Blogs from North, Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » North » Jerash June 29th 2019

Today we have arranged to visit the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Jerash, which is about 50 kms north of Amman. Our driver’s name is Haitham. He tells us that as recently as the 1980s Amman was a relatively small city, but it has experienced enormous growth in recent decades. We ask whether a lot of this is due to the influx of refugees. He says that some of it is, particularly Iraqis, and more recently Syrians many of whom are currently living in two large refugee camps near the border. He says that it has recently become a lot safer in Syria and a lot of the refugees are now returning home. I think that the standard applying to the word “safer” might be a bit different here to that back in Australia. ... read more
The Cardo Maximus, Jerash
Temple of Artemis, Jerash
Arch of Hadrian, Jerash

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman June 28th 2019

We’re still feeling very intimidated by this sprawling city and its seemingly grumpy residents, but we decide to be brave and head off to see some of the sights. Our confidence is not helped by the security guard manning the x-ray screening machines at the entrance to the hotel, who tells us as we leave to “be careful”. We could see the Amman Citadel from the hotel window, and the ever reliable Google Maps told us that it was less than two kilometres away. What it failed to tell us was that Amman is built on a series of hills with deep valleys in between them. We climb the wrong hill, and then need to navigate a series of precipitously steep steps down that hill and then up the right hill on the other side of ... read more
Lots of steps up to the Citadel
Amman from the Citadel
Temple of Hercules, Amman Citadel

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman June 27th 2019

Today we have a day of travelling from our mountain retreat here in Oman, to Amman in Jordan. We’re very sad to be leaving Oman, which we both think has now become our new favourite country. There seems to be more gunfire than ever coming from the army base across the canyon this morning, and we suspect that this is likely to get even worse when half the British Army arrives here in a few days time to join in with the training exercises. I wonder if any tourists have ever been hit by stray bullets while they were staying here. Maybe it’s just as well we’re leaving today. We take the long drive down the mountain and along the highway back to Muscat airport, and board our plane for the three hour flight to Amman. ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman March 13th 2019

Highlights of Amman Day 1 We start our tour today. After arriving last night we will be joined by the others today. There are 15 of us with another 4 joining in Egypt. Our guide is Mohammed.We set out for a tour of the city starting with a visit to the Royal Automobile Museum. A collection of cars and bikes, some used for special occasions by the Royal Family. Amazing collection. The vehicle used in the Martian movie was at the front. The movie was filmed at Wadi Rum Which we will visit in a few days. We then visited the Roman settlement where there is a huge theatre, mosaic floors , colonnaded streets. We also saw a Jordanian pipe band. Same sound as a Scottish one although it was a strange sound to hear in ... read more
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Stirling Moss’ Mercedes

Middle East » Jordan » North December 8th 2018

Day 18: 'Dougie at the Mosque' is how I shall remember today. While a quick tour of Doha was good (and eerily quiet of tourist's), and having company (Kaitlyn) helps majorly with logistics, I think my 40 minutes with 'Dougie the converted' will resonate for years. Entered the national mosque to be met with dismissive Arabians who said I cannot enter due to my shorts being 2cm too high - a lower waistband in it by my reckoning. Then my Lord and saviour, Dougie from Surrey, comes out and says he'd take on the burden of potential backlash from elders. Thick British accent, grey-browny hair to the top of shoulders and strawy beard (no moustache though). Surprisingly colloquial chat, but great to learn about the place. Then the speakers roared into action and the chat was ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman October 21st 2018

So, back on the bus it was. You know, that once a day bus from Petra back to Amman? Well, there's certainly enough business to run a more frequent service because as well as those of us with booked seats and tickets there was a significant number of other people who were on 'standby', ready to fill any empty seats. What a scrum! And, yes, I do realise that queuing is not a concept that is understood or adopted everywhere but I do think the concept of fair play is, or should be. As soon as I realised that those on standby were just pushing to the front and sitting in any vacant seat, despite a chappie on the bus trying to get everyone into their rightful place, I stuck out every protruding bone I had ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman October 15th 2018

Sorry it has taken so long to post this first blog and that our silence has caused some of you some concern. We're well and having a super time but have had some difficulty getting regular, reliable internet access. I'm blaming the Himalayas for blocking the signals! So here's Blog One of this trip, in haste and without photos (because I'm struggling to upload them, hopefully they'll follow in due course) just to give reassurance that we're still alive and kicking .... There's this thing about travelling for extended periods - it takes a lot of planning. And that takes hours and hours of research before deciding where to go, how to get there, where to stay and what to see and do, followed up by all the bookings and documentation. Sensibly, I leave all of ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman August 31st 2018

The Dead Sea This morning after breakfast, the group headed to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. It is one of the world’s first health resorts and has been the supplier of a variety of products including asphalt for Egyptian Mummification, Potash for fertilizers, cosmetics and herbal supplements. Because the salt is so dense, people can float above the water. However, because of its harsh mineral content, plants and animals cannot flourish. Sadly, the Sea is shrinking at an alarming rate above 3 feet per year. The Sea was so salty that the cuts Renata and I got while we were in Egypt in Dahab from our snorkeling adventure at the Red Sea started to burn. It was not the most comfortable ... read more
Amman Citadel
Amman Citadel
Roman Theatre

Middle East » Jordan » North » Jerash April 18th 2018

Our last day of the tour, we left the hotel around 8am and got to Jerash around 9am. Jerash is a very large ancient Roman site on par with Ephesus in Turkey. I didn’t even know about it until we had booked this tour. They even have a chariot race and gladiators show in the Hippodrome, but we didn’t have time for that. Lana took us all the way through the complex which took over 2 hours. Lana showed us a spot in the amphitheatre in the centre where you stand and your voice comes back amplified. This explained why we saw the group of youths singing in that spot in the Amman amphitheatre. We left Jerash around 11:30 and drove through Amman again to get to the Dead Sea around 1pm. All the resorts here ... read more
Jerash
Jerash
Jerash

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman April 12th 2018

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 ... read more
Breakfast
Street Art Alley
Jewelery Area




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