Jordan
Wādī Şafrā’

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    • Day 2

      Ausflug nach Jaresh

      October 29, 2019 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Heute mussten wir bis 08.30 Uhr gefrühstückt haben, bevor es zum Ausflug nach Jaresh ging. Außer der Reihe hat uns Maha noch eine Rundfahrt durch die alte Stadt Amman geboten, mit Ausstieg und Stadtrundgang. War teilweise etwas gruselig dort, viel Autoverkehr und heruntergekommenen Häuser 😳 dann ging es ca 45 min weiter zur Ausgrabungsstätte Jaresh. Am Stadtrand von Jaresh wurde Anfang der 90er Jahre Überreste einer 2000 Jahre alten Römerstadt gefunden und ausgebuddelt. Ist echt krass, was die gefunden haben ✌️ Leider haben die Leute die Ausgrabungen nicht restauriert, sondern teilweise neu aufgebaut, damit haben die sich die Aufnahme ins UNESCO Welterbe versaut 😣 Gegen 14 Uhr sind wir dann wieder losgefahren, nach 10 min Boxenstopp in einem Bergrestaurant. Da wollte Abud, unser 2. Reiseleiter, unbedingt hin. Denke mal, er bekommt dafür eine Provision. Gegessen hat niemand von uns, weil es ja heute Abend wieder lecker Buffet gibt. Gegen 16.00 Uhr waren wir wieder im Hotel.... Der Feierabendverkehr in Amman ist echt Wahnsinn. Sogar Holger hat gesagt, dass er hier passen würde, obwohl er sonst überhaupt kein Problem mit der Fahrerei hat. 18.30 Uhr gibt es Abendessen, danach wollen wir noch in die Bar. Da wurde gestern Tango getanzt. Vielleicht wird ja heute auch bisschen Musik gespielt.Read more

    • Day 10

      Zurück zum Anfang

      April 12, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ 🌬 7 °C

      Früh aufgestanden und rein in den Bus, einmal quer durchs Land, vorbei an den Orten und Erlebnissen nur ein paar Tage zuvor und zurück nach Amman. Als wir dort nach 5 Stunden ankommen gibt es Schneeregen und 7 (!) Grad. Jetzt haben wir alles erlebt. Aber wir trotzen dem Wetter und fahren mit dem Taxi in die Altstadt zum schauen, essen und shoppen. Zu schauen und shoppen gibt es allerhand, nur beim Essen macht uns Ramadan ein Strich durch die Rechnung. Am Ende ergattern wir etwas zum mitnehmen und essen im Regen im Hinterhof. So, jetzt haben wir wirklich alles erlebt und können morgen entspannt und erfüllt nach Hause fliegen!Read more

    • Day 25

      Lunch at Hashem Restaurant

      January 14, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      From the museum, we made our way back towards the Grand Husseini Mosque 🕌 and went for lunch at the Hashem restaurant. Even though Jumana told us it wasn't the best, we still felt we wanted to go. It is the most famous falafel restaurant in Amman after all. It's always busy - they can't all be wrong, can they?

      We found a table and ordered falafel, hummus, French fries, and two bottles of water. Salad 🥗 and bread 🍞 come as standard. Everyone seemed to be ordering the same thing 😀

      All I can say is that it all tasted pretty good! And when we came to pay, it was 4 JOD (about £5!).

      We would definitely recommend it 😀

      It had rained 🌧 again while we were in the restaurant. Once again, we had missed it! 😀
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    • Day 24

      Amman Food Tour

      January 13, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      After our walking 🚶‍♂️ tour ended, we made our way back up the hill to our hotel for a much-needed rest before our evening food tour.

      We left the hotel again at 4.25 pm for our 5pm meeting with our guide, Jumana. Google Maps said the walk should take 25 minutes but they hadn't factored in that we had to make our way down the steep slopes and steps to downtown and then climb the 1 in 3 hill up to Rainbow Street 🌈 ! We just made it - albeit a bit hot and breathless!!

      Jumana turned out to be a brilliant guide, not only describing all the amazing foods we were trying, but also filling in interesting background information about Amman itself.

      Our first stop was a Lebanese pastry shop on Rainbow 🌈 Street itself. This street is full of restaurants, bars, and cafés representing many different cuisines and is the place to go to eat out.

      We stopped to try manaqish, a flatbread topped with a zaatar spice blend of sumac, thyme, roasted sesame seeds, lemon salt, and oregano mixed to a paste with olive oil. It was a new taste for both of us and we really enjoyed it. The café itself was very quirky. The walls were decorated with pictures of characters and quotes from a cult Syrian TV show of the 70s and 80s. Jumana explained the entire plot to us 😀

      Our next stop was at a tiny hole in the wall place for falafel. It's called Al Quds and locals say it's the best falafel in town! (The most famous falafel restaurant is Hashem in downtown. It's renowned because King Hussein went there a couple of times, but Jumana insisted that this place serves better tasting falafel!) Al Quds had been in business since 1966. They have been consistently successful but have never expanded beyond the one branch. We had a small sandwich each and I can confirm they were delicious 😋.

