Results tagged “Jordan” from Eurasia 2012

Urrrgh. I hate drama. Hate stress. Blah.

Breakfast at this hotel was ok - the nicest thing was meats at breakfast!! Haven't had meat at breakfast this whole trip (except for some tuna on the first day).

Loaded up in the coach and got driven through the most affluent part of Amman, with the tour guide doing a whole PR spiel for the country. It certainly was nicer that the first impression we got of the country.

Our first stop was the "Memorial of Moses" on Mount Nebo - possibly the place that Moses came up to see into the Promised Land before he died. There were a couple of nice mosaics there and you could just barely see Jerusalem through the haze.

Came down from there and stopped at a mosaic-making workshop where they make some stunning mosaics from cut stone. They can take months to complete, depending on the size of stones and intricacy.

Then into Madaba. Traffic was a little crazy as traffic lights were out, and did I mention they don't really have road rules here?

We parked and walked up to see St George's Church and the amazing mosaic they have of the middle east something like 1500 years ago. But the buttheads decided to build a church on top of it, and stuck a supporting pillar *right in the middle of the mosaic* !?!?!? Idiots.

And then back to the bus back through the market street.

For some reason this town had a nice feel to it. Maybe because the shops looked more familiar (a lot of English and selling more western products), maybe because the locals were friendly and waving, maybe because the vendors weren't aggressive. Who knows.

Headed a way out of town to a new restaurant for lunch and it was really nice (with nice clean free toilets - a major bonus in this country!). They even had this camel milk custard dessert!

Next up - another one of Herod's palaces at Mukawer, traditionally the location that they beheaded John the Baptist. A good little climb up and a great view.

This country is amazingly water poor, but we did see a couple of interesting things. One thing was temporary water tanks with tubing to irrigate roadside trees they're trying to grow. At another point we saw a burst water pipe on the side of a mountain gushing water in a huge geyser half way down the side of the mountain.

Then to the "Grand Canyon of Jordan" - Wadi Mujib.

Then headed south. The landscape changed dramatically from farmland to semi-arid.

Had a pitsop along the way, but had to pay for the toilets here.

Continued south (then west) to Petra (Wadi Musa), arriving just on sunset (behind the clouds anyway).

Navigating this hotel is a drama. You have to take two separate lifts, but there's only two at each site, and they only hold six people at a very tight squeeze. Found some stairs and decided they were much easier and faster.

Dinner was a total drama. First the parents arguing about which way up or down the table to move to not leave odd seats, so abanonded them. But then getting food was a *massive* drama because of a bunch of rude Europeans (Italian I think but could have been French - both are in the building) pushing in and making everything take longer. Hate.

Internet is $5 for the whole stay, but another couple gave me a couple of dollars to use it briefly. But it's so slow I may not be able to get my blog entries online anyway. Plus the only place you can use it is in the lobby, and that's where all the Europeans come to smoke :( *sigh*

Now it's stoopidly late because we got here late and have to get up stoopidly early. Which means my chances of getting any decent sleep tonight are about zero..

Distance covered on the GPS: 351.5
Steps walked: 16414, but I'm taking off 5000 due to bumpy roads screwing up the count
Photos on the Canon: 335
Photos on the Sony: 49
Videos: 11
USD Spent: 5-2
JD Spent: 0.5+2

Dear Jordan,

Please find a big garbage bin and use it.


So very early morning this morning. First at breakfast at 6:30, then on the bus by 7:20. Arrived at the King Hussein border crossing a little after 9am. Here we said goodbye to our Israeli driver and guide and went across the border into Jordan. As much as I was frustrated with the hurry up and stand still pace of our guide, at least he was very well organised and coordinated everything for us beautifully. We crammed a *lot* into our Israel trip with him.

Took a little while (over an hour) to get through the rigmarole of passport control on one side, then crossing the Jordan, then passport control and security on the other side. But they let us all through so all good.

Continued driving north.

This is where we really started to notice the differences in countries. But the saddest thing was the run down nature of all the homes and businesses, and the *rubbish* lying all along the sides of the road. Don't these people have any respect for the cleanliness of their own country? Very sad.

The country does seem pretty friendly though - out in the country areas *lots* of people waved to us which was pretty cool. Other than the fact that they have some pretty heavily armed military check points, an armed guard on our coach, and metal detectors and xray machines on the hotel entrance. Not sure if I feel safter or more threatened with all that. Safer because they have it, but less safe because of the need they have for it.

Other observations:

  • Their highway system is pretty good. Dual carriage way in a lot of places. But city streets don't have lane markings so people just drive wherever. They also park wherever they like and double park all the time.

  • Noone seemed to be in any real hurry - we overtook *lots* of cars. Maybe because it was their weekend and a lot of people were out having family picnics.

  • Families have one car, no matter how big their family. This usually means a bunch of kids in the back seat (no seatbelts) and often another kid on mum's lap in the front.

  • They love the king here and his picture is everywhere (admittedly he's a very cool king!)

  • Street-side vendors selling food and pots and stuff are everywhere.

  • Vendors at the tourist places are a lot more aggressive than in Israel. But still probably nowhere near as bad as Egypt will be.

So anyway.

Our first stop was Gadara, an ancient Roman city with a cool collonaded street and theatre and a great view over the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias. Really didn't spend much time there before we had to leave.

We had a late lunch in Jerash. This was pretty good actually. They assured us that the salads were safe to eat because they were washed properly, but we all bought drinks as the water is not the best for drinking.

Then we went up to the ruins. Another ancient Roman city, but this one was *huge* and they've been putting in a lot of effort to restore things, including gates and temples and collonaded streets and a couple of theatres. Had a decent amount of time there which was great.

Then we headed for Amman and our hotel.

Hotel is pretty average. At least we have plenty power points (with a mix of both UK and Europe sockets). But the waiting staff at dinner were pretty hopeless. And dinner wasn't great either - the hot food was lukewarm at best. I didn't eat too much because I wasn't feeling the best and we'd had a big lunch. Plus we got rejected by people at various tables who claimed that seats had been taken. But I think they just didn't want us there, and me being a single certainly screws up the whole system of paired seats :(

Did a bunch of underwear washing before dinner as well as last night's photo sorting, and finished today's after dinner. Time for bed!

Distance covered on the GPS: 276.9 km
Steps walked: 17161
Photos on the Canon: 275
Photos on the Sony: 41
Videos: 15
NIS Spent: 22.5
USD Spent: 9
JD Spent: 3