Before going to Jordan we were told by several travelers to skip Amman. Apparently the Traffic is bad and there is more to see outside of Amman. Two people told us that Amman was not to be missed. “A little Greece,” “Charming culture.” We opted to risk it and head into Amman’s center. Though, we cabbed to our hotel in the center, and only rented a car once we were headed out. It was a good decision I think. The roads are a bit confusing.
We really loved our time spent in Amman. It had a charming hustle and bustle. We walked along the streets then BAM! ancient ruins, right there!
- Roman Theatre right in the center of town. Apparently they still occasionally do shows here. The stairs were a bit treacherous! (RARE! A picture of Matt!)
On our first evening, we signed up for a cooking class at Beit Sitti. A family run business in a charming house. This was our first introduction to how adorable Amman is.
These are the walking directions from our hotel to the cooking class. Great 8 minutes. Upon walking: STRAIGHT UP! some of these little turns are actually staircases. Little narrow stairs to expedite your trek from street to street. Many of the stairs are painted and decorated.
The location of the cooking class was an old family home. We learned that Amman is built on 7 mountains. (Hence the 7 pointed star on the Jordanian flag) The charming buildings, narrow roads and stairs were reminiscent of Mallorca a bit, and maybe what I imagine Santorini to be. (Donkey’s included, but not in Amman anyone…I don’t think)
I loved this art work on the stairs right outside the house.
The cooking class was lovely. We made a traditional rice and chicken dish, a salad, pita bread, hummus and a nest like dessert. My favorite was the smoked rice. They put charcoal in the rice pot to smoke it, then added almonds and raisins to it. The chicken also had a delicious sauce. We had rice and chicken almost every evening (once it was lamb and rice) and I didn’t tire of the different flavors and sauces.
Below is a utensil chandelier and a plate wall. I took these because I think my mom would like them. And of course, the food.
This was a great night to introduce Jordanian food. It was delicious. For breakfast everyday there was hummus. Everyday. It’s possible I could tire of hummus:)
After our evening in Amman we headed to Petra, but we came back for our final night and day. In the evening we sought out the “hip” street with some cute shops, restaurants and roof top hangs. This made us love Amman even more! I love an up and coming area.
Our last day we went to the Amman Citadel: various ruins that sat on top of yet another mountain. It was amazing how many times that area changed power. There were ruins from so many different centuries. Maybe if I was more fluent in history I could go into detail. I’m just going to spout words like Roman, Byzantine, pre 1st century. I hope that suffices.
Here is a view of part of Amman. You can see the Roman theatre down the hill. If you want a wider view, and view of the citadel, check out this panorama that Matt took. (Click the circle arrow in the top right corner. Then, hold your mouse to move around on a computer.) Panorama
Above all, something I really enjoyed about Amman was the walkability of the city. It was a fun place to stroll and window shop.
Hopefully I’ll be back soon for more Jordan…and more UAE. I’ve got some local topics queued up.