I left Jerusalem on Thursday morning, finding my way to a shared minivan (Sherut) service operated by Al Nijmeh taxi company. I was relieved to see other tourists taking the same journey, particularly a young Korean lady who knew how to speak Arabic. We waited about 15 minutes for several other passengers to join us, as the Sherut only proceeds once there are enough passengers to make the trip worthwhile.
The Sherut took us to the Israeli border check point where we lined up to pay for and obtain the official exit from Israel. Then we boarded another bus that took us to the Jordan check point. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I just waited in line patiently, and did as instructed. Luckily, the whole border crossing process went fairly smoothly. After exiting the Jordanian customs office, I was offered a cab ride to my hotel in Amman for 30 Jordanian dollars, and I quickly accepted as this would get me to the hotel much faster than taking a bus.
After settling in to the hotel, I took an evening stroll in the nearby area as suggested by a staff person in the hotel.
On Friday morning, I got up very early to go to check out a couple historic sites including the Citadel where there are Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim buildings (~700 AD). It's really interesting how so many different societies valued Amman as a significant location. I also went to check out a large and very well preserved Roman amphitheater. Imagine seeing a performance here!!
In the early afternoon, I managed to escape the heat by going to Abdali mall where I found a huge supermarket. Every time I travel, I go check out the supermarkets to see what tasty foods I can try, and whether there are any specialty foods that I can't get at home. I find this also gives me a sense of the local tastes and foods that are abundant in the area. I saw over 10 varieties of honey and also many different kinds of dates. I picked up some pears, strawberries, and a pistachio cream dessert for an afternoon snack.
Later that day, I met up with the guide and the group from G Adventures who were on the same tour of Jordan. The guide, Zuhair, gave us a quick orientation, then took us to a local fast food restaurant in the city centre to enjoy falafel, homous, baba ganoush, and pita. We had to wait until the evening Ramadan prayers were finished before eating. There was a festive atmosphere on the streets as fiends and families were gathering to have a meal together after fasting the whole day.