Day 20: Amman, Jordan
As you may have read on Facebook, I was up bright and early this morning for really no good reason. On the bright side, this meant that I could finally wrap up all Turkey – related articles and move into our Jordanian adventure.
Eefje and Muath put on a great breakfast spread to start the day, which was rather grim looking at first, definitely threatening rain. We met Chris, a photographer/journalist/videographer from Atlanta, Georgia and also met up with Avery, of a similar profession from Seattle, who we had met the night before as she’d been on the same planes as us from Istanbul. We decided to set out together from the hostel as Chris had already been in Amman for a month and knew his way around.
We started off going to the new skatepark that had just been built a few months back. There was some super cool graffiti there and the boys skateboarding seemed to be having a blast. No helmets or wrist guards, unlike Canada however and there is tons of trash lying around the park and the adjacent playground. This completely blows my mind as litter is so much less common in Canada and people would never allow a children’s area to look like that. Really fascinating.
From there we moseyed on to the souq and one of the mosques where it truly became a little busier and more like some of the big, busy cities we’d been to before. They were just starting prayers and all the streets nearby were cordoned off to cars, Chris said to minimize the chance of terrorist attacks during prayers. 😦
We worked our way quite quickly through the souq which was composed of the usual market stalls: clothes, fruits and veggies, shoes, household goods and so forth and ended up at the end where there is a very unique street. As we turned on to it, I noticed a car with its trunk open…there were birds in it!! This street is apparently famous for its bird sales. Pigeons, turkeys, doves…all sorts! And the mode of transportation once purchased? You guessed it, a paper bag.
Not appreciating all the creepy leering, invitations to touch turkeys, and whatnot we parted ways with the rest of the group and headed for the Citadel.
On our way up, we happened to notice that the Roman Amphitheater was to our right. Having seen a few amphitheatres in recent days, we decided just seeing it was enough and carried on upwards.
We had seen a sign pointing the way to the Citadel and began to follow the road up. We got most of the way up and could see steps leading upwards towards the Citadel so we decided to take them. The steps stopped and a trail continued before ending in a wall, which being small, was easy to scramble up and over. From there we picked our way around some ruins and skirted the fence….indicating that we’d probably come up come up quite the wrong way! As we entered the ruins, one of the guards kindly reminded us to please buy a ticket and don’t climb up the Citadel again as it “could be dangerous” (it was at no point that way) hah!
We took an enjoyable hour or so perusing around the ruins and the small museum there. To make up for missing the Basilica Cistern, there was even a cistern. Although it was garbage filled (I see a theme here) and contained no Medusa heads so that was a bit anticlimactic.
Once we were done at the Citadel, we decided to try and check out Rainbow Street. No one had informed us just how hilly Amman is and our journey to Rainbow St involved a hike down a huge hill and then back up another huge hill in addition to several sets of stairs. We figured we had earned our lunch time snack. Sadly, Rainbow St looks like it has some cute restaurants but many were closed because it was Friday today. We did stop for a quick bevy tho in a restaurant of very questionable cleanliness called F.R.I.E.N.D.S. @cafe.
From there we headed back down the hill and headed for Weibdeh hill where our hostel is for a quick falafel sandwich. It was delicious and cost just 2 JD for both of us including tea! Nom nom. We got ourselves some tasty treats from a bakery just down from the falafel shop and boy were they pleasantly good!
We returned back to Hawa to the exciting return of Leah’s bag! Since then, we’ve just been hanging out, relaxing and chatting with our wonderful hosts Eefje and Muath and their cats. Chris got us a cake to celebrate Iranian new years tonight. Yay!