Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Love Amman

This is the view from just one direction... the city is huge.  

I ventured outside the hotel today and
had a pretty great time!  I went to the Citadel, or Jabal al-Qal'a, which is one of the seven hills that originally made up Amman.  (I didn't have a guide or guidebook, so I'm getting all my info from Wikipedia after the fact... that's why this post is strangely informative.)  Along with having the most incredible views of the city (which is massive, by the way) it's one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited places with settlements going back 7,000 years (thanks wiki).

The Temple of Hercules at the top of the hill.  And yeah, some sort of hand statue in front of those other columns.  

A scroll written on leather.  
There have been loads of excavations uncovering artifacts from the Neolithic period and beyond.  Pretty impressive, no?  There are also lots of ruins from different inhabitants that are amazing to see standing in the middle of the city.  The first national Archaeological Museum is up there as well, housing many of the artifacts from the various excavations, as well as stuff from all over the country and surrounding areas.  It's small, but has enough cool stuff that I wandered around for about an hour.  My favorite things in the museum were the Dead Sea Scrolls... of course it took me a while to realize which were the scrolls and which the  reproductions, but I got there eventually.   

The reproduction is the one on the wall, the actual scroll is made up of all the green pieces.  

So that was my adventure for the day.  Everyone here has been unbelievably nice to me, and I only had a few groups of locals come talk to me and take pictures... and they didn't follow me when I said goodbye!  That never happens!  The taxi driver from the hotel told me Jordan is a very safe country and Amman a very clean and safe city.  He said "Thanks be to God" when I told him I liked his city and country.  He was really kind of unnaturally excited about it.  I think maybe they want to spread the word about how great it is.  Well, I'm doing my part!  My Internet is really slow at the moment, so I'll end here, but never fear, I have TONS more pictures that I'll add later.
The Umayyud governor's palace from around the 8th century.

Though to be one of the first sculptures in the world from around 6500 BC 
The girl who took my camera and starting shooting random pictures.

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