Last day in Jordan and Coronavirus Panic

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Middle East » Jordan » North
March 13th 2020
Published: March 22nd 2020
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I've been home from Jordan a week and I'm finally posting this last Blog Post. Before I get on with what I did my last day in Jordan, I want to comment on the Coronavirus Panic. Our GAdventures travel group had to scramble to get flights home. My lesson in this was to use a travel agent instead of booking my own flight. That way the travel agent does the rebooking instead of me unsuccessfully trying for 3 hours to rebook a United Airlines flight. I tried the website, and they don't have agents in Jordan so the pulldown tab for Middle East does not include Jordan. I tried 3 different phone numbers but they kept sending me back to the 800 phone number which had greater than 1 hour wait. I ended up booking a new flight and calling United Airlines when I got home. I was on the phone 2 1/2 hours with them and all I got was a voucher worth way less than my booked flight home. I am very disappointed with United and will not book with them again after I use my cheap voucher.

The United States has ramped up their coronavirus protection after initially being in denial that it was a big deal. Now many citizens are on voluntary lockdown and are urged to stay home except for grocery, fuel, bank, or exercise. We have not seen drastic increase in cases yet, but they say we are 2 weeks behind Italy and we should be prepared for the worse. I am self quarantined because I took 4 flights to get home to San Diego and went through the CDC screening in O'Hare airport in Chicago. I'm hoping that I was not exposed and that I'm not a carrier. Due to this I cannot visit my Mom and brother in Assisted Living, however they are doing fine. My recent trip to the grocery store was interesting: no paper products, bread, little milk, some cereal, no rice or bottled water. Alot of craziness going on.

On to the the last day in Jordan. As our travel group left in 2's and 3's we trickled down to 6 people. There was a tremendous thunderstorm during the night but spotty rain on Friday till the afternoon. Alana (UK), Dominique (Canada) & I went to the:

King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, Jordan was built between 1982 and 1989. It is capped by a magnificent blue mosaic dome beneath which 3,000 Muslims may offer prayer.

Tourists are allowed to visit. Men must have long trousers on and women must cover their heads, arms and legs. A hooded gown is provided free of charge for this purpose.

Completed in 1989 as a memorial by the late King Hussein to his grandfather, this blue-domed landmark can house up to 7000 worshippers, with a further 3000 in the courtyard. There is also a small women’s section for 500 worshippers and a much smaller royal enclosure. The cavernous, octagonal prayer hall is capped by a magnificent blue dome 35m in diameter, decorated with Quranic inscriptions. This is the only mosque in Amman that openly welcomes non-Muslim visitors.

The Islamic Museum inside the mosque houses a small collection of photographs and personal effects of King Abdullah I. Shards of ancient pottery are also on display together with coins and stone engravings.

We were given the long black dress to wear over our clothes and we walked around. Our timing was bad because they were doing prayers and we could not go inside.

Then we walked to the Citadel

Amman Citadel

Amman Citadel ruinsRenovated Gate of Ammon.Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein

Don't we look good.
Amman is considered to be among the world's oldest continuously inhabited places.

The Citadel is considered an important site because it has had a long history of occupation by many great civilizations. Most of the buildings still visible at the site are from the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods. The major buildings at the site are the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church, and the Umayyad Palace. The Jordan Archaeological Museum was built on the hill in 1951. Though the fortification walls enclose the heart of the site, the ancient periods of occupation covered large areas. Historic structures, tombs, arches, walls and stairs have no modern borders, and therefore there is considerable archaeological potential at this site, as well as in surrounding lands, and throughout Amman. Archaeologists have been working at the site since the 1920s, including Italian, British, French, Spanish, and Jordanian projects, but a great part of the Citadel remains unexcavated.

We walked around the Citadel and ran into Damien, Jacinta, & Natalie (Australia). They all went to the Roman Amphitheater but I didn't join them due to some GI distress I was experiencing. Jacinta gave me a pill which helped so I stayed at
Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein
the Citadel and tried to find my way home.

I went down some stairs that put me smack in the middle of the shopping area downtown. I thought I could figure out how to get to the hotel but it became more & more confusing to me. I had the card from the hotel and a lousy map that the hotel gave me and I asked and asked and asked for help to find the hotel. Finally 2 guys told me to go up a hill and one guy made a corkscrew motion and told me to keep going up. I did that but was unsure if I was doing the right thing. I little old man, a tailor, asked me what was wrong and I told him I was lost and trying to find my hotel. He looked at the card from the hotel and said I was going the right way and to continue up the "corkscrew" street and then go straight to the hotel. I did find the hotel and got back just before the downpour. The other 5 that went to the amphitheater also got lost trying to get back and called a taxi.
Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein

It poured on and off the rest of the day. We went to dinner at the same restaurant we had been to the night before, and then hung around the hotel. Alana, Dominique, and I had a 10 p.m. trip to the airport. Dominique joined us even though her flight was Saturday morning. This way she could avoid another night lodging at the hotel, and joined us for the ride to the airport.

While waiting to get my boarding pass, I talked to a Germany family whose vacation plans were derailed by Israel closing their borders. They also said this particular flight to Frankfurt was to be discontinued starting Monday. I breathed a sigh of relief that I would get home and wouldn't be stranded somewhere. The flight was completely full with lots of people trying to get home. I made the flight from Frankfurt to Chicago and that's where the fun started with CDC screening and missed flights.

I really enjoyed the 2 legs of my 3 leg trip. The Jordanian people are really friendly and not so aggressive with the shopping. When I was lost in Amman I trusted the people to help me and I
Coptic Catholic ChurchCoptic Catholic ChurchCoptic Catholic Church
wasn't hassled at all.

I hope everyone reading this blog keeps safe and healthy during this global crisis, and I hope to see some of my new friends when I go to Israel next year.

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 27


Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinMosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein
Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein
The shops at Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al HusseinThe shops at Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein
The shops at Mosque of King Abdullah bin Al Hussein
The stairs to the CitadelThe stairs to the Citadel
The stairs to the Citadel
View of AmmanView of Amman
View of Amman
Part of the CitadelPart of the Citadel
Part of the Citadel
Map of CitadelMap of Citadel
Map of Citadel
Citadel with Amman in backgroundCitadel with Amman in background
Citadel with Amman in background
The Entrance HallThe Entrance Hall
The Entrance Hall
Me and Entrance HallMe and Entrance Hall
Me and Entrance Hall
Inside the Entrance HallInside the Entrance Hall
Inside the Entrance Hall
Flowers at CitadelFlowers at Citadel
Flowers at Citadel

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