Sunday 11th October
It seemed to be a mere blink before the alarm went off and it was 3.45am an time to make our way down to the Old City Square where our taxi will be picking us up. Our driver Ariel managed to get right down to the Square which meant only a 20m walk if that with the cases.
Although Jewish, he was not happy with the Orthodox Jews already wandering the area dressed in their ritual suits and hats – he called them penguins. Like most non-orthodox Jews, he just wants to live in peace and speaks of both Palestinians and the Orthodox jews as idiots.
It took just over an hour to get to Ben Gurion airport, through security and passport control and ready for breakfast and the all important coffee. Did not have to wait too long before our flight on Royal Jordanian Airlines was boarding and we were up in the air. It was even less time and we were landing at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman and being met by our tour company who organised our Jordanian visas and waited for our luggage. We had seen our three cases coming off the plane when we were waiting to disembark but for some reason only Maureen and John’s cases came out on the carousel. We waited and waited for maybe 20 minutes and our guide eventually went to airport services with my luggage tag trying to find my bag. The staff insisted that all bags from the Tel Aviv flight had been delivered. Just by chance we noticed my lovely bright pink bag popping out of another shute with luggage from Egypt. Naughty bag taking a sidetrip without permission.
With all bags accounted for, our guide took us to carpark and introduced us to our driver/guide for the next 5 days Mr. Raed. He has a great sense of humor as he stood by a very tiny little car in the carpark as if this was our transport!!!! Fortunately, we had noticed the nice shiny silver minivan parked opposite. Had a bit of a giggle.
It was way too early to book into our hotel so we drove into Amman Downtown where Raed took us to the Citadel overlooking East Amman. This was a Greco Roman settlement with the main building being the temple to Hercules. Basem hadn’t taken us to see this 10 years ago when we visited so it was good to see something different. We spent around a hour wandering there and through the museum with artefacts from there and Madaba in the south.
After this it was down to the Greco Roman theatre which is still used for festivals and concerts today. Still in great condition too. Took a drive through the souk area with the hustle and bustle of shops before Raed thought we looked very tired and it was time to check into the hotel.
It was lovely to have a shower and lay down for a couple of hours. Had to give our son in law Basem a call. He is in Amman at the moment as his mother has been diagnosed with suspected Ovarian Cancer and today had a procedure to withdraw fluid from her abdomen to biopsy it to see if it has spread beyond the ovaries. Quite a worrying time for Basem and daughter Lani. We declined meeting up with him today as it is more important that he be with his sisters and their mum while she is recovering. We will catch up tomorrow afternoon hopefully. He sounds very stressed and thinks he will extend his return ticket until next week until they have results of biopsy and treatment plan in place.
We decided upon a quiet dinner down stairs in the restaurant and then an early night to try to catch up on our sleep in view of our busy days ahead driving from one end of Jordan to the next. Quite exciting to be back in Jordan again after 10 years.
So tired so Goodnight All