Feb 24, 2011

Jordan - Amman

Camel in front of the Dead Sea
Finally the sun!! We arrived in Amman, the capital of Jordan, the 21th of February and stayed there four days. What a change compared to the wintry Europe that we had just left! 
Our hostel was located downtown, a crowded area full of small shops and crazy drivers. Actually, crossing a street in Amman is a tricky experience!
We discovered that Jordan is quite a tourist country and can become expensive if one doesn't pay attention. Most of the shops and restaurants don't have prices. It is expected to bargain and/or ask for every price.
We met a lot of friendly people on the street, ready to offer their help when they see you lost. By the way, the rate of criminality in Amman is strikingly low!
It is very easy to lose your way in the city. The maps are not at all accurate and can be used only to give an idea of the area you are in. Don't expect to get your bearings in the city with only a map. We couldn’t manage to do so with three of them (all different one from the other, of course!). And if you are looking for a specific restaurant, be careful that its name is surely not written in Latin alphabet in the restaurant window but in arabic! 
View of Amman from the Citadel 
Statues of Ain Ghazal, the earliest statues ever done throughout human civilization, about 8.000 - 6.000 BC (Archeological Museum)
View of the roman theatre 
Fruits and vegetables market, dowtown, very very noisy!
Spice shop on king Talal street
Our favourite restaurant in Amman, Hashem restaurant in Al-Amin Mohammed street, serves only falafel with pita bread, tomatoes and onions salad, fuul (beans) and french fries. No menu, no price, every day the same things to eat! We loved it! :)

From Amman, we did one-day trips. We rented a taxi with two other travelers that we had met at our hostel.
The first trip led us to Ajlun, a Muslim stronghold from the 12th century perched on a hill. Then we went to the amazing Jerash site (the roman Gerasa), a greek then roman provincial city with remains of the administrative, commercial, civic and religious buildings remarkably well preserved. The archeological site is part of the city center of Jerash. In fact, the modern city is built around this open-air museum.
Colonnade on the Roman oval forum, Gerasa 
South Theatre
During our second trip, we went to the lowest place on earth - the dead sea!! - known for its very high salinity and part of the border between Jordan and the Palestinian territory of Cisjordan. 

We passed in front of Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan, the place where Jesus is supposed to have been baptized by John. But the 15 euros fee to enter the actual site seemed a little too much!!
So we headed toward Mont Nebo and Moises memorial sight. According to the Bible, Moises died there just after having seen the promised land. At the moment, the top of the mont is in renovation. So the only thing to see is.. the landscape!
At about 10 kilometers of the Mont Nebo is located a small christian city, Madaba, famous for its mosaics. A walk tour in this city and its different museums and spots is very agreeable compared to the rushed life and traffic in Amman.  
Street in Madaba
Mosaic in Virgin Mary Church, Madaba
Cooperative near Madaba
Party at the Abbasi Palace Hostel, Amman..
A little less fun, trying to dry my socks!!


  1. C'est vraiment très beau, ça donne envie. Mais que dois-je préferer : le forum romain, la mer morte ou la vision des falafels, si chers à mon coeur ???

    Gros bisous


  2. Les falafels évidemment!!:) Bisous à la petite famille!