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30th and 31st July - Jordan

On Wednesday night, Daniel and I went for dinner at this typical Jordanian restaurant where we smoked shisha pipes and I had the most wonderful Shish Tawouk for dinner.... mmmm...

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


We had an early start on Thursday as we were taking the 3 and a half hour trip to Petra. Thursday turned into a bit of a day of adventure and pretty much a day of escaping injury.... read on...

We arranged to meet our driver at 7am to get down to Petra in good time. By 7.45 I was getting pretty frustrated so I told the hotel owner Ali, who sold me the trip, that if the driver wasn't there in 5 mins, we'd cancel the trip and make our own way there...

Miracle of all miracles, the driver turned up in 3 mins.... Ali saw how annoyed we were and had a go at the driver, took the keys and drove us there himself.... Yes, the hotel owner left the hotel and spent the day in Petra with us... Hilarious I thought, until he started driving...

Now on this trip, I've found myself in a few situations where I've been a passenger to maniacal drivers.... and this didn't disappoint... Ali did the 3 and a half hour trip in 2 and a half hours... no joke... He got stopped twice for speeding and got two tickets, he was tearing down the highway at 130kmh, he was weaving in and out of traffic, he was squeezing through gaps between two trucks that seemingly only a bike could get through... it was crazy.. all the while balancing a hot cup of coffee in a cup holder and then drinking it and driving with one hand.... I tried to sleep on the journey down but I think the eyes were shut more out of fear than rest. I decided to listen to my iPod.... first song that came on 'Don't Fear The Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult... how apt...

We got down to Petra and wow, what a place... the heat was sweltering... Daniel and I were both wearing flip flops and the views were stunning.... I got pictures and videos of so much which I'll share on here but i've never been somewhere where there is just so much to see.

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


The Treasury was beautiful, cut out of the mountain and precisely sculpted....

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


the Roman Theatre was breathtaking...

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


the City Centre vast and pristine...

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


and finally, the Monestry was spectacular....

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan




All in all we walked 24 km in 5 hours up rocky traverses and down cobbled streets.. My feet were sore but my mind was filled with wonder and admiration for what ancient civilisations could create.

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


The return journey to Amman that evening was equally frought with danger... Ali looking to break the land speed record in a Hyundai.... not a good choice of vehicle for such a venture... the windows were rattling, the doors shaking... it was frightening and exhilarating at the same time. We got back in 2 and a half hours, weaving through the city traffic inches away from fatality... Crazy...

That evening we decided to go out for dinner and find a bar. I couldn't believe they had bars in Amman. We went down the street and a restaurant was having an opening night. There were fireworks, a crowd of people and lots of music. We watched from the pavement opposite as things got under way. After a few minutes, a thunderous bang echoed throughout the street and fireworks starting firing out into the crowd.... The fireworks from the roof of the restaurant had all caught light and starting shooting like missiles into the street. It was hectic.... I ran as fast as could to find some form of cover as the street seemed to scatter in panic... a firework went off outside a shop and the noise brought down a couple of lights...

From Jordan


From Jordan


I managed to hide around a corner... I looked out onto the street after a few seconds and a firework appeared... I quickly ducked back just before it exploded not ten metres away from us. After things had settled down, I ventured back out onto the street and caught up with Daniel. He'd hidden somewhere else. I looked up and the roof of the restaurant was on fire.

From Jordan


The story of the fireworks was doing the rounds all night after that it seemed. We found a bar and had a beer and dinner.

From Jordan


Walking along the street afterwards, we asked a couple of guys if they knew a good bar or club. They told us the Latino Bar.... I asked how we could get there and they offered to give us a lift. It was so Jordanian.... such generous people...

We had a drink at Latino Bar and headed back out in search of a club. I asked a taxi driver if he knew of a good nightclub....

"For prosititute...." he said... I couldn't believe it... Prostitutes in Jordan... "NO!" we quickly replied... "Like a disco, music, dancing you know."

"Aah you want arabic disco.." He said. "Yeah sure." we replied thinking it would be a local place and could be fun.

He drove us to this place and after scaling 5 flights of stairs, we found ourselves in a room with a bar and two very interested middle eastern girls in short dresses making their way over to us... Errr... what is this place..... The taxi driver said... "You want for girls to dance with you?" pointing over at the two interested ones.... "No, I think we'll go somewhere else thanks." After a discussion we managed to pursuade him to take us elsewhere to a bar.

Back at the hotel, we asked Ali about the place and whether it was a strip club or something. He said that it wasn't and that these places exist where you pay extortionate prices for drinks for the girls and they talk to you and dance with you... Very strange.... and that was my last night in Jordan.

From Jordan


The next day we went to check out the prayer call at the Hussein Mosque and the Souk which was great fun. We got chatting to a few of the stall holders and I sampled some Jordanian sweets.... Everyone was very friendly and it's definitely worth paying a visit to the Souk on Rainbow Street if you're ever in Amman.

From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan


From Jordan

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