      From Rainbow Street 🌈, we made our way down many steep slopes and steps and eventually emerged across the road from the Grand Husseini Mosque. We then went through the fruit and veg market. It was different from this morning as Jumana was giving us samples from different stalls - dried figs, dates, nuts, fresh herbs 🌿, confectionery, etc. - and she was doing a bit of shopping for her Mum at the same time! I bought some amazing Jordanian dates - 500g for just 1.25 JOD (about £1.50).

      Mark enjoyed trying a selection of Jordanian olives 🫒.

      After the market, we went to a juice bar. These are on almost every street corner in Amman, but Jumana took us to one that specialises in lemon 🍋 and mint juice. It was amazing!!

      Our next stop was at a local restaurant where we had ara’yes, two layers of pitta bread filled with minced lamb, onions, parsley, and allspice, brushed with olive oil and grilled over hot charcoal so that it turns golden brown and crispy on the outside, and kofta bi tahini, a dish that includes a bottom base layer of minced kebab meat, flattened out into a patty, topped with thin slices of potato, smothered in a thick tahini sauce, and then baked. I loved the ara'yes, especially when topped with freshly squeezed lemon 🍋 juice. Mark preferred the tahini kofta.

      By the time we had eaten all this, I was pretty much done! Mark was getting full, too. But we weren't finished! Jumana took us to yet another restaurant to try mansaf, the national dish of Jordan 🇯🇴. There are three main components to mansaf - rice, lamb, and jameed, a hard dried out and fermented goats milk yoghurt re-hydrated into a gravy, and used to pour over the rice and lamb. The dish is traditionally eaten with the hands communally from a large shared platter. The jameed, which has a sour and salty taste, and an undeniable goat flavour is what makes mansard so special and do highly prized. I tried it but found it to be too rich for me on top of everything else we had eaten. Mark manfully managed a fair portion! 😀

      Our next stop was supposed to be for kunefi, the rich cheese and sugar concoction we tried this morning. Neither of us had room for it so we asked Jumana if we could skip it and go straight to the final stop - a Syrian ice cream 🍦 parlour. She agreed. The ice cream had a thicker texture than normal ice cream but it wasn't heavy and proved to be the perfect end to our food tour. Mark had a scoop of chocolate and I had vanilla, both of which came coated in crushed pistachios.

      Our tour ended at around 8.45 pm and we staggered back up the hill to the hotel 🏨 😀.
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    • Day 25

      Old Signs of Amman

      January 14, 2023 in Jordan ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      After lunch, we popped round the corner to visit Old Signs of Amman - a quirky collection of vintage signs in Arabic and English. There are hundreds of them crammed into every inch of space on the second floor of an old building in downtown Amman.

      It was fascinating to browse the collection. We even met the owner, Gazi Khattab. He began rescuing old signs back in the 80s 😀. Now, it is a popular spot for young Jordanian Instagrammers. There is no entry fee.

      From the museum, we made our way back to the hotel for a relaxing evening.
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    • Day 109

      Amman — food driven pit stop

      December 18, 2022 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      After the lush greens of Goa, the burnt looking barren land of the Arabian peninsula couldn't have been a starker contrast. Landing in Amman I wasn't sure if I should go for a day trip to the city or just hang out in the airport because the visa on arrival was more than 50€ and the airport was still more than one hour away from the city centre. I decided to go for it.

      I took a local bus to the city with a mix of locals and foreigners. The amount of military vehicles and soldiers on the road to the city was a little alarming. I started to wonder if something serious happened in this country. Maybe that's why my flight was so cheap.

      Closer to the city the bus took a different direction from what I was expecting. A couple of Italians in front of me were equally confused. Realising we were going in the same direction we decided to leave the bus and take a taxi for the last leg of the trip.

      As soon as we leave the bus behind a guy comes to us asking if we need a taxi. The couple explained where they were going and started following the guy. They clearly didn't have much experience, you should never agree to a service without discussing the price first. I had to interrupt and start negotiating the price with the taxi. Once in the city centre I said goodbye to my new friends and went about exploring for myself.

      I walked around and had a delicious gigantic meal of hummus, muttabal and fatteh with meat in my favourite Jordan restaurant — Hashem. I never thought a day would come when I would let hummus be trashed, it was just too much food. And I payed only 5 JOD (~6€) for that gigantic meal!

      The down side was that I had no space to eat knafe... How disappointing!

      I got to see the nice Roman amphitheatre and soon was time to go back to the airport.
      I got a taxi right there at the square that I'm sure I overpaid. I had 3 and something hours until my flight but there was so much traffic downtown that it made me nervous.

      At least my taxi driver had good enough English to keep up a conversation. He explained that the army out in the streets was due to protests for the high gas prices. Apparently a high ranking police officer had been shot dead by the protestors and the whole country was looking for the culprit. He explained that the family of the officer had more than 11 thousand people and all of them would be looking for revenge. So bizarre how things work in Jordan.

