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"Welcome to Jordan!"

Attending a Professional Development Training

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Downtown Amman

Downtown Amman

Amman is located on seven hills. They are represented on the flag of Jordan by the seven-point star. As I found out, Amman could be divided into two parts: Eastern Amman, the old conservative and traditional one, with narrow streets; and Western Amman with its comfortable neighborhoods, trendy cafes and bars, impressive collections of art galleries, including modern art. I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality road leading from Queen Alia International Airport to our hotel. The cleanliness of the streets and numerous shopping malls impressed me as well.

We have arrived to Queen Alia International Airport, Amman

We have arrived to Queen Alia International Airport, Amman


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A view from a hill in downtown Amman

A view from a hill in downtown Amman


I remember walking along Derar Ben Al-Aswar Street, King Faisal Street, Al-Baouniya Street and many others. Al-Baouniya Street was called after Aisha Al-Baouniya, a famous 16th-century female poet, who became a prominent Islam figure and a great Sufi theologian. This street leads to Paris Circle that must be an interesting neighborhood. Unfortunately, I found out about it after my walk downtown. Some other day, perhaps.

A view from a hill in downtown Amman

A view from a hill in downtown Amman


A view from a hill in downtown Amman

A view from a hill in downtown Amman


You may find walking along the old city streets extremely uncomfortable since all the time you have to go up, and then go down. Besides, the stairs may not be represented on the map. In addition, you will be surprised to see that the stairs warning inscriptions are all in Arabic only. Find a decent map at www.cartogiraffe.com and continue your exploration.

Exploring downtown Amman

Exploring downtown Amman

Amman is rightfully called “The City of Stairs”. When I walked with a simple Google map (without the indication of stairs), I missed the descent to Omar Al-Khayam Street on the way to Hashemite Plaza, and, as a result, I had to walk a mile or two more.

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I took several pictures from Derar Ben Al-Aswar Street, where I found myself. Had I taken the right way, I would not have enjoyed those views from the huge hill.

Exploring downtown Amman

Exploring downtown Amman

All streets are narrow and serpentine. They are often located from 50 to 100 meters higher or lower from one another. The foundations of some houses are often at the level of the roofs of others. The buildings are all standard: they consist of three or four floors with pieces of armature sticking out of the roof. In other words, if you are pressed for time and want to see many things on your way, hire a cab, and you will never regret about it. Amman taxis are among the cheapest in the country, so you can easily use them to move around the city. The fare is usually 2 dinars. If you want to make a trip to the city outskirts, it is better to use the services of the city buses. I saw Bus 442 passing along Prince Muhammad Street. However, you have to know where the bus stops are and what the bus route is. The bus drivers do not necessarily speak English, except “Welcome, sir” and “Sorry, sir”. Therefore, you have to speak some Arabic to be able to ask a driver. I often addressed passers-by on my way to the Old Town, asking about the way. Everybody was very friendly, even though they spoke little English. One thing was clearly expressed: many of them said “Welcome to Jordan!”

Downtown Amman

Downtown Amman

In short, whenever you come to Amman, feel free to plunge into its atmosphere of a vibrant, modern, and contrasting city that invariably meets its guests with warmth and oriental cordiality.

Exploring downtown Amman

Exploring downtown Amman

Posted by Vic_IV 06:06 Archived in Jordan Tagged jordan downtown amman al-balad_district Comments (1)

Al-Balad District

Downtown Amman

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At the Roman Theater

At the Roman Theater

Downtown Amman, or Al-Balad District ("Wasat Al Balad"), is one of historic areas of Amman where you can see the famous ancient Citadel built on a hill, the ruins of Hercules Temple nearby, the Roman Amphitheater with the Jordan Folklore Museum. I only managed to visit the Roman Amphitheater ("Al Mudaraj Al Rumani") and the Jordanian Folklore Museum.

