|One of the nicest view along the highway, road to Dead Sea|
|Watching Sunset in Dead Sea, later am dipping in and let myself float|
|While on the road, bump into a lorry full of friendly smiles|
If God let me having 3 wishes, I’ve already know what I want to wish for without taking too much time thinking. First, to be born and living in Istanbul and owns part of city’s landscape. Second, to be born as Balinese with all the good heart and wonderful craftsmanship's talents and the third, will be born during Byzantine era to experience and be part of great architectural in human history.
Overwhelming what to expect, am bit shocked to learn that Amman is not far from Cairo (note; my apologies to my kind-hearted Egyptian friends), it’s dirty and the first thing, you’ll smell urine everywhere. This is aint cats & dogs, it’s belong to man. For lonely traveler and lady, brace yourself, somewhere while you’re wandering around, they ‘ll be couples of men unzip their pants and do their business. Don’t be scared (obviously they aren’t a flasher or molester) and don’t be too excited (because nothing to see, it’s very fast, zip down, zip up). But the good point, safer than Cairo, so don’t worry to walk alone. The most they’ll greet you “Welcome to Jordan”. See, here’s the trick, give them your amazing smile and say “Salam”, next thing you know, they’ll offer you mint tea :O)
In downtown Amman, the interesting place to visit; Roman Theatre and The Citadel (the scant remains of another Roman’s and from up there you may see a similar landscape of Istanbul with Ottoman houses resting on hill steep. But the best part, you may not want to miss the Islamic contemporary art scenes at Darat al-funan. This foundation was founded by Mr. Khalid Shoman, architect and art lover. It’s on top of Omar Al-Khattab road and exhibition held in old bungalow facing nice view of Amman downtown. You may have to hike up but no worries as the surface is not corbel, so it’ll be fast and less pressure on your steps. Remember this, “the green door”. The day that I went supposed to be closed prior to Eid-Adha but am fortunate enough (with my amazing smile) informed them that I came all the way from Malaysia and read about how amazing this art foundation has done so far…they even gave me a private tour (you may have to pay for admission fee for daily visit) but again because of Eid, went inside courtesy of the host. Hence, to show my appreciation I bought the “collective artworks book” as souvenir for myself;op
The most fascinating artwork is done by Ms Catherine “de’ France” (she’s French lady, so I give her that last name;). She’s a digital photographer. What interesting is her chosen subject of “a study of burqa woman”. It is so well composed and digitalized that I wont dare taking any pixs. afraid I might plagiarized her masterpiece. So, instead I let her works stay in my mind for few days, to be very honest I still keep thinking about it tho.
Then heading to north, is Jerash. There are some similarity with Citadel only Jerash is in bigger scale township. It is hard to explain, guess better to view those pixs that I’ve taken. Tho, some people might wondering why I took most of these pixs in B&W which might be monotonous or tasteless in colours (heck I don’t actually care what people thought, as usual just follow my heart), dearest friends and bloggers, perhaps by end of this “pixtravelog” you’ll understand the reason why I choose to shot in B&W. Perhaps it'll gives you goosebump...
My worth advise, please avoid yourself to stop at Mardaba. It is famous for mosaic no doubt, and what I’ve expected is some mosaic restoration works and mosaic art class but ended up, caught in tourist trap. Again, do not buy anything here, the price is way too high. Take my word. However, they have couples of nice cafes here. If you still want to admire or atleast pretending as mosaic art lover, you may afterwards hangouts at “Dardasheh”. The sandwich is mouthwatering. And here, same as in Istanbul they’ll serve you beer or any others alcohol drink anytime you want. And if you’re into guys with machineries and sleeves tattoos, you will enjoy Ayola café, where most bikers taking break from their road x-peditions.
Some weeks ago, I wrote a poem. It’s about me & gravity. I’ve some issues with gravity because at that time am feeling bit down, felt like I’m a sunken ship and missing someone. So, as I’ve the opportunity to go against gravity, I figure why not I went to the lowest point of earth. And spend sunset there. Trust me, dipping yourself in Dead Sea is very calm and almost feel like you’re flying. If there’s not many people around, am sure I’ll be floating naked there… But beware, you cant swim there, once you tried, you’ll swallow irregular amount of salt that all of sudden make the whole x-perience not fun at all.
My last stopping point of this road trip is amazing & astoundingly Petra. I’ve spend almost 3 days & 2 nights here. And for 2 days, am hiking the rocky mountain of Petra to find myself so small, so down to earth and so peaceful. All at the same time. When am reaching both highest peaks of Petra (the south & west of the ancient city) all I can muttered was “how can you not believe in God”. I sat quietly there trying to hear what the mountain has to say, to sing and to cry about…It is…fucking amazing! I’ve covered half of the rocky mountain side on my first day (started bit late on my first hiking around 9am) then with my built-in competitive nature and I saw lots of senior citizen climbing up there earlier (even some of them with the help of 2 walking sticks) I felt so ashamed. So, the next day, at 6am started hiking to Monastery (the highest peak & the end of the earth). And am reaching there as one of the earliest. While am went down, I saw a group of American guys (as we’ve met yesterday also while hiking the other parts) resting at one of the checkpoint, I gave them an evil and victorious smile “I’m first dudes”.
When you’re traveling on your own without tour guidos, they’ll always regard you as journalist. And the best part is, they’ll show and willing to give you everything…even something that you will never ask for…I’ve got someone do me back massages with Dead Sea oilment also courtesy of the host. Plus with a cup of mint tea for rejuvenate after massages. This happened in Petra, my advise pay visit to souvenir shop “land of peace”, you may find your peace. Go there and something x-tra ordinary will be waiting for you. Amazing hospitality and friends.
This trip, I have my hat off to westerners, they’re definitely travelers not a tourist. Guess, although not the right statistic just assumption, Caucasian made of 80% of visitors here. As for Asian, I don’t hv to worry counting my toes. Asian is rarely found here, I believe in Asian’s Travel Dictionary, traveling is all about shopping and main attractions very less on exploring. How amazed to see couples of travelers around 60 to almost 80 years old still have the energy to hike up the steep rocks. And amusing too when they’ve kept reminding each other…”hold still honey, you’re too shaking while taking pictures”…”I’ll be fine darling, watch your steps”...
|View of Downtown Amman - where the journey begins|
|The highest peak of Petra "the ancient city"|
|do visit this shop in Petra- you'll be surprised|
|"a bedoiun jawahir" in Madaba- Baba has made me special bracelet|
|a peep to Jerash "the Roman City" in the middle of nowhere|
|along the road, there's no tall trees, shrubs but this cutest creatures|
|breakfast in Petra, a cup of arabian coffee with 2 eggs|