hotel, like the Grand Onder in Turkey, may once have been grand, but these days is a little old and tired. When including the adjective grand in the name of a hotel, perhaps the owners should consider whether there is going to be enough income to invest into maintaining its grandness??! Really, I'm just being picky, the hotel has everything we need and our room is spacious and clean.
After just an hour and a half at leisure, Ahmad was back to take us to Tawaheen Al-Hawa (windmills) Restaurant for our dinner. This is a very popular restaurant with the locals that served delicious traditional food. And so much of it!! We started with a scrumptious array of bread and dips that we sampled with enthusiasm. We were so enthusiastic that we struggled to do justice to the barbecued meats that followed. Damn,
I think we overate AGAIN.
Steps for the day: 11,993 (8.17 kms)
Tot: 1.309s; Tpl: 0.047s; cc: 39; qc: 124; dbt: 0.0642s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.7mb