|Did you know that Amman was called Philadelphia when it was ruled by the Greeks? There's a picture below to prove it!|
Last weekend, Caroline and I went to Jordan. We were primarily seeing Petra, but we ended up going there by way of a bus that passed through Amman, the capital of Jordan. (In another post, we will write up all the details of the buses and connections, since we didn't find good info about it on the internet before going and hopefully we can help someone in the future)
We hadn't expected to do much in Amman since we only had one night and half a day there at the end of our weekend, but we were having such a positive experience in Jordan to that point that we decided to make the most of our time in Amman as well.
As we worked on finding our hostel, we were pleased to discover that the neighborhood was very lively, and seemed vibrant and safe. It sort of reminded us of the Karol Bagh area of Delhi, only way cleaner and less crowded. If I were comparing it to somewhere in the US, it was kind of like the area near Chinatown in NY with all the shops selling knock-off goods and small food joints.
|Caroline enjoying a relaxing date after a lot of hectic travel and hiking|
We got about half way there, and then asked directions again. This time, a nice shopkeeper asked one of his customers to walk us there, and the guy showed us the way.
Finally we found it, and it was so worth it! There was a bookstore on the ground floor (mostly English language for the ex-pat community). The upstairs had these quirky dining rooms and then a beautiful balcony where most people were sitting.
|This picture really captures the atmosphere and the view.|
Our waiter was very friendly and helped us learn a few basic words in Arabic, like "thank you" and "goodbye". We remembered to say it correctly when we left :)
|We aren't sure if green has special significance in Islam, but it sure gets used a lot.|
We decided to head over to the Roman ruins in the city. On the way, we saw a little shop selling sugar cane juice. This was something that we had wanted to try in India, but the food hygiene there was always a worry so we avoided it, so I was excited to try it here. It tasted like a sweet drink, a little like coconut with maybe a hint of pineapple flavor. It was tasty!
|Look at all the sugar cane behind me!|
As we approached his house, he talked to us through a slightly cracked door: "Listen to me. You go up, go straight." It all seemed a little off the beaten path, and sure enough, as we got higher up we realized that we were not only outside the fenced-in area of the site, we were actually walking through some Roman ruins to get to the site!
|This is from the top, as we looked back down at the ruins that we walked through.|
Suddenly, we realized that it was pretty late in the day, and we needed to get moving to catch our bus! We hustled down to a main street and tried to catch a cab that wasn't going to rip us off. After a few attempts, a young cab driver agreed to take us on the meter (instead of naming a far-too-high price). He turned out to be a friendly guy, though he spoke very little English. As he dropped us off for the bus, he gave us his phone number and told us to call if we ever needed a ride in Amman again.
The bus ride back was really beautiful, thanks to the nice sunny weather and the sprawling hills fields in the north of Jordan and Israel. We'll do another post with mostly pictures from the bus ride.