Fun Facts of Jordan
1. There is no “East side” or “West side” in city of Amman. Directions are given based on “Jabals”. Now what are Jabals? The hills. They are known as “jabals”. The city was originally constructed across seven hills, and now grew to span 19 of them.
2. There are really no landmarks and every building looks almost identical in city of Amman. Reason for this, almost every single building is made of stone or concrete and covered with thin, white limestone slabs.
3. The Royal Automobile Museum in Amman, houses the unique, vast, and impressive car collection used by His Majesty the late King Hussein Bin Talal in official and private capacities. The Royal Automobile Museum depicts the history of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with a collection of over 80 cars from the early 1900’s until the present day.
4. In Bedouin jewelry, silver beads are often combined with glass beads & semi-precious stones & are used as amulets. Different glass colors are for different purposes and they originated from neighboring countries. Remember the blue glass as protection from the evil eye? 🙂
5. Did you know there are over 30 main diving sites in Aqaba, most of them