On Sunday I told you about crossing from Israel to Jordan (fyi, I used the northern river crossing) and how I met Melek at the airport at two o’clock in the morning. We spend a week traveling down Jordan and falling in love with this fantastic country. From the people to the history to the sights we loved every bit of it and if you come back each day we are going to share our experiences with you over the next two weeks. Trust me when I say you will fall in love with this country also, so you might want to LIKE me on Facebook at svGuidingLight, so you don’t miss any blogs, stories, or “Photos of the Day”.
Since we did not get back to the hotel in Amman until around 3:30 am (the airport is a little over 45 minutes away from the capital and should cost 20-25 JD) we were dragging in the morning and got a very late start on the day. But once we got going we started at the Roman Theater, which is a 6000 seat amphitheater built around 150AD. I was amazed at how well it has survived the ravages of time and if you get a chance to see it from the hill across the street you will realize how it is carved out of the hillside and the city has been built up around it (or you can just check out tomorrow’s “Photo of the Day” 🙂 ). On either side of the theater are museums dedicated to local history, folk art, and such.
As impressed as I was with the theater it was nothing compared with the Citadel. This quite large walled in area on top of the tallest hill is quite unique because it has Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader, and Ottoman ruins within it, but unlike other places that built on top of the previous era here they built next to each other. This means that you have a Roman ruin in the Hercules Temple (this was my favorite part and I loved how a few columns still stand), a Byzantine era church ruin, an Arab mosque ruin (both of these are simply the foundations), an Ottoman palace (the large domed entrance has been restored with a new wooden roof, but the rest is ruins), and other ruins scattered around inside the Citadel walls. Plus there is a nice history museum of the area here as well.
After this we walked our hotel’s neighborhood and were meeting people, looking in shops, and eating dinner.
I am going to sign off and let Melek tell you her perspective on our first day in Jordan, but if you come back on Thursday you can join us as we explore 4 of the 5 “desert castles” which was very high on my list of things to do. And now here is Melek….
Melek – When I was offered to go to Jordan, I said “no way” thinking that it is not a safe country since I got many warnings about going there! But when I saw a picture of Petra, I knew I had to go…
I was so excited but also stressed about going there due to the warnings from my friends (funny part is I hate when people say it about my country and city, Turkey/Istanbul, and unfortunately I did the same thing).
Luckily I had the best guide in Shane who organized the trip in the best way possible!
I can now understand him having the name “Guiding Light” for his boat, where he does charters for people. He not only he takes them to best spots in the Virgin Islands, but he encourages them to push their boundaries just like he did to me.
I am not going to tell you where to go and what to eat in Jordan as Shane will be writing about it, I am more into the experience part of it!
first of all, when I went there I was surprised by people and how warm they were. When we were walking around in Amman, kids would come to us and say “hello, welcome and where are you from”. They would shake hands and when you reply to them they would have a big smile and be extremely happy. Some came to have a photo with us; some were waving to us from their home windows.
In Amman, the Citadel is my favorite place. I liked the ruins there and also it was interesting having a church as well as a mosque ruins in one location. When I am in a historic place, I like sitting in a quiet place and imagining the people who once lived there. The feeling of the ruins and the city was just amazing…
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