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  • Day12

    Jordan

    October 18, 2017 in Jordan ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    After a wonderful 8 hour sleep at our hotel in Amman, we awoke refreshed & ready for another big day. We had a special tour organised for us in the morning on a steam train from Amman's Hedjaz Station to Zizah Station, the latter of which was significant for our Light Horse troops in WWI, as it was here where they helped protect the Turks in the region against the Bedouin tribes who would have slaughtered them if they surrendered to the Aussies. The incident was known as the Zizah Farce.
    We were extremely privilaged to have been given the opportunity to ride on this train as it is very rare that it operates. Needless to say we drew crowds of locals who greeted us all with with lots of curiosity, smiles & waves. We saw many things of interest whilst on the one hour journey, including the old city's viaduct (from Roman times) & Bedouin communities in the arid countryside.
    After lunch we took a special journey to Es Salt's Turkish Memorial where we held a special wreath laying ceremony in honour of the fallen Turkish troops who battled here in 1918. The grounds of the memorial site contained a cave that was discovered in 1953 that held the bodies of 300 Turkish soldiers. It had been beautifully restored & made for a poignant display. We were privileged to have Colonel Christopher Buxton from the Australian Defence Attache in attendance, as well as the Turkish Ambassador to Jordan, the latter of whom was deeply moved, as this was the first time any Australian group had honoroured the fallen Turkish soldiers here. It was a very special moment that we were able to share in.
    As an added bonus today, we witnessed a police motorcade escorting Australia's Govenor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, from the airport - he had just arrived in Amman for trade talks. Our group leaders, & the Consulate staff had tried in vain to have him join us, but unfortunately his time was limited. Apparantly, he was most upset at the missed opportunity.
    We are off to Israel tomorrow where we should be at the border crossing by 9.30am; then the fun will begin again for Pauly & those dastardly binoculars....
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