IMPRESSIVE First Impressions of the Capital of Jordan S06 EP.53 | MIDDLE EAST MOTORCYCLE TOUR
Our traditional Jordanian breakfast has been served. Falafels.. And this is called fuul. Since we are at the hill top, we can have an amazing view of the city.
This citadel is where this city originated. This Roman theater is really impressive. This is the most famous kunafa, known by the name Habibah. We are standing outside the cave and you can see how crowded it is over here. Unlike Syria and Lebanon where there was no electricity in the evening, check this out. Assalam Alekum Everyone and Welcome Back to the Channel from Amman Jordan.
I've already visited the place quite a few times... But I haven't made any vlogs here. I spent few days here before going to Syria but I was too tired. So I just rested and planned... To explore this city for you after I return from Syria.
So, today we are gonna explore Amman together. It's a really beautiful and historical city; one of my favorites. It's a very vibrant city.
We'll try and explore the historical sites, food and people. But I'm not alone for this vlog. I have Awais with me. He's originally from Faisalabad, Pakistan.
How long have you been here? It's been 20 years. He's been here for 20 years and he's self employed. Both of us will explore Amman together, for all of you.
Bismillah... In the name of Allah... *Prayer for the journey* We pray to Allah for a safe and memorable day ahead. And I pray the same for all my viewers. As you can see, we are traveling through a residential area of Amman. That's where Awais lives and I'm staying with him.
Right now, I'm following him to the downtown. That's where most of the historical bits of the city are. All the historical and tourist places are there. We'll visit all of them one after the other. And the shots captured during our ride will give you a flavor of how this city looks like. Rather than just showing you the old town.
Most of the times, I just focus on showing the old town. But I've been getting a lot of messages that I should also show the remaining city around. It will give you guys an idea about the city. The thing that I liked the most about Amman is its weather.
The temperature in other parts of Middle East these days is around 40 degrees. Not including the hill stations. However, this must be the only Middle Eastern cities with a temperature of 22 degrees. That makes it an ideal place to visit during summers.
Snowfall during the winters make it a very cold winter place. So traveling during winters may not be very easy. Amman is a very lively city. Irrespective of the time of day or night, it's always gonna be a lively and fun place. Perhaps due to the fact that a lot of tourists visit this city.
It has a population of 4 - 4.5 million. It's a rather big city... Especially after the refugee influx due to the Syrian war. A lot of Syrians fled to Amman after the war erupted. The same thing happened when things got out of hand in Iraq. The population of Amman has grown to more than double of what it used to be 10 years back. Its infrastructure is really commendable.
If you observe the two sides of this road, you 'll feel as if it's a small city on the mountains. Some roads are along a rising slope while some others are on a downward slope. Some houses are built on an altitude while others would be along the road. All the vibes of a hill station. I think we have reached the city center. The streets get more crowded as they narrow.
That's the city center. Towards the left side, we have the most famous restaurant of Amman, Hashem. That's where we are going. Let's see if we can get a place here because it's usually super crowded. Even now it's full... No table is vacant. Let's keep looking.
I think we have found a table for two. They are preparing falafels. The machine produces small balls from the ingredients and they go straight into the hot oil.
Our traditional Jordanian breakfast has been served. Let me show you. Starting with this bread. It's slightly thicker than normal bread. If you look around our table, you'll notice 3 main items. Falafels; something you'll find everywhere.
A must have item on the breakfast menu. This is called foul. I instantly recognize two of its ingredients; chickpeas and kidney beans. And over here we have humus. It also has chickpeas and some green chilies.
And it's olive oil I guess. It does look like that. Yes, it's olive oil. And tea of course. There's some salad with it as well. And that includes our traditional Jordanian breakfast at Hashem.
This is the most famous breakfast among tourists visiting Amman. Let's start by the name of Allah... This falafel is really amazing.
I hope that the other dishes will be equally delicious. Let's get done with the breakfast before everything gets cold. By the way, most of these things are actually cold.
Hummus is served cold anyway. Did you see how crowded that breakfast place was? I haven't seen any other place so full of people for breakfast. It wasn't too expensive either. We paid almost 4.5 JD for two people. Roughly 6 dollars.
We are now going to visit Jebel Al Qala'a, also known as Citadel. We'll show you the historical archaeological sites there. The place offers a great view of the city.
It's located in the downtown area. It will hardly take 5 to 7 minutes to get there. We can now see the city gradually waking up to life. It's a holiday.. May be that's why people are getting up late. We are almost at the top of this hill.
You can now see the wall of citadel. Written in bold letters... Amman Citadel We are in the citadel now. The entrance fee is almost 5 dollars.
However, if you have Jordan Pass you can enter for free. Since we are at the hill top, we can have an amazing view of the city. The pat of the city in front of the citadel is also on top of a hill. That makes this view even more interesting.
One of the most important buildings that you can see from here is the Roman theater. Located in the downtown, you can see it clearly in the distance. Although we passed by it on our way up here, but we are also gonna pay a visit shortly.
This citadel is where this city originated. You'll also find the ruins from the Romans, Byzantines and Muslim times. Some palaces I guess.
We'll try to visit all those places today. Among the most prominent buildings in the citadel... the main building consists of the few pillars that you can see behind me. It's a temple of the Roman times and is called The Temple of Hercules.
