We Are Here And It Is An Adventure!

Trip Start Nov 10, 2011
Trip End Dec 03, 2011

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Where I stayed
Larsa Hotel Amman
Read my review - 4/5 stars

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

For my loyal followers I must first tell you what a chore this blogging is becoming. I have been trying to connect to write since we were at JFK on Thursday evening. Once we entered the secure area of the international terminal, there was no internet connection without paying for it. Forget that. We tried and tried to connect to the WiFi at our hotel in Amman last night, but it isn't user friendly with Safari. Tom finally was able to connect this morning long enough to send an email to Amy and Patrick to let them know we'd arrived safely, and he managed to sign in to the blog. We have returned to the hotel after a day of incredible sightseeing and when I opened the blog, it was in Arabic!!! Lordy, this is an adventure!

Because I have missed the first few days, this blog entry will be extra long.

I must begin with Wednesday -- we made the difficult decision to put down our beloved Houston. He was beginning to show signs of age and we were convinced he would not make it through the winter. Rather than worrying about something happening, and having to put the responsibility on our housesitters or our kids, we decided to send him to doggy heaven before we left. Houston gave us 9 1/2 years of love.

Our trip to Amman, Jordan was an adventure of its own. We left SLC about 11:30 Thursday morning, arriving at JFK about 5:30 p.m. We had checked our bags to NYC so we had to pick them up, and walk across the street to the international terminal to recheck them with Air France. Air France -- we got REAL FOOD and never saw one peanut or pretzel. Wine and champagne were FREE and free flowing. Changing planes in Paris continued the adventure. Although we were deplaning into a secure area, we still had to go through security again. I knew from Amy's and my trip to Paris in 1997 that French airport security is more secure than American security, and it still is. Note to self: Nook and camera are electronic and need to be taken out of bag; no underwire bra ;-0)

We arrived in Amman about 7:45 p.m. on Friday, November 11. 11-11-11, which not only was Veteran's Day, but it was the 11th anniversary of my dad dying. From the time we left home on Thursday to the time we checked into our hotel, we had been traveling for nearly 30 hours. We were TIRED.

As tired as we were, we still had a difficult time sleeping through the night, both awake about 2 a.m. We finally got back to sleep when, at 4:30 a.m., we were awakened by a very loud prayer coming from the mosque about two blocks away. At this point we realized we are in a different world. Even with cultural differences, when travelling to Europe it is still the same. Listening to the Arabic prayer resonating so loudly and so clearly from the mineret that we can see from our room was very cool.  The "adhan" is recited five times a day by the "muezzin" from the minaret of the local mosque.  In larger cities, the adhan is a recording that has been recorded by a person who has auditioned and who, from our experience, has a very melodic voice.

We met our tour group for breakfast about 8 before departing on the bus at 9. Samir is our guide and he is wonderful -- very knowledgable and very personable, willing to answer all questions regarding Jordan, the culture, and the Muslim religion. I asked Samir if there are Chrstians living in Jordan -- yes, about 5% of the population is Christian but they control about 40% of the economy because the Christians travel and are more open to change and commercialism. 

Amman, Jordan is a sprawling city of 3,000,000 -- 1/2 of the population of Jordan. We began our tour of this bustling city in the Downtown, literally down a hill in a bowl area. We wandered the streets, exploring the shops and the market of fresh veggies and fruits. We saw radishes as large as tomatoes, and the cabbages were HUGE; shops with barrels of fresh herbs and spices -- so aromatic; a butcher shop with parts of animals we Americans would never eat, displayed in the window; and,shops with more gold than we've ever seen.

After wandering around the area of the Temple and the Archaeological Museum, we had lunch at an Egyptian restaurant and we were served delectable dishes that I have no idea what their names are or what was in them. I forgot to take a picture of the feast, but a feast it was. Tonight we are joining another tour group, because our group is only 6, to have dinner in a home of a Jordanian family. 

P.S. Note to self: before our next big trip, purchase a cheap computer and relearn how to use Windows. This iPad is a pain in the neck.

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Raymond on

I loved your blog,interesting,informative with great photos.
My hotel is opposite Roman theatre I wake up to that sight everyday..
If you are back in Amman you are most welcome to visit us at the new Amman Pasha Hotel in downtown

dayna-tom-2013 on

Dogs: Our beloved Houston, 9 1/2 years, and Patrick's puppy, Sebastian, 4 months -- Me and Mini-Me!

Samir and olives: Our guide, Samir, showing us a variety of freshly picked olives. Being olive season, we would learn over the next few days, how important olives are to the Jordanian diet. Samir owns a small olive farm.

Cabbages: The biggest damn cabbages we have ever seen. The radishes, which I neglected to take a picture of, are as large as tomatoes. American veggies do not hold a candle to what we have seen in Jordan.

Butcher shop: Jordanians eat all of the animal -- these are sheep or goat heads, below are the other body parts Americans would never allow past their lips. We think the guy in the middle is doing the best Elvis impersonation. ;-)

New meets Old: The confluence of different historical eras -- the Modern Era of Internet cafes and an ancient, 2000 year old amphitheater.

Theatre: The Roman Theatre dates to around 170 CE, with a seating capacity of 6,000 which is still used for concerts.

Laundry Day: In the picture, notice the laundry hanging from the balconies. Pictures of deceased King Hussain and current King Abdullah are everywhere.

Citadel: On a high hill overlooking the Roman Theatre sit the ruins of the Temple of Hercules at the Citadel. The ruins of the ancient fortress protecting Amman are part of what was an Omayyad Palace, completed around 750 CE. The Roman Temple of Hercules was built about the same time.

Arch Template: Samir explaining how arches are formed.

Cistern: A cistern for collecting water. Water is a precious resource in Jordan. All buildings/homes have cisterns on the roofs. Drinking water is delivered weekly.

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