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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 1 - Amman, Jordan: 10 April 2008, Thursday

Itinerary for the day:
  • Citadel
  • Roman Amphitheater
  • Amman city tour
  • Ash Shawbak Castle
  • Petra to spend the night.
We arrived in Amman after a 10 hours flight. I slept well on the plane, so, I felt fresh and ready to start the tour. It was about 5am when we arrived at Amman International Airport. We were taken to a local hotel to have breakfast. The weather was absolutely wonderfully cool. Oooo... I just love weather like this. If my guesstimate is not wrong, it was about 23C or less. Nice.

We were here for breakfast

Amman at dawn


Our first destination in our itinerary was Amman Citadel and Jordan Archaeological Museum. For more information about the Citadel, I found a tourist website of Jordan. Check it out.

Amman Citadel and Jordan Archaeological Museum


Janice, me and Judy. We were in the tour together... Pretending to be Samson, pushing the columns


What's left of the Temple of Hercules at Citadel Amman

Also on the Citadel Hill is the Jordan Archaeological Museum. This small museum houses an excellent collection of antiquities ranging from prehistoric times to the 15th century. There is an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a copy of the Mesha Stele and four rare Iron Age sarcophagi.

Dead sea scroll in iron


Roman Amphitheatre


You can stand at this specific spot and your voice will be heard all over the Amphitheater. No need for microphone


After that we headed for lunch but first we have to pass the King's Highway which was one of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen. It was just absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. Very similar to Grand Canyon in Las Vegas, USA.

There are two routes connecting Amman with the south of Jordan: the Desert Highway and the King’s Highway. If your time is limited, use the straighter and faster Desert Highway. However, by far the more interesting route is the King’s Highway, which twists and winds its way through the heart of Jordan, connecting Madaba, Karak, Tafileh, Shobak and Petra. The King’s Highway is the world’s oldest continuously used communication route, and is mentioned early in the Bible. In Numbers 20, Moses requests the king of Edom to allow his people to "travel along the king’s highway and not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory." (clipped from here)


Amazing slopes


The magnificence of the valley was indescribably beautiful


I am speechless gazing at the works of the Maker


The "Black Iris" is the official flower of Jordan. It only bloom once a year in the month of April. Hmm... what do you know... We were blessed enough to see this unique flower.


Ash-Shawbak Castle

Ash-Shawbak Castle, in rough, barren surroundings at 1,300m/4,265ft above sea level, is perhaps the most impressively situated castle in Jordan. It is perched on the side of a rocky, conical mountain, looking out over fruit trees below.

Shobak was originally called Krak de Montreal o Mons Regalis, and was the first outpost (1115) built beyond the Jordan River by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem to guard the road from Egypt to Damascus. It resisted many sieges until 1189, when it fell to Saladin's troops.

The towers and walls are well preserved and decorated with carved inscriptions dating from 14th century Mameluke renovations, but the inside is ruinous. Near the gatehouse, a well with over 350 dangerously slippery spiral, rock-cut steps descends to a spring. (clipped from here)



Ash Shawbak Castle from afar

We spent a night in a hotel in Petra. Tomorrow we will be heading towards Petra. The new 7th wonder of the world.

For more photos visit this online album.

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7 comments:

Kellan said...

WOW - what amazing pictures and what amazing things you are seeing - you are so lucky - so lucky!!! Have fun! SEe you soon - Kellan

sting said...

that's good timing... imagine seeing a flower that blooms just once a year.. have a good time ya

blogJordan said...

Hope you don't mind, but I've linked up your great account of how to enjoy the first day in Amman over on blogJordan.com.

I've been there twice and glad to see you got to enjoy it as you did.

Having been to Malaysia a couple of times last year, I found your description of the King's Highway a good contrast of the geographies.

I'll be back for more visits. God bless!

Michelle said...

Hello! I will be travelling to Jordan by myself at the end of the year...I'm Asian and 23 years old, do you think there will be a problem with safety???

Also, I was wondering if you think 10 days is enough for Jordan? It seems like too much!

Thank you if you can help me plan! I'm very excited! And your fotos and blog is very very very insightful!

Eagles' Wings said...

Hi Michelle,
We went through a tour company.

My hubby's colleague actually went there by booking through the internet, a local tour. It was about 10 days as well. Its pretty nice.

As for safety, I am not sure if its safe to travel alone.

Enjoy!

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