Talking about Hercules... I remember once mentioning the Temple of Zeus. Hercules was the son of Zeus. He was the god of power. There's nothing much left of that temple.
Just these few temples and some ruins alongside. Anyways, it's a very historical place. There's also a palace here that dates back to 7th or 8th century AD, from Umayyad times. Let's go see that.
However, there's nothing much to see of that palace now. The building with blue dome used to be the gate of the palace. Its interior suggests that it was recently renovated. They have beautifully reconstructed the dome with wood. The walls are in a relatively better condition.
But when you go from there to the inside of the palace, you only see the ruins. Other than that, you will hardly see any structure. Lets now go down to the downtown and visit the remaining places. Overall, Amman is not an exceedingly historical city... That is if I compare it with Damascus.
Or other cities from Syria. But it's also in the same region; Hardly 250 - 300 km away. Damascus has been the capital of Umayyads and other dynasties. No palace was built here after the Umayyads. For instance, Ottomans did not build anything worth mentioning here.
So you'll only see buildings from that era. The Roman theater is really impressive. I have seen such theaters at many places before... But I haven't seen such a big one in such good condition. We are set to visit many other places in the coming days.
Hopefully we'll see more places like this. For now this is the best and most well maintained among all. It has a capacity of almost 6000 people. It's so big that you get exhausted while going all the way to the back of this theater. There are so many people in the theater even now. Many events are organized on the stage of this theater.
Some music festival for instance. It dates back to the 2nd century AD when the city was called Philadelphia. The name gradually changed to Amman. I have hardly seen this many tourists in any other Middle Eastern city.
Cities like Dubai would definitely have more tourists though. 15% of GDP of Jordan is contributed by tourism. That means they are earning a really good amount of revenue through tourism. Probably that's why they have such high entrance fees anywhere you go here. We are back in downtown. We are gonna visit a rather well known place here. Will tell you more when we get there.
Could be just another couple of minutes. All these places are located in close vicinity. I can spot a tourist in any direction I see. That's a rare thing for me in this part of the world. This is Amman's most famous kunafa, also known as Habibah.
I was told that my Amman tour will be incomplete without it. I've got two different types of kunafa here. Take a look.
They don't have any special place to sit. People just sit anywhere they can and enjoy this delight. Lets try this now.
Hopefully this kunafa won't disappoint us. Here we go... Bismillah...
Delicious indeed. We have paid 1 JD and 40 cents for this piece. So... not too expensive... almost 1 dollar for a piece.
Apparently there's less cheese in this one. Both are great. I couldn't find any difference between the two... But I think this one is a little better. We are just leaving from downtown. There is a very important religious site about 15 km from here.
People of the Cave It's gonna take 25 minutes to get there. It's a little far from the city. But the upside is that we can capture footage while we ride. We are gonna be on the highway now. There's not much traffic at the moment so we expect a comfortable ride. It's been 25 minutes since we left downtown.
Or is it 30?? It isn't too close, is it? Let's see where we can park our motorcycle. There are other people here as well. That's quite a spacious parking. It's best to park it here rather leaving it outside. We are standing outside the cave... And you can see how crowded this place is.
Waiting for our turn. Let's see how it is from the inside. I'll try to get some footage from inside. I'll add the details in the voice over.
They give you hardly 5-10 minutes. It is opened between the afternoon prayers for almost 45 minutes. The visitors are allowed to go inside for 5 to 10 minutes. The people of the cave are mentioned in the Quran in the chapter Al-Kahaf. They were running from a Roman king and slept in this cave for 3 centuries.
We are not certain that this is the same cave. According to the Jordanian government and many Islamic scholars, this could most probably be that cave. But you will find two other sites in Turkey and Yemen with the same claim. It was so crowded back there. We were given 5 minutes hardly.
One can barely watch the whole place at that time. Let alone making a video. Still, I tried to explore and share as much as I could. We are in the downtown once again. This street is called Rainbow street. It's a famous tourist street.
I've no idea why it is called so. But I can see flowers of different colors here. Then there are tourist shops. Definitely a beautiful street. May be that's the reason behind this name.
I can see so many restaurants, cafes and hotels on both sides of this street. I think this is the main tourist area. Awais was telling me that we have reached the end of this road. Let's stop somewhere and visit some cafe. Let's just sit here and enjoy the experience of being here. The city suddenly comes to life as soon as the sun goes down.
People hanging out on the streets everywhere. All the cafes, restaurants and roads are full. Such a lively city; especially at the time of sunset. And this goes on till midnight. But if it's weekend...
You'll see people everywhere; even very late in the night. Even now you can see how crowded these roads are. We are in the downtown area. You cannot expect to find any place available in any restaurant or cafe in the evening. Another thing... a lot of people here smoke sheesha.
You can see it in any restaurant around you; people enjoying their sheesha. The city has a great nightlife. Such a lively city. Now compare this to Syria and Lebanon where there was no electricity in the evening.
And here it's all around you. It's just a border away. The queue that you are seeing on the left side is of people waiting outside a kunafa shop. It's a long queue for sure. We were fortunate that we came here in the morning. Otherwise we won't have got it. There's no typical souq here unlike Tripoli, Damascus and Aleppo.
That here is the downtown. Here you can buy traditional Jordanian dresses. I don't think I've seen anyone wear these clothes. May be these are only meant for events like a wedding.