At the entrance to the Roman Theater

At the entrance to the Roman Theater

I was glad to see the museum exhibits from the large collection of traditional costumes, household devices, and musical instruments. The entrance fee of 2 dinars includes the visit to the ancient amphitheatre and to the museum.

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As the Amphitheatre entrance plaque explains, the Roman Amphitheater (it is simply called the Roman Theater) was built in 138 – 161 A.D. during the reign of Antoninus Pius, one of the Five Good Emperors, Pater Patriae, “Father of the Fatherland” (139 A.D.).

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At the Jordanian Folklore Museum

At the Jordanian Folklore Museum

At the Jordanian Folklore Museum

At the Jordanian Folklore Museum

If you climb the stairs of the Amphitheatre, you can have a breath-taking view of the opposite hill with the Citadel above it. Those seats on top of the amphitheatre were the most prestigious in those ancient times. They say this amphitheatre carved into the mountain has advanced acoustic design. Even today, musical and dance performances are held there.

At the Roman Theater

At the Roman Theater

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You can continue your walk with a guide. I saw one at the entrance to the amphitheatre. He spoke English and offered me a guided tour of the Citadel. I realized that all tours have to be over by sunset, and it was too late to start.

A view from the Roman Amphitheater

A view from the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

About the Roman Theater in Amman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E18YHp4sHC0

The Roman Amphitheater (it is simply called the Roman Theater)

The Roman Amphitheater (it is simply called the Roman Theater)

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

The Roman Amphitheater

The Roman Amphitheater

Here are some pictures of the district that I liked: https://razanmasri.com/travel/jordan/al-balad-downtown-amman/

Approaching the Roman Amphitheater

Approaching the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

At the entrance to the Roman Amphitheater

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Posted by Vic_IV 07:02 Archived in Jordan Tagged jordan downtown amman al-balad_district Comments (0)

The blue-domed mosque

King Abdullah Mosque

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King Abdullah Mosque

King Abdullah Mosque

I passed the blue-domed King Abdullah Mosque on my way to Hashemite Plaza in the Old Town. Then, on the way back, I ventured to pay a visit to this mosque. The entrance was no problem. The door attendant only asks you whether you are a Muslim. If you say you are not, you only have to pay the entrance fee of 2 dinars. The fee covers the entrance to the mosque itself and to the Islamic Museum.

Approaching the mosque

Approaching the mosque

The mosque completed in 1989 attracts from afar with its magnificent blue mosaic dome. Because of this dome, the mosque if often referred to as “the blue mosque”.

Inside King Abdullah Mosque

Inside King Abdullah Mosque

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A volunteer guide, who showed me inside the mosque, said it could accommodate thousands of worshippers for a divine service. Visitors to the mosque are welcomed, but should remember to remove shoes and dress modestly. Since there was no divine service and there were only two or three persons inside, I was allowed to take several pictures.

The Islamic Museum

The Islamic Museum

The huge ceiling of the mosque and its lamps impressed me, as well as the amazing huge red carpet that represented fertile land.

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Islamic Cultural Center

Islamic Cultural Center

After my visit inside the mosque, I decided to go inside the Museum of Islam that is a part of the Islamic Cultural Center. The museum contains a collection of pottery and photographs of King King Abdullah I, who is considered a Martyr King.

Islamic Cultural Center

Islamic Cultural Center

As I found out later, King Abdullah’s Mosque is the only mosque in the city that is open for visitors of any religion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krBX5m6SYW4

A view from King Abdullah Mosque

A view from King Abdullah Mosque

Posted by Vic_IV 22:46 Archived in Jordan Tagged jordan downtown amman al-balad_district Comments (0)

Abdali Area

The New Downtown of Amman

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I liked this sign

I liked this sign

We stayed at The Boulevard Arjaan Hotel located in what they call Abdali Area, the new downtown of Amman. Our rooms were in Entrance 10 of the hotel complex. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu8wgJaWhoc
About Abdali: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHra-XIjz9A&t=31s

A view from our hotel

A view from our hotel

The Boulevard Arjaan Hotel

The Boulevard Arjaan Hotel

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Taking a stroll at the Boulevard

Taking a stroll at the Boulevard

The area around the hotel is full is different stores and hotels. We had our training on the fifth floor and had an access to the top floor terrace, from where we enjoyed a wonderful panorama of the city. We had breakfast at Café Margaux located inside The Boulevard.

