Trip Start Sep 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 18, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Jordan  ,
Sunday, September 28, 2008

We stepped out of the arrivals area into the usual airport arrivals chaos. Loads of people welcoming others and lots of people trying to sell you a ride somewhere. The Shepherd Hotel had agreed to send a driver for us for 24 JD. We found him easily and stepped out into the warm evening light of Amman. I can't tell you how good it smelled after 12+ hours on a plane.

He drove fast--flitting from lane to lane. It's a good 30 miles into Amman from the airport--it felt good to smell the desert air and the warm breeze at sunset. The muezzins were sounding off for evening prayer. The trees along the road lean hard to the east (there must be some harsh winds in these parts).

Once we checked in to our hotel, we went walking. Our place was located just south of the area between the 1st & 2nd circles--and hey, even the circles read right to left (east to west) for 1 thru 8!. We found an ATM, saw the brightly spot-lit Iraqi Embassy (gorgeous Babylonian design in blue and gold), and wandered the quiet streets. It was now dark and people were breaking the fast ("iftar"). Holiday lights lit windows and balconies--Ramadan decorations of a crescent moon and star. The streets got busier as people came out. There were some far off fireworks. It looked like folks were heading to meet others--walking with excitement and carrying bags of food.

We found a small restaurant--and pieced together our order with the teenage guy behind the counter. And enjoyed the street scenes while eating a pizza and burger for only JD 7. It was a simple little thing--but the Arabic on the Pepsi can delighted me. We were finally here!

The next day started sunny and brisk. Even though it was daylight and Ramadan, the hotel served a buffet breakfast--coffee, hard-boiled eggs, pitas and hummus, cheese and sliced meats. We walked a bit--snapping photos of the hills of Amman and the white buildings cast pink with the early morning light.

Our hotel rang up a taxi to take us to the Israel border for JD 25. We threw our packs in the trunk and wondered if we'd make the crossing before the border closed for Rosh Hashanah at 1 p.m.
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