Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jordan: Amman City

I traveled to Amman for the spring break to visit friends, to play the tourist, and to take a much needed break from KAUST and Saudi Arabia. This has been one of my favorite vacations so far: Amman city is full of life, color, and music, a place where cultures from the east and west can mingle with relative ease. In Amman I saw a women in full black Abaya - Saudi style - walking and talking with a friend in jeans and a t-shirts showing... her hair! This mutual tolerance impressed me. The people of Amman are friendly, the food is amazing, and this hybrid laid-back culture doesn't take itself too seriously.

People have been living in this region for thousands of years. An old Roman temple at the top of a mountain and an amphitheater in the heart of downtown are hard to miss.

The weather was great - much cooler than Jeddah of course - and we even got a little rain! The green grass and trees blanketing the landscape on the outskirts of Amman were almost overpowering. I haven't seen that many green and growing things since leaving the USA last August.

I found Amman to be the perfect vacation spot. Its Roman ruins are not as impressive as Europe's, nor are its beaches as nice as Egypt's, or its scenic vistas as majestic as in the USA, or China, or Norway. But the quality of life is good, transportation is convenient and cheap, the food is amazing, the streets are safe, the people are more than wiling to sit and drink tea and chat with visitors, and there are more than enough places to sit, rest, and enjoy a little peace.


  1. Yay! Glad you liked it! :) They just had big celebrations last year for their 100th anniversary- I don't know if there still is anything around from that. The museum with King Hussein's cars is also pretty cool if you have time for that :) (hopefully you haven't left yet!)
    If you can get north at all you can fine more green landscape and Jerash is I believe the largest complete Roman ruins (or something like that). Ajloun is also a pretty cool crusader-era castle. Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea are pretty cool as well and only about 45 min or so drive from Amman!

  2. Sounds fun! Now I want to go!