February 15th, 2008 – by: easyjobrob
Well I have left Jordan and am back in Dubai for just a day before heading on to Nigeria. What can I say..I think I have fallen in love with Jordan I did not expect to based on my preconceptions but I have. It is not all perfect and lets get the gripes out of the way first of all. Cost much more expensive than I expected and there are price differentials for locals and foreigners. That said it is not beyond the bounds of affordability but those coming from nations with weaker currencies will suffer a little. The weather unpredictable in the extreme, during my visit to Petra I experienced hail, rain, strong sunshine, warm and cold winds, and even snow. Litter is a big problem at many of the major sites I visited the locals do seem to discard their rubbish at will and what, in my country, would be considered as a national treasure is often seen as a convenient dumping ground for the residents.
The roads, well in Amman
anyway, are lethal and the police do seem to be a tad corrupt when it comes to dealing with locals but apart from one policeman who took a shine to my headphones I had no problems (I told him I worked at the British Embassy and he forgot about his tax).
Other than these gripes I can say that I found the locals to be trustworthy, fun, curious and overwhelmingly hospitable. Even when I had communication problems no one lost their temper or patience and we found a way through. The biggest problem is knowing what to do I loved Petra (see my blog) but missed Jerash, Kerak and the Dead Sea. I read about Bedouin camps that you can go on, mountain tours that are spectacular and all sorts of other things.
On my second day off I spent at least 4 hours at the Citadel in Central Amman.
the roman ruins
An old roman site this is in the heart of the city and hosts the Jordan Archaeological Museum
whose curator was the most wonderful Jordanian I met. I spent an hour looking at the various exhibit and was amazed to see some of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls! There are exhibits from all over the region and this includes the oldest known statue! Astounding.
Leaving the museum one can wander at will around the citadel, there are impressive Roman remains, a beautiful and half-restored palace. At times the call to prayer echoes around the ruins and one can gave, rapt, at the rest of Amman laid out beneath ones feet. There are great views of the Amphitheatre also.
I found the handle of an Amphora just sticking out of half excavated hillside and roman pottery litters the ground. Did I pick any up as a souvenir? I am afraid that I can’t answer that on the grounds that I might incriminate myself!
In short I found Jordan to be the most amazing place, and one I have promised myself I will return to.