Attending a Professional Development Training
18.11.2017 - 23.11.2017 20 °C
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.