To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries
- Aldous Huxley

Monday, 5 August 2013

Day 10 & 11 - The country that Michael built

It was nice to sleep in an air-conditioned hotel after one night in that god-damned hostel that sounds like the inside of a bass drum half the night. But, of course, that didn't last seeing as we had to get up at 5am to get our tired butts to the airport.
We caught a taxi in the humid morning and it took around 30 minutes to get there. After arguing with a taxi driver who "didn't have 10 shekels" but then he happened to come across a whole bunch of them somewhere in his taxi, we loaded up and checked in, only to be questioned thoroughly on why we were in the United Arab Emirates, what we did there, where we stayed, how long we were there fore, where we are going now, how long we were in Israel for, what colour our underwear was and if we received any packages from strangers (because that's what we do).

We finally got through the long process of getting our bags checked, our passport checked, our bags checked again and boarder our Air Jordanian flight to Amman. The flight was somewhat smooth and it took only 30 minutes before we reached Amman.
Like everything else at the airport today, our luggage took it's time to get to us, but that was ok since they have free WiFi and was happy to see the Storm score. When our luggage arrived we'd found the lock on the main section of Danni's bag had been cut off/broken into but nothing was taken.
Very disconcerting.

With our luggage in tow, we exited the airport and found our driver holding a sign with our name, and feeling like superstars we were lead to his car (which was very un-superstar-like). He drove us about 25 - 30 minutes out of Amman airport into Madaba.

Madaba is similar to Israel in that it is pretty dirty, the people love treating the streets like a rubbish bin, but still retains the ancient style. We checked into our pretty nice room, with the smallest bathroom ever invented and went for a walk around the city.
Initially we went the wrong way that lead to no where but come across a couple of American and Jordanian girls who took us into the city centre and we got our bearings. Madaba is a pretty nice place, once you look past the rubbish, and the people are really friendly except everyone loves beeping their horns. It's pretty damn annoying.
We stopped off for lunch and had a delicious Chicken Fajita, with chips and a drink for a grand total of $5 AU, Danni had hot dog, also with chips and a drink for the same price. We were in our glee to see prices so cheap after the fairly expensive Israel.
After lunch we grabbed a bottle of water ($1.20 AU) and headed back to the hotel to do the laundry and have a 'nap' which ended up going for 3 hours. With the sun setting, we decided to try something else for dinner and found the Queen Ayola Restaurant which had won some awards with tripadvisor for their food.

They did not disappoint. I ordered a burger and Danni had a Chicken Zinger (basically a hot chicken roll) with chips and a drink, again for $5 AU as well as Halloum Cheese and chicken wings. Absolutely delicious.

With dinner finished, we headed back to our hotel but stopped off to get some Jordanian desserts, some sort of cake drizzled in lemon syrup (freakin' nice!) and a Almond, coconut and lemon slice. Danni loved it, I didn't mind it but preferred the other one.

The one of the left is heaven drizzled in lemon sauce.

All in all, a nice, relaxing day. The weather was awesome, we got to explore Madaba and got some errands done before we start checking out the extended area of Jordan.

Day 11 - Bad news and Shawarma

Awoke to another sunny Jordanian day, not a cloud in the sky except those in Egypt. We received the dreaded email that our Egyptian tour was not going ahead.
We had some options, but it’s a pain to get it done.

Let the fun times begin.

We had breakfast and decided the options we could do and finally, after about 3 hours of searching and planning we have decided to stay a couple more days in Aqaba and do some diving in the Red Sea, head back to Amman and then jump on a tour through Turkey on the 15th, head back to Egypt for a couple of days, hopefully to see the Pyramids and then on to Kenya on our original flight (which also has changed).

The tour is booked, now we just need to book the flight from Amman to Turkey and then Turkey to Egypt.

Aside from the tour planning and the annoying attempts to get through to G Adventures to finalise the tour, we relaxed the day as best we could and had another awesome lunch, I had a kebab sandwich and then for dinner I had a Shewarma.

Tony Stark was right on the money wanting to try Shewarma’s, they are freakin’ amazing. The one I had was chicken in a grilled Turkish roll. A-maz-ing.
We also had Sheaklesh, a spicy salad dish and a pastry stuffed with shredded beef.
Also, Jordanian’s know how to make a pastry. We stopped off to get some lunch for tomorrow (pretzel for me) and also got to taste a doughball dunked in some sort of honey, kind of like a greek doughnut and another dough stick covered in honey, coconut and other tasty stuff.
Unfortunately they ran out of the cake drenched in lemon, but we did get a tray of cakes for about 1JD.

Seriously, the country is worth visiting for the food alone.  

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