      I arrived at the airport well in time for my flight. So much in fact that I got to watch the final of the world cup there. Argentina won against France in penalties right as I was boarding my plane to Budapest.
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    • Day 10

      Amman

      October 12, 2022 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Stayed at the Khan Khediwe Hotel. Perfectly located in downtown and walking distance to the old downtown, Roman Theatre and Jordan Museum. Hotel is new and very comfortable.

      Amman is interesting. First impressions are that it is dirty and run down and it is, but at the same time it is pretty exciting. If you want adventure, just be a pedestrian here. Sidewalks are non-existent or broken and the only thing rarer than pedestrian crossings are unicorns. Crossing the street is a game of stepping in front of a car and daring it to hit you.

      The city is built on seven hills (Question: Why do these ancient cities always have SEVEN hills - Rome, Istanbul, Amman, Jerusalem?) and they are pretty serious. Streets go back and forth in switchbacks and houses are terraced up cliffs.

      Everywhere downtown including the alleys either side of the hotel is one giant street market. Unlike some of the bazaars in Istanbul, these are not for tourists. Seems that sometimes for a block or two all the shops are in the same sector. All shoes, then small appliances, or fans, or tools and hardware. Locals just know where to head to do the shopping.

      Had dinner at a takeaway joint up a back lane a block from the hotel (convenience was more important to me than Michelin stars). I noticed a staircase at the back and went up to find a dining room of plastic furniture. Ordered from the menu a lamb with vegetable stew. Came with a big pita and it was a fantastic flavour. With a bottle of water bill was 3.50 JD. Beat the iced tea on Rainbow Street for value.

      Very short visit of course, with Day 1 being the main walking tour as shown on the map. I just did what is called 'downtown' and did not get out to the mosques and museums that are recommended. Weather was mostly clear and warm and a moderate 13,176 steps walked.

      Day 2 was morning only as I was headed to pick up the rental car at noon, so a short walk to the Jordan Museum and back.
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    • Day 9

      Museums of Popular Tradition & Folklore

      October 11, 2022 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      These two small museums are inside the entrance to the Roman Theatre.

      The Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions showcases traditional items from Jordanians and Palestinians in order to preserve their heritage for the future. and was opened in 1971. There are displays with traditional costumes and mannequins, masks, and jewelry, cooking utensils and vessels, brides’ dresses, and jewelry from the West Bank are found in the fourth hall. One room contains 6th century mosaics from Jerash and Madaba’s Byzantine churches. It was all very colourful and attractive.

      The Jordan Folklore Museum is divided into different facts of life in the country. Various sections show exhibits including work, home life, farming, professions, markets, housing, and more. The museum exhibits cover the 19th and early 20th centuries.
      I learned a little about the desert, Bedu culture, and culture in towns and cities from seeing the clothes, jewelry, old household utensils, tools, traditional daggers, and a mosaics section. The Bedouin section of the museum shows a tent made of goat hair, and various tools used by Bedouins. Also see looms, coffee grinders, costumes, tea-making utensils, and the rababa, a Bedouin instrument that uses only one string.
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    • Day 9

      Hashem Restaurant

      October 11, 2022 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      The place is mentioned in every single guidebook and is even shown on the sign that points out landmarks in the view from the Citadel. A street vendor has become the biggest attraction in the city.

      Busiest place in town and although it is a tourist attraction, the vast majority of the customers were locals. . Barely got a table. Order by filling out a form. Bought too much as I didn't knew 1 falafel gives you 3 pieces, and trying two kinds of hummus, (regular and mixed). Certainly did not need the extra order of filled falafel. The lunch also came with 3 pitas. Glass of tea, and there was fresh mint on the pickle plate to add to the tea. Delicious

      4.5 JOD
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    • Day 9

      The Duke's Diwan

      October 11, 2022 in Jordan ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      The word ‘diwan’ means ‘the guest’s place,’ a fitting name for this restored Levantine house. The Duke's Diwan is an old townhouse built in 1924 that was originally the first post office in Amman. It later housed the Ministry of Finance, and was then used as a hotel. The doors and windows are the originals from the early 1900s. Locally known as the Duke of Mukhaybeh, Mamdouh Bisharat, who is a notable businessman in Jordan, undertook the restoration. The house is the oldest residence in Amman, and is located near the downtown area.

      It is a restored house with furnishings from the 1920s and there are a number of items from the period when it was the Haifa Hotel. Although retored, the surfaces and walls certainly show their age. It is interesting that the oldest house in this ancient city was built in 1924. Testament to the observation that each civilization- Greek, Roman, Byzantine Ottoman etc just builds on top of their predecessor.

      Out front is a balcony with a view over the busy shopping street below.

      On entering, you are offered a tea to enjoy as you contemplate the surroundings.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Wādī Şafrā’, Wadi Safra'

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