Posts tagged “Amman

Amman and Jerash-Jordan

Posted on February 1, 2012

The Private Half Day Jerash and Amman City Sightseeing Tour provides a dramatic insight into the extraordinary growth of two cities. Amman, the capital of Jordan, formerly known as Philadelphia, exploding from a small, sleepy town into a modern metropolis with 2.4 million people, almost half of the Kingdom’s population; and Jerash, a city of 30,000 at its zenith and one of the most important centres in the former Roman Empire. The tour begins at the blue and white King Abdullah Mosque near the centre of the city and moves on to the up-market district of Abdoun, home to the rich and famous in their beautifully ornate, multi-million dollar houses. You then descend into the downtown area with its bustling shops and street markets before winding your way up to the Citadel,…

Amman-Jordan

Posted on January 31, 2012

I first visited Amman in the winter of 1980.  It was cold, wet and windy and the capital’s 500,000 inhabitants retreated behind the stark concrete walls of their houses and apartments that stretched over the hills surrounding the city. It was relatively small compared with bustling Cairo or Damascus and appeared to have little of their charm, intimate architecture or extensive historical heritage. There were just two international hotels, the Intercontinental and the Holiday Inn, and these were packed with consultants, businessmen and the occasional traveller. Look and you will find a mix of ancient and modern in Amman, Jordan Returning there in 2010, I was shocked by the scale and density of the city with its population now standing at over 2.4 million – almost half that…

The Baptism Site, Dead Sea, Mount Nebo and Madaba-Jordan

Posted on January 31, 2012

The first thing you notice when you drive down from Amman to the Dead Sea is that your ears suddenly pop. That’s hardly surprising when you consider that you are dropping from 780 metres to 423 metres (1118 feet) below sea level, the lowest point on the earth. The second is the sudden change in the landscape. Gone is the sprawling, heavily congested metropolis that Amman has become, home to some 2 million people.  In its place is a landscape of almost biblical proportions with brown, sun-baked hills sweeping down to the rich Jordan Valley below with the West Bank and Jericho shimmering in the distance. Lastly, is the sudden increase in temperature. 30 in Amman rapidly gives way to 45 in the space of little less than an hour. …

Aqaba, Jordan

Posted on January 31, 2012

Think Aqaba. Think Lawrence of Arabia and that wonderful scene in David Lean’s iconic film with Peter O’Toole, in full Arab regalia, astride his camel, shouting ‘tut, tut, tut’ as the Arab tribesmen gallop across the desert toward the unsuspecting Turks, holed up in their impregnable fortress, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba. Or Omar Sharif, making his screen debut, emerging from the shimmering mirage and shooting Lawrence’s manservant dead for daring to take water from his tribe’s well. Shooting a man dead for simply filling his satchel with water would appear abhorrent to the average Westerner, regardless of the time setting. But venture out into the desert around Aqaba at the height of summer when temperatures exceed 122°F (50°C),  and you will understand that water is…