Blogs from Amman, North, Jordan, Middle East - page 4


Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

PETRA, JORDAN, 11 December, 2014. Clear Blue sky We arrived from Madrid last night after a good 4.75 hour flight across the width of the Mediterranean, flying just to the south of Cyprus, village lights visible, then across Israel to Amman. This morning we departed at 8am for the 3 hour car trip to Petra. The driver repeatedly told us how trustworthy he and Jordanians were, proven wrong when Mem's credit card was compromised when booking a hotel room on the internet last night. The driver also insisted on stopping at purpose built huge tourist shops selling overpriced and average quality tourist goods, mostly Christian icons and Calvary scenes. Petra was set in a river valley which had been carved out by raging river water. The area is so barren, that even light rain creates river ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 12th 2014

MADRID. 7,8,9,10 December, 2014 Good Weather We arrived late afternoon, much colder here, and took the taxi to our hotel in the centre of town. The streets are teeming with people, a public holiday here on Monday, and every Spaniard must be on the streets of the capital ! The crowd is so thick that you get pushed along, with no opportunity of window shopping. We went for an early morning, 11am, walk, sun rises at 8.30 am, Spaniards at 12.30pm (bed at 12.30am). The parks had frost, although it was a crisp clear blue sky. Walked through the Plaza del Sol, along the Grand Via, saw the King's Palace right opposite the Madrid Cathedral ( the royals and church were on good terms in the century of construction). Buildings are grand, although we both feel ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 7th 2014

We awoke in Amman in our side by side twin beds reminiscent of an “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy (or in my case Sharon) sits up abruptly at the start of an episode shouting “What was that?” as the call for morning prayers reverberates through our room from the nearby loudspeaker at about 5:15 AM this morning. Can you imagine waking up to this cacophony every single morning? It would give me a surly disposition for sure; but, at least they don’t need donkeys. I sampled some hummus, red and green pepper salsa, pita, corn flakes and cocoa puffs and was going to try some juice but Sharon warned me about Dennis fearing about sanitary conditions for juicing the fresh fruit. Sharon is suffering, there were more soft boiled eggs but she did wrangle a ... read more
View of Aman from the Citadel
Temple of Hercules at the Citadel
palace at the Citadel

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 6th 2014

After finishing the previous day’s blog at about five in the morning, with that stupid donkey chiming in every twenty minutes, I did manage to fall back into a deep restful sleep with my phone charging in the other room by the two only available outlets in the entire suite (okay, at eh Pilgerhaus retreat they refer to these two room units as apartments). Apartments with twin beds at that. There are plenty of great reasons to stay at the Pilgerhaus when you are on Pilgrimage in the Holy Land and are staying on the Sea of Galilee; but, if you don’t like being raised from a sound sleep in the middle of the night by donkeys, then this may not be the retreat for you! If you don’t like door keys that fail when you ... read more
Donkey at Pilgerhaus

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 6th 2014

Now that we have good internet connection here are some more photos from Sat when we crossed from Israel into Jordan, visited the ruins at Jerash, and then spent the night in Amman.... read more
Time to load up the bus
Last view of the Pilgerhaus
Graveyard in Tiberias the guide said dated back to the time of Jesus

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman June 2nd 2014

As many other cities in the region, Amman can count its history back to the Neolithic period. It is known for spanning over seven hills, though today that number has increased to 19 hills as the city has rapidly expanded since the mid-20th century. It became a capital in 1921 when Abdullah I made it the centre of the Emirate of Transjordan, and turned into a large city with the influx of Palestinian refugees in 1948. My friend lives in a newer area of Amman close to a fancy shopping mall and a Starbucks. Half the houses on the street are still being build and you can feel the constant expansion of Amman as you look around. It seems as if small enclaves are build in the dry and hilly area. So much empty space lies ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman May 27th 2014

16 April 2014 Arriving in Jordan I thought the first exercise (after visa formalities and exiting the airport) would be a synch. The hostel, after all, provided its street name and two nearby landmarks with which to navigate. But, as is sometimes the way with a tourist finding their accommodation, things can go astray. The ride into the city was fine, my elderly driver abused other drivers who cut in front and had forgotten the bus he himself had cut off at the first roundabout soon after exiting the airport. We were nearing downtown Amman, clogged in traffic, hillsides clogged with concrete houses rising up in a cream mosaic. Random buildings that probably housed baquet halls lined the roads into the central city. And lines of businesses of similar industry, not competitions but rather cooperatives. And ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman April 12th 2014

Geo: 31.9494, 35.9329While our hotel was located across from the Church of St. John the Baptist, it was also equidistant from a mosque, from which the 4:30am call to prayer was loud and clear. While both K and I were at least slightly jarred away, Anna slept through it completely. Trying to force ourselves onto the new time zone (seven hours different than Virginia) and not lose any time, we got up around 7:30am and were all relatively bright-eyed after showers and breakfast in the hotel's roof-top restaurant. I went down to the Front Desk before breakfast and asked if they could call the rental car agency for us, to arrange the car-exchange promised the night before. No one answered the mobile number they provided, and the main rental office was closed. The hotel manager was ... read more
Square in Front of St. John the Baptist Church
View of City of Madaba from Roof
Our Hotel -- the St. John Hotel

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman April 11th 2014

Geo: 31.9494, 35.9329I left Jordan in June of 1993, so nearly 21 years had passed when our flight made the very slow approach and landed at Queen Alia Airport. I had read that a brand-new billion-dollar airport had opened in the last year to replace the aging former airport, but I was unprepared for all of the shine and glimmer (and order) which welcomed us upon arrival. I remember a dark, smoke-filled cavern of an airport -- nothing like the gleaming new (and rather empty) terminal.After hitting the ATM (which surprised me in that it even worked), we got in line to purchase our visas and go through immigration. After paying the visa fee -- which had just doubled in the last week...grrrrr -- we each had our iris's scanned. The two agents behind the counter ... read more
Our "Lovely" EuropCar Desk at the Airport
Queen Alia Airport Exterior

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman March 28th 2014

I have lived in the Middle East for almost two years now, but coming to Jordan is the first time I feel like I dove headfirst into Arabic culture. From start to finish. First was the plane ride from Doha. I was seated near the back of the plane wear a Qatari man was traveling with his hooded falcon. A falcon!! Not in a cage! Just chillin... Apparently he was $26,000 and one of only five falcons that can catch a certain type of bird, so he was going on a hunting trip to Jordan. Then we arrived at Queen Alia International Airport - not too shabby. But it was funny to see that the many lines for Jordanians far exceed the three small lines for all other nationalities - this is one of the first ... read more
Arabic Dinner with Friends
Downtown Amman
Queen Alia International Airport

Tot: 2.533s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 9; qc: 76; dbt: 0.0394s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb