We’re here!! I’m sitting in the Four Seasons Amman on the tallest of Amman’s seven hills, snacking on “Cold Mezze”, a large platter of food that welcomed Dad and I when we entered the room. The houmus is incredible, and Jordinian tabouleh is incredible, but my favourite part so far is this sort of paste, similar to houmus, that I’m piling on to hard pitas with mint leaves and olives. Amman is beautiful. Well, from outside my window, that is. We haven’t had a chance to explore quite yet, but witnessed some of the impressive scenery out of the car window as Maher, our driver for the week, wound his way through the hills that Amman is so famous for in the Arab world.
We arrived in Amman at ten to four, local time, after a comfortable flight from Heathrow. I slept most of the way, at that point having been awake for 30 hours. As we landed, I pulled up the window shields and watched the most unique landscape I have ever seen pass us by. I feel like we talk about the desert as though it’s one single thing, but already I’m learning that “desert” is very much a blanket term for anything a little bit dry. The ground was orange for as far as I could see, with enormous cracks cutting through its vibrant colour. Little white buildings were scattered about it, all looking very similar. As we got closer, I caught a glimpse of that I was sure was the city of Amman. Little white buildings seemed to spill out from between hillsides with no semblance of structure at all. From the air Amman looked like nothing I had ever seen before: a sentiment I would later find reinforced on land.
The airplane landed without event, though our customs line of about ten people took just under an hour to get through. In the end, though, we got our passports stamped (the first stamp in my new passport!) along with some fancy Jordanian visas, each costing 20 Jordanian Dinars. Both Dad and I carried on, so we walked straight through the baggage claim area, and met our airport contact, who greeted us with a sign and a warm Jordanian welcome. He led us through the airport and outside, commenting on how cold the weather was this time of year. I told him that it’s nothing compared to Canada. He then introduced us to Maher, who will be our driver for the next thee days, until we cross the border to Israel, or as they call it here, “The Holy Land”. Maher is very friendly, and chatted with us on our 45 minute drive from the airport to the hotel about Jordan and other things. He has a brother who lives in Vancouver, but he has never been. He pointed out different things, like the fields of olive trees that would produce world renown olive oil in October, or the government buildings, that sort of blended in with the other white buildings on the road. It was hard to get a sense of what Amman is like from inside a car, but I did catch glimpses of some women selling fruit on the side of the highway, and every once and a while a beautiful minaret would appear from its surrounding white, square buildings. Already, I can tell that Jordan lacks the chaos that I found in Morocco, but is nowhere near as serene and calm as Oman. It’s something completely new, and I can’t wait to explore it!
Once at the hotel, we were introduced to a United Travel agent, who went over our itinerary with us, and gave us some contact information. After that, we went up to our room, where I’m sitting now, enjoying way too much of this food while Dad is at the gym!
No pictures yet, but I’ll get working on it first thing tomorrow.