Jerash and Hammam

IMG_9004We tried to get to Jerash by bus again and had more luck this time, we even managed to get there rather early to avoid the lot of tourists and heat. Since we got there so cheap we even treated ourselves with a personal guide.

It was an impressive old (people have constantly been living here for some 6500 years) place which used to more of a commercial centre than it is today. For me the main attraction was Temple of Artemis, +50% trade routes in Civilization IV.

The amphitheater had a central spot where all sound bounced back, this of course required the loud recitation of a famous The Kristet Utseende quote. We decided to leave without watching the revived gladiator games since this seemed a bit to touristy for us.

The ride back was interesting since when we got to the bus-stop the service-cars (pay per person in a regular car/minibus) denied any existence of a bus. Since we got here by that bus we knew they were bluffing. They did however offer to drive us for one JD to somewhere really close to Amman. Then a truck stopped by and Mirsada asked that driver if he would drive us to Amman for one JD each. This was not seen kindly by the service-drivers. We kept it up and got a arabic curse and when the bus showed up and they explained the real price we said that we still preferred this car and smiled and said thanks. There is nothing like pissing off guys trying to rip you off.

The afternoon was spent at Al-Pasha hammam and Wild Jordan, a nice rather posh café with great view over the city, together with Felix and Hanna which Mirsada knew from before. The hammam was really nice and yours truly treated himself with a mud treatment in the face after being scrubbed. Burned really well. After a long day we were rather tired and got to bed early.

Touring Downtown Amman

IMG_8960We woke up after a well-needed sleep and planned to go to Jerash after breakfast. There was an arranged tour including Jerash but we decided we’d only do a short tour and pay a fraction of the price.

We got to the bus station and got on the bus to Jerash but got off since Mirsada’s shoes broke. This left her with only high heels so we postponed the visit to do some shopping. I bought another pair of flip-flops just in case since mine also were falling apart. The afternoon was dedicated to the Al-Pasha hammam.

It took some time to find the place despite/due to our combined mad navigation skillz and when we got there we were informed that if we’d booked three days ahead we could go there as a couple but now the first available spot was saturday afternoon. We instead booked consecutive times for the following day and decided to do some more shopping and sightseeing.

We got to the up to the Citadel by walking through some locals garden but a friendly boy guided us through to a proper street again. The citadel wasn’t that impressive to be honest, there was the temple of Hercules which was nice but I guessed we’d become a little spoiled with sights. The panorama view over the city was however rather nice.

The late part of the afternoon and the night were spent at Hamzeh’s grandfather’s place. It was a very nice place, the terrace was the big enough to fit a bus of people and a pool. We had some practice of eating the local speciality, maansaf, properly (with one hand from a common plate) as well as some nice mezze. The gathering was quite dressed up since some people where wearing the traditional national dresses, we and the rest only were suit and a dress though.

Ballooning and smoking arguilleh

IMG_8929The mosquitos had paid my precious skin a visit, not bad but enough to make me wonder why I hadn’t applied more of the mosquito repellent. At least I’d slept the better part of the night whereas Mirsada had chose to wait for the stars to get clearer until giving up around 04.

The ballooning was so worth it, the sights was just awesome, words can’t really justify it so I’ll put up more photos later.IMG_8908After returning to the bedouin camp we had a quick breakfast and got on the bus back to Amman. I looked forward to watching some TED episodes on my iPod or enjoy some good music but it had off coursed got drained somehow. I borrowed a copy of Lonely Planet – Jordan by a guy in the tour for some reading.

Back at the hotel I got a few photo copies from the guidebook since the one we brought was useless when it came to maps. A dinner later we went out for some arguilleh (water pipe) at a venue called Grappa which of course showed the european championship in soccer. Apparently Sweden was playing but both me and Mirsada ended up with our backs to the projected screen, what a shame.

After Mirsada and I taught Hamzeh’s german boss Hans how to smoke and having a few non-alcoholic drinks we left and headed back to the hotel. The taxi-driver asked where we were from and put on some german umpa-umpa mixed with “Silent Night” in german. It was close that I forgave him for charging us per person and not per taximeter with that music playing loud the whole way back.