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Monday, January 30, 2012

Jordan in January

Once again life in Egypt has changed my perspective.  I'd never had a burning desire to visit Jordan.  Truth be told, if my life depended on knowing where Jordan was located on a map, I would probably be dead.  But my world has expanded and tales of the spectacular city of Petra drew Ryan and I to the little country east of the Dead Sea last week.

We flew into Amman on a flight that was pushed back twice, so we arrived at the lovely hour of midnight.  For those of you that know me best you are hopefully understanding how difficult this was for me!  I am normally in bed by 9 and asleep by 9:07 :)  By the time we got our rental car and hit the road, it was closer to 1 and the lovely man at the hotel gave us keys and sent us off to bed around 2.

Jordan is a beautiful little country.  The terrain reminded me a lot of Israel (but don't tell Jordan that).  Rolling hills with houses built on terraces and steeped facades of stone.  The brush is scrubby and coarse, and there are huge rocks littering the fields.  We enjoyed the food immensely.

Especially this lebanese dish where they covered tomatoes in a garlic dip and then sprinkle them with sumac.  I would have taken a picture of them, but I was too busy eating.  Wow!  I bought some sumac while we were there hoping to recreate the dish here in Egypt.

I don't think the people were as friendly, but the policemen were fantastic.  Not only did they wear helmets with big pointy spears on top, they were very helpful and courteous.  Once again no pictures, I've been trained well not to take pictures of law enforcement in the middle east.

We visited the citadel in Amman, which overlooks the ampitheater, and more Roman ruins.

Then we drove to Jerash, which a dinky little town north of Amman with some amazing ruins.  There's a Hadrien Gate when you arrive and an amazing ampitheater with a dramatic drop off.

Tessa climbed a wall and I made friends with a wandering horse in the Hippodrome.

The next day we drove to Petra.  On the way we stopped at the Dead Sea.  Didn't get in because it was too cold, but I'd already done the whole floating thing when we went to the Dead Sea in Israel.  It was really beautiful to see it from up high, and the twisting drive through the mountains was great!  

There really just aren't enough words for Petra.  And pictures don't do it justice either.  All I can say is it's amazing, overpoweringly beautiful, and so worth the miles of walking.  But maybe go at a different time of year than we did, because Petra in January was freakin cold!

I'd give Jordan 5 stars as a great place to visit.  There's a lot to see and I can vouch from experience that you can see it all in 4 days!  I think we're done with middle eastern travel for a while though, time for a change of scenery and a bit less noise from call to prayer at 5 am.  The next trip will hopefully be Scotland and northern England in March!  Yay more cold. 

 I think I need to buy a jacket.

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