Freezing in Jordan

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Middle East » Jordan
January 14th 2012
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: 31.9335, 35.9802

Last night we went down to have dinner in the hotel. There were 2 restaurants. The first had one set menu with no choices and the other just had sandwiches and snacks. We asked reception to recommend some nearby restaurants that we could have a good meal with wine or beer. Blank faces. After getting a little narky at them the guy took us outside and spoke to a taxi driver and said he would take us somewhere.
So we launched into the night. The driver took us to a very nice local restaurant but as a Muslim place they did not serve alcohol. We left and started walking hoping to find something. Walked for a while and eventually saw a liquor shop and next door was a bar called Long Island Lounge. We went in for a drink and asked if they served food. We were presented with a menu and ordered the Long Island Rich which was a seafood mixed plate. There was noone else there but we were entertained by a music DVD they had on of a concert from the violinist, David Garrett who plays a mixture of classics and Rock. The food was fabulous when it came and we shared a bottle of white. At about 9-30 other people started to arrive, namely some young women who arrived in track suits but changed upstairs into some quite revealing and provocative gear. We worked out it was either a pick up joint or these ladies provided "company" for the clients. Either way it was most amusing watching them. By the time we left just after 10pm male clients were also starting to arrive. We then found a taxi to take us back to the hotel. Our taxi driver was fairly old and kept singing to himself and pointing to various things along the way like "Mall" or "Safeway" and then chuckling. He stopped at 3 different hotels before he found the right one. A very entertaining evening.

This morning we left at 9am and drove to The Citadel which is high up on a central Hill. This has Roman ruins including a temple to Hercules. The wind was straight off the North Pole and the rain was coming in sideways. We both froze and quickly went to the Museum. This was great with many artefacts from Jordan and nearby cities like Jericho spanning the whole history of this area from Paeleolithic times to early 20th century. Some of the earliest statues ever found are here dating from 6,500 BC.We also saw the Roman Theatre just down the hill from here.

Because it was so cold we cut short our visit. We drove back into the downtown area of the city and James bought us the most delicious dessert based on goats cheese topped with shaved wheat all in a sweet syrup and served warm. Yummy! It is called Kanafa. I also bought a beanie for 2 Dinars ( about $3.) We then headed out to Jerash. This is about 40 kilometres from Amman and contains one of the largest Roman ruins in the world. When we arrived our guide cheerily informed us that it had warmed up to 8 degrees but at least the rain had stopped.We first walked to the Hippodrome which is very much intact. They have a show on here showing horse racing and gladiatorial contests.The highlight here is the almost completely intact Roman Theatre. It still has an elaborate skene and steeped seating. We climbed to the top for great views over the entire site. The acoustics are of course remarkable and we were entertained by two locals playing the drums and bagpipes!
Most of the Roman roads are still intact and there are great ruins of the Temple to Jupiter and another dedicated to Diana. Much has also been reconstructed.The North and South gates are still standing and there is a magnificent arch dedicated to Hadrian.There is also an oval Forum surrounded by pillars which originally contained shops etc. In the centre is a tall column. Another interesting place was the octagonal Agora where butchers' shops were located. A wonderful place.

For lunch James took us back into Amman to what he considered the best place for traditional Jordanian food. It was the same place the taxi had taken us to last night. This time we stayed and drank a local mixture of Lemon juice and mint. Delicious. For only 12 dinars, ($16-50 Australian) we had an enormous meal.The pre meal spread of salads, dips and bread would have sufficed in itself.The main courses were delicious and we washed it down with mint tea.
Very sating. Tomorrow we leave Amman for Dubai and hopefully warmer weather. Jordan has certainly been worth visiting.

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14th January 2012

Working the beenie Colleen :o)

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