Day 16: Damascus - Amman
Amman Travel Blog› entry 26 of 54 › view all entries
Second attempt. This time we took the normal bus to Amman. We had the choice between 7 AM and 9 AM. As by now we knew Damascus well enough, and we wanted to make up some time in Amman, we opted for the 7 AM bus. It should come as a surprise to no one that this bus did not leave until 8 AM, and at the border it was overtaken by the 9 o'clock bus! Grrrrr....
Anyway, by midday we were checked in to our hotel in central Amman and we had time to explore the city. Amman is quite a different city than Damascus or Aleppo or even Beirut. There is no old centre that has been preserved. There aren't even any big beautiful mosques. In fact, 50 years ago this wasn't even the capital of the city, but just a backwater town with 20,000 inhabitants.
The city is sprawling over 20 odd hills, so the entire city is full of steep, twisting roads and pedestrian-only alleys with stairs. So the layout is quite similar to places like La Paz in Bolivia or Guanajuato in Mexico, however, where these are very characteristic pleasant cities, Amman just simply hasn't got anything to offer at all.
One of the few interesting sites in the city is an old Roman amphitheatre which was discovered some 100 years ago and has since been restored and is now frequently used for performances.
We spent a few hours sitting in the theatre, watching the world go by.
And that is pretty much all there is in this city. There's also a Citadel, but today was Friday, so obviously that was closed.
Eventually we just utilised the fact that Amman is a very modern and quite rich city, by going to the cinema. A comfortable, modern, air-conditioned place with good seats and surround sound.