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The third episode: Kerak Castle & Amman.

JORDAN | Friday, 29 April 2016 | Views [243]

After a wonderful time in Petra which was much nicer then I could even expect its time to leave Wadi Musa. My original plan was to go directly to Amman and have a chill out day, food and relax but in the hotel I noticed a way to take a bus to Kerak Castle and another bus from there to Amman. So why dont make the long drive interesting. After checking out and having breakfast I have to wait one hour for the arrenged mini bus who will pick me up at the hotel. Some old special looking minibus stops and I'm the first one on the bus. Its stange that for the next 3 hours to Kerak I'm the only foreinge guy on the bus. I would expect more tourists to take a bus between tourist attractions but no. When I got on the bus I went to sit in the front because I have a better view there. Good choice to it seems. Men sit in front, women sit in the back, thats an important lesson if you visit here, remember that. Nobody seemed to speak a word of english on that bus and no social contact was made but I got the desert views. 3 hours later and some pain in the lowerback and ass I noticed the massive castle on a mountain. Once again very impressive. I paid 5 Dinar for a 3 hours trip, yet a minibus to drive me up the castle costs me 3 Dinar but for some reason the entrance to the castle was free, that should have costed me 2 Dinar. Kerak Castle is a crusader castle, they used it in the movie Kingdom of Heaven, not the main castle but the castle that took all the villagers in. Like anywhere in Jordan sites, you are allowed to walk anywhere and take pictures from anything, which makes exploring ruins so much nicer. Much of this castle is destroyed but you can still walk inside in large parts of it. I feel great when I walk into those hallways, tunnels and big rooms. The views from the castle all over the region are also spectacular. I hope I don't get used to such wonderful sights. After spending two hours there I wanted to search my way to the bus station to sort a bus out to Amman. Yet again taxi drivers ask 3 Dinar, which is about 3,60 euro, no chance I'm paying this so I'm working my own way down. Ofcourse I need to select the wrong way, the great thing about taking the wrong way is you discover things. I was lucky enough to stumble on a medieval graveyard made next to the castle on the hillsides. There local kids came running from everywhere, asking to take pictures from them, get selfies with them. I didn't tell but the same happened quite a lot at Petra. I got the usual pictures with them and tried to escape as they kept calling more children and I wanted to find the way to my bus as fast as possible. At the bus station my bus was waiting, those mini busses are very cheap. 2 Dinar for a ride to Amman from 2 hours! Basicly I paid 5 Dinar for 5 hours of driving busses. These busses dont have a scedule, the driver leaves when the bus is full of there are enough people that make it worthwhile for him to depart. Once again I was the only tourist on the bus. This time some local guy who was born in the United States sit next to me. We had some interesting talks and he teached me some beheviour lessons.

Arrived at Amman 2 hours later. The guy showed me the way to the taxi's which became a mission, I was very tired and taxi's here need to use their meter. The first 3 taxi's didn't want to use their meter so I just got out of the car again. The problem is they can't read our alphabet so it takes a while to explain where you want to go sine I don't know their alphabet. The 4th taxi driver wanted to use his meter but couldn't understand where my hotel was so I just asked him to drop me off at the Roman Amphitheater. Its by far the most annoying part of my trip, the negotiating with taxi drivers when you are tired. Yet I try to keep a positive mind and think about the wonderful places I have been. The most important part of traveling is to stay positive, I'm on the best experience travel of my life, I should be happy all the time and nothing will change that! All the way from the Amphitheater to my hotel I didn't see any foreinge people either. I start to wonder, am I really the only tourist here? I'm not alone, at the hotel I found a few other tourists. I share the room with 2 other guys, one from Israël who left to Petra the next day after talking to me and one german guy who lived for 6 years in South East Asia. Really tired I put my backpack in the room, have a small talk and get out for some local food, after that immidiatly bed time!

The next morning I decided the only plan was to relax, get some decent food and have a recovering day. I slept long and had a wonderful breakfast, so cheap and fresh! While talking with the german guy who recommended me the breakfast, we decided to go together to the Citadel of Amman and the Roman Amhpitheater. Once again instead of the easy way to the entrance, we managed to take the wrong long way around the Citadel. It gave us some nice views that we would have missed otherwise. I din't know what to expect from the Citadel but it was large, a lot larger then expected. The Citadel is build on a hill, like an acropolis. So not only the temples and ruins are impressive but also the view over the skyline. After checking the Temple of Hercules and some other ruins it was time for the reason I came up about this timing. The mosques were about to start singing. You are surrounded by mosques everywhere, they all start to sing at the same time and you're on top of a hill, this creates a spectacular accoustic experience. I just sit on a bench and enjoy the show. We explored some more ruins and found a perfect ruin to sit on and have some talks about South East Asia how an hour or more, while sitting there I'm really enjoying the view and think that I really wanted all my friends to see this view I have now, such a peaceful place in the middle of the Middle East. People here use massive dragon flyers who are like art decoration in the city skies. I forgot to notice that I am not used to the sun yet and got a very nice red tan, the first time I got burned this travel but certainly not the last one. While sitting there many people who just passed us by greet us, "Welcome to Jordan". They ask nothing more, its pure friendly gesture. Also kids with families scream "Hello, how are you, where are you from!!" all the time. When we decided to work our way down to the Roman Amphitheater, local kids directed us in the right way down if they noticed we walked the wrong way. Cars who passed by just say "Hello" to us, out of nowhere. Honestly you feel guilty for feeing suspicious in the beginning. It makes you think. We in Belgium can learn a lot from the kindness of these people. Its so much more easy to judge someone instead of understanding them but understanding them is so much more rewarding. Open your mind people!

The last stop of the day was the Roman Amphitheater. Once again a very impressive building in a perfect shape. I decided not to pay to visit it but enjoy the view, work my way down to the hotel, get some food and call it a day. This day had everything I wanted and turned out to be even better. Now a decent sleep and batteries charged to make way for a trip to another dream destination of me. More updates coming soon!

 

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