We did not have a lot of time in Amman, so we packed our bags and visited Souk Jara right when it opened. This is a great outdoor market filled with art, trinkets, and food. I tried my weight in jam and za’atar while we visited. I bought this really good black seed paste made from habbatul-barakah. It reminds me of sweet tahini. I’ll be having it on toast in the near future. We did try to buy some coffee at the market, but the guy with an espresso machine seemed to have never used it. We waited for about 5 minutes and told him that we’d pass.
We made our way down the hill and to the ancient Roman Theatre. We were running short on time, so we did not stay long. The Romans loved their theaters and this one was massive. It’s bigger than the theater in Jerash, though not as well preserved. The theater was built when the city was stilled called Philadelphia (why change it?!?!). We took a taxi back to the Airbnb and loaded up the van one last time.
Google maps are not quite as accurate abroad as it is in the USA. Sam was driving and we found ourselves going the wrong way down a one-way street. We got to the airport, blew some leftover dinar in duty-free and settled into the lounge. The Royal Jordanian lounge is not particularly amazing, but we weren’t there for long before we boarded our direct flight to Beirut.
When we landed in Lebanon and the guys in passport control were more than annoying. First, they asked us the address where we were staying. Guess what? That’s a trick question because Lebanon doesn’t really have street addresses. I told them “Madame Chafica Badr’s house near the Liban Post in Broummana.” That answer sufficed, but Holly B. was at a different guy. Samer circled back to help her, and then the passport guy had the audacity to hand Holly B.’s passport to Samer! This is not a good look Lebanon.
Our driver was waiting for us and took us to Samer’s house in the Broummana. Broummana is a summer resort town east of downtown Beirut and up on Mount Lebanon. The climate is cool, so people come up during the summer to beat the heat. Samer and his family have been doing that every summer for as long as he can remember.
Of course, Samer’s mom showered all of with a feast on the first night. We ate, drank wine, visited family, and all went to bed fairly early. Week 2 of vacation was just begining.
Next – Lebanon – Day 2: Beirut