JordanOctober 17, 2017 in Jordan ⋅ 🌙 19 °C
What an eventful day! It started at 3am this morning when we were roused from our sleep by a wake-up call so that we could be on the bus at 5am for our journey to Cairo's airport. Our flight to Amman, Jordan departed at 9.15am so we had plenty of time to get through the four security check points & two pat downs before we boarded the plane (with plain clothes security guards) for the 1.5 hour flight. In hindsight, this should have been our first red flag on how strict Jordan is on those visiting the country...
We arrived safely at just after 9.30am local time & proceeded through customs (& more security check points) to the baggage carousel. Now the fun begins....Pauly's bag, along with a number of other tour members' luggage did not arrive on the carousel.... After discussions with Jordanian Security Forces, the bags were located but further inspection & questioning was required...Almost 3 hours later, & after segregation & questioning (via translator), Pauly was freed to us with his secured contraband item, for which a refundable fee of $54JD ($115AUD) was required. We have been told that the fee will be refunded to us at the Israeli border on Thursday, upon which our binoculars shall also be freed from their secure, plastic prison 😂...Second lesson learnt on this trip - don't carry binoculars into Jordan; ever!
After all of the excitement at the airport, we were then on our way to the hotel (beautiful, by the way) before heading out to the ancient Amman Citadel (built around the time of Alexander the Great). Most of the buildings still visible at the site are from the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods. The major buildings at the site are the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church, and the Umayyad Palace. This stop also provided incredible picture opportunities of the beautiful city of Amman.
By the time we finished & had navigated our way back through traffic to the hotel (imagine traffic being slightly less crazy than Cairo, but a whole lot more scary! - I am not sure that driving tests are compulsory in Jordan, before being issued a licence...), we were well & truly worn out & enjoyed an early night with dinner in bed at our beautiful accommodation - Olive Tree Hotel.
Tomorrow we meet the Australian Ambassador to Jordan & Jordanian dignataries for a wreath laying ceremony at Es Salt before we board a restored WWI steam train, from Amman's famous Hejaz Station, for a journey to Zizah Station, where a very important event occured in relation to the Middle East campaign in WWI...Read more