Sunday, July 13, 2008

tanned, toned, and tired from Jordan

we’re back from our 4-day holiday peeps! yup, we arrived Saturday the 5th evening (late evening, as in almost midnight!) so sorry i haven’t been able to share you the story of our adventure in Jordan since we arrived. i had to catch up and work on a lot of stuff (e.g. chores, mails, bills, work, tags, and a lot more), so this post got shelved for a few days.

anyway, here’s the first part of our little adventure story in Jordan, so to speak. enjoy reading it, and i hope you learn a thing or two about Jordan through our escapades.

day 1:
we left through the Sharjah airport as we booked our holiday package through Air Arabia’s bite size holiday promo. i must say the renovated Sharjah International Airport is quite impressive! at some point during our check-in, hubby & i thought we were transported to Charles de Gaulle airport. we had brunch at Costa CafĂ© before checking in, and when we went past the security check, everything was a breeze! no long queues in the immigration desk, plenty of friendly (Pinoy) ground staff to answer your questions, and the big plus, they now have a big Duty Free store where you can buy loads of pasalubong & knick knacks, even alcoholic beverages, for a cheaper price.

the flight was on time, and it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to Amman. as soon as we stepped inside Queen Alia International Airport from the tube, we were greeted by a gentleman holding a placard with our names on it. he was Omar from the partner travel agent of Air Arabia. he assisted us in the immigration desk, where we were escorted to the VIP section. he also helped us with our luggage, and walked with us to the car that was waiting to bring us to our hotel. good thing we had complimentary airport service because the airport was located outside of town and is about 35 kilometers away from the city center. our arrival experience was fuss-free, and we totally loved it!

we checked in at the Belle Vue Hotel & Trade Center at the 2nd circle near the city center. they have good amenities and commendable service, albeit 4-star. after dropping off our stuff in our room, we immediately rushed out to go to the Roman Amphitheater to take pictures of it, and see the museums, as well. too bad when we arrived, there were crews setting up some equipment and chairs for an event in the evening, so we didn’t get to take a good pic of the amphitheater. we had an old man from the Tourism Department of Amman as a tour guide, who insisted his services and kept telling us how interesting it would be if we'd allow him to tour us both so we’d know what we’ll be looking at. in the end, hubby and i gave in and paid 5 JD (USD 7) ‘cos it didn’t seem he’d go away.

and what did we learn from the short tour?

1.) the old name of Amman is Philadelphia
2.) the amphitheater can seat up to 6,000 spectators. the best seat in the house was made for Emperor Antonius Pius.
3.) the bedouins are known to be quite good at making carpets. they’re such expert weavers!
4.) the musical instrument of the bedouins in Amman is called a ‘rababah’. it works similarly to a violin.
5.) the Bedouin men & women like wearing silver jewelry in the olden times. take a look at this picture.

now we know where Charriol got his inspiration

the Roman Amphitheater

after the tour, we lingered around the Hashemite Square to take some more pictures. we found a few columns of what was left of the Forum and took snaps of them, too.

remnants of the Forum

Amman's old name inscripted

since it was 10 to 6pm when we finished, we decided to forego the trip to Citadel as we knew it will already be closed by the time we get there. good thing we hopped on a cab with a driver who knew his way around. he told us that Citadel’s museum closes at 6pm, but we could still see the other ruins there. so off we went to the Citadel, where we coaxed the security to let us in so we could take a few pictures. he was nice enough to give us about 5-10 minutes, but only after a bit of prodding.

at the Temple of Hercules

checking out the ruins of an old church

view of old Amman with a cranky me already

we headed back to the hotel afterwards and slept early because my head was throbbing in pain. no dinner on day 1, unfortunately.

the day 2, 3 & 4 installments to follow. have a nice week people!


Pat said...

gracie, bitin ang kwento!! hehe

Vannie said...

ur so lucky to be well traveled!!! great pics dear :)

a tag for u ->