"Love Jordan" sign

"Love Jordan" sign

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The full name is the hotel is: The Boulevard Arjaan by Rotana, or simply The Boulevard. It is located at: Rafiq Al Hariri Avenue, Abdali Area, P.O. Box 926495 , Amman 11190, Jordan. Tel:+962 6 520 4444. https://www.rotana.com/arjaanhotelapartments/jordan/amman/theboulevardarjaanbyrotana

A view from our hotel

A view from our hotel

Amman Rotana Hotel is next to our hotel. It is an ultra-modern hotel built recently, an impressive 188-meter-high building, a part of The Abdali Project managed by Rotana Hotels. The Hotel consists of hundreds of luxury rooms, and includes several restaurants, a gym, a spa and a pool deck across the 50th floor. Its floor-to-ceiling windows allow remarkable views of the city. I ventured to take an escalator upstairs, which I was allowed by the receptionists. I took the escalator to the 42th floor to Deck Lounge Bar and took several picturesds of the city from there. Alas, the windows were not clean enough and often interfered with views.

A view from Amman Rotana Hotel

A view from Amman Rotana Hotel

A view from Amman Rotana Hotel

A view from Amman Rotana Hotel

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https://www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/jordan/amman/ammanrotana

The Boulevard

The Boulevard

The Boulevard in the evening

The Boulevard in the evening

Inside a shopping mall at the Boulevard

Inside a shopping mall at the Boulevard

Posted by Vic_IV 22:59 Archived in Jordan Tagged jordan downtown amman al-balad_district Comments (0)

At the Lowest Point on Earth

Visiting the Dead Sea ay Hilton Hotel, Sweimeh

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Visiting Hilton Hotel

Visiting Hilton Hotel

On the last day of our stay, we asked our hosts to hire a taxi to the Dead Sea, which they did for us. Our driver was Abdullah from One Rent a Car Jordan. In addition, our hosts in Amman were kind enough to coordinate with Hilton Hotel that they would let us in and allow seeing the beach provided we arrived in time, well before the sunset, which was not the case.

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HIlton Hotel beach

HIlton Hotel beach

Because of the traffic jam on the outskirts of Amman, we were too late. After long negotiations with the lifeguards on the beach, in the long run, we were allowed to take a quick look at the sea shore. We entered the sea barefooted and felt the super-salty seawater on our hands and faces. Thanks a lot, everybody! We apologized for breaking "the sunset law".

A stopover at the Sea Level Point on the way to the Dea Sea

A stopover at the Sea Level Point on the way to the Dea Sea


Sea Level Point on the way to the Dead Sea

Sea Level Point on the way to the Dead Sea


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I felt a pleasant aura of the place. I thought it would be beneficial for my health to stay at the seashore for a week or so, even if I choose not to swim, or, to be more precise, to float in the sea. After all, there are not many places in the world where you can literally float on the water. Actually, the Dead Sea is the only place that offers tourists such an opportunity.

Visiting Hilton Hotel beach facilities

Visiting Hilton Hotel beach facilities

The Dead Sea is not a big lake: its dimensions are: 80 km long and 14 km wide. The lake is located at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley about 400 m below sea level. The lake is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We made a stopover at the Sea Level Point on the way to the lake. The picture at that place explains to you clearly where you are. The resort is at: Dead Sea Road, Sweimeh, 11953, Jordan; tel. +962-5-349 3000.

Visiting Hilton Hotel

Visiting Hilton Hotel


Visiting Hilton Hotel beach

Visiting Hilton Hotel beach


Posted by Vic_IV 23:42 Archived in Jordan Tagged jordan downtown amman al-balad_district Comments (2)

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