I somehow ended up in the Jordanian capital, Amman yesterday. I was planning on taking a bus into downtown but when I found out they closed the central bus station and moved it away from the city center, I decided to bite the bullet and take a taxi to my hotel.
A couple of things I noticed on the way:
We passed a truck that had a big Taliban flag sticker on the side. I guess that’s their equivalent of our “War on Terror” bumper stickers. Didn’t get a pic though.
Anyone associated with the King gets to put emergency lights in his car. If he flashes them, legally you HAVE to give way. It’s good to be the king.
I got woken up in the morning to the first call for prayer, which seems to be at 4:30am. Which after listening it for a minute didn’t really bother me much. The rhythm was eerie yet soothing. It kind of reminded me of an opera since, even though I didn’t understand the words, it seemed to be telling a story. It lasted about 15 minutes or so.
After all of that I got ready and hopped on a bus to Petra.
The Petra complex is BIG, much bigger than I first thought. You can spend up to an hour walking up steps carved out of rock to get to a single building. Of course there was the option of riding a camel or donkey around the site, which I regretfully didn’t take. And now, some pictures:
The Treasury facade is the single most iconic structure in Petra, and it’s the first building you see upon entering Petra city. It absolutely dominates the view.
Another significant structure is the amphitheater. It was originally built during the Nabataean period but was expanded during Roman times to accommodate the gladiator games.
The Monastery (Jabal Al-Deir) required about an hour climb to get to, but it was worth it. It’s facade was even larger than the Treasury.
Qasr Al-Bint was a Nabataean temple, and the last freestanding building (ie not carved into rock) still standing.
I’m planning on taking a bus to Damascus, Syria tomorrow morning. Hopefully in the next few days I can have pics from Syria up. It depends on my ability to find a decent internet connection, of course.