We only slept like 3-4 hours, but i must say i woke up fresh! the scenery, weather and fresh mountain’s air were all so incredible to miss!
We took a taxi to the entrance of Petra, the distance is not too far, but the village of Wadi Mussa (actually, all of Jordan) is very hilly so it needs a strong car (or legs) .
On the entrance, our guide book said that the tickets for non-jordanians is 21JD(30$), i went to the guy selling the tickets, he instantly recognized that am Egyptian from my accent, he told me that he was in Egypt a few months ago, and asked me how much is the ticket for the Cairo Tower is, i didn’t know exactly, but i thought like 10LE or something. He answered that this was for Egyptians only, for foreigners they charged 10x the amount.
He then gave me 1JD(1.5$) tickets for Jordanians, giving me a VERY good lesson in hospitality, and showing me how we abuse our Arab fellows. ( I was SO HAPPY! i just saved like 450LE)
Going into Petra, we were amazed of how clean it is!!! waste bins everywhere, people cleaning and removing horses feces!!!
Before arriving to the main treasury in Petra, you have to walk for like 20-30 mins, then you go into a small alley and the facade of the treasury starts to appear, there are no words to describe how that looked like
The main treasury
Can you really imagine that people actually dig that into a mountain? something that size! in all these places! what did they have in mind? what was their motive to do something like this?
Anyway, we finished the day there, after walking a distance of almost 20KM(maybe more!), offcourse, after all this walking in the sand and mountains, were buried under the dust.
We went back to the hotel, where i called for a turkish bath! a chauffeur came to the hotel to take to the bath.
I went inside, changed my cloth, some nice guy came to me and told me to go inside the steam(sauna) room as much as i like, every once in a while when i get too hot and can’t breath, go outside, take a quick FROZEN COLD shower and go back in until i cannot handle it any longer
After 30 mins of repeating that, i was refreshed already but i had enough, i called for the guy, he came in, took me to another room, had this weird glove that looked like sand paper in his hands, and started to scrub every inch of my body, at first, i didn’t feel comfortable at all(i felt it was a bit…uhmm…..gay) but on second thoughts it was okay. so i just relaxed and let the guy do his work, he took of my body *A LOT* of layers of dead skin! i couldn’t believe all this was actually on me!
He then poured hot water on me, followed by a massage, then (“طقطقة الظهر و الرقبة و المفاصل والصوابع”), he poured more water and told me am done, i then went and took a normal shower, had a cup of tea with herbs and the chauffeur took me back to the hotel (all at the cost of 20JD)
I must say i never felt i was so clean like that day! i was so refreshed, i even forgot about how tired am I and that i can’t even lift myself over my feet. if you’ve never had a Turkish bath, you’ve never been clean!
We had a walk in the village of Wadi Mussa, ate some food in the street looking over the mountains at night
We were supposed to catch a bus at 4:00am going to Amman, after a day that long, we couldnt wake up in time offcourse i woke up on some annoying person honking on the horn in the street, to realize that it’s 5:00am and that’s the bus driver. Long story short, the guy didn’t wait for us and left.
We found another bus going to Amman later, i wasn’t fascinated by Amman at all, it seemed very dull and boring, we didn’t stop there much, it was just a stop on our way to the fame Jerash! The bus dropped us in the bus station where we had to switch for the bus going to Jerash.
Saleh 3afana & Sons
After some waiting time, the bus moved, 30 minutes later, the bus stopped, in the middle of no where we had a flat tire and the driver did not have a spare tire!!!
So we had to stay in the desert waiting for help.
We were planning to have breakfast in Jerash, but after the accident, we started to open some Tuna Cans as we were starving! it tasted great actually!
We had a chat with the bus driver, who seemed to be VERY knowledgeable about Arabic Poems, he kept reciting old poems (شعر جاهلى) in perfect Arabic, this was one of his poems, that seemed very suitable on me:
ان حظي كدقيق فوق شـــــــــوك نثروه *** ثم قالــــــــوا لحفاة يوم ريح اجمعوه
صعب الأمر عليهم قلت يا قوم إتركوه *** إن من أشقاه ربي كيف أنتم تسعدوه
After 30 mins in the burning sun, we were called by other passengers, another smaller bus stopped to give us a ride. The driver was freaked out and very worried to be seen giving strangers a ride, as this bus is for police or military(don’t remember) use only, if the guy got caught, he would be punished severly… but he still done it, and wouldn’t take any money!!! (مش بقولوكوا جدعان و كدة!!)
The guy dropped us off in the center of Jerash city (it’s not that big), we had a lot of bags as you can see from the picture above. We couldn’t find any taxi available, few minutes later, we hitched a truck to take us to the monuments, the guy was very glad to drop us off there for free!(أنا قلت إيه؟أنت فاكر نفسك فى مصر ولا إيه)
Jerash is full of roman monuments and looks like they are revamping the whole place Jerash is also the place where they make the famous Music Festival.
We went to the Roman Chariots show, it was very nice, the dresses and equipment they used were not in plastic, people actually performed the show with حماس not like they do it in the Pharaonic Village (we paid 5JD only and not 10JD fees for foreigners)
Finishing the show, we wandered around the roman ruins, we visited the Jerash Theatre, musical stones and a few other places, then we jumped into a microbus for a small ride to the bus station.
From the bus station we took another bus to Irbid where we took a taxi from there to Damascus\Syria.
Bus from Jerash to Irbid
Views on the way to Irbid
Taxis that go from Irbid to Damascus
4500 Syrian Lira, after exchanging a 100 USD bill
Border crossing to Syria went VERY smoothly and didn’t take more than 15 minutes
Before getting the syrian VISA, the first impression you get when you arrive to Syria, is the pictures of Bashar and Hafez el Assad, i must say that at first, this was very unbeleivable, but i asked many people and there are ALOT of people who actually LOVE the president so much and many other do not HATE him!!! which is a weird concept to me in Arab country, specially like Syria!!! anyway, the crossing was NOT beruocratic at all! actually it was very easy.
The trip from Irbid to Damascus didn’t take more than 2 hours.
I must say, my first impression in Damascus was this:
Me in Souq el Hamidiyah a few hours after arriving to Damas!
To be continued….