Today kind of went a little sideways out of the gate. I got up late and wandered downstairs for the big breakfast. Hey, its vacation, right? After a suitable wait, I made a call to the Jett Bus service desk to check on a bus to Petra tomorrow. The response was; yes we are running tomorrow, and sorry it’s already full. He told me I could go on a standby list if I wanted.
At this point, I paused. Every option i could think of was bad. Check out and no bus, stuck in Amman. Extend stay plus cancel hotel in Wadi Musa plus day trip from Amman, supper bad money deal. Get a private transfer from Amman to Wadi Musa and back, expensive but maybe.
I stopped at the taxi stand in the lobby and quizzed the three gentlemen there. They seemed to like the standby and then private transfer idea. Money is money, so they say.
I decided to check the standby list later in the day. So, I caught a cab down to the Citadel and went site seeing. The Mount of the Citadel sits in the middle of Amman, and dates back to the Bronze Age, though the Romans are best known for being here. The site is sparse, but worth the time. I enjoyed it quite well.
From the Citadel, I walked down to the valley bottom and over to the Roman Theater. The Theater is well preserved and in good repair. I’m betting that it still gets use in modern times. The wood stage floor was in good repair. Due to the holiday, the Theater was kind of overrun with loud shouting groups of kids, throwing water bottles down the stairways to see if they would bust open. It brought the Guards out to yell several times and drove me onward.
As a side note, the city of Amman is founded upon seven hilltops. The terrain is surprisingly steep and changing. You should not look at google maps and assume the you are strolling down a semi-level grade. You, most certainly, are not. The streets are twisting and turning affair that constantly double back on themselves. Between the streets are small sets of stairs ways that allow you to go semi-straight up and down.
The downhill sections are as demanding as the uphill section of the city. It is really designed for taking a taxi or driving a rental car.
From the Roman Theater, I made my way on foot across town to where google maps said the Harley Davidson shop was located. It was not. Also, the up and down steep sections of twisty roads and steps almost gave me Heat Stroke! By the time I found a corner shove to buy water, I was about done for. Half a liter of water and a shady corner led to a wait for a passing taxi. Taxi guy spoke no English. I speak no Arabic. Nevertheless, I made it back to the hotel without a lot of problems. He did super gouge me, however! Got screwed by the cabbie. Think I was back in NY or something.
Air condition and more water have made the heat issue pass. I have to stop and remind myself sometimes that I’m not 20 anymore. I survived. That’s what matters.
A cross-section of Amman, in the form of some walking around pictures.
PM follow up. Just got off the phone with the Jett Bus people. I have a seat reserved for tomorrow. Things are looking okay. I’m off to have a celebratory beer!
Keep after it. Keep the dream alive!
While you’re at it, get out there and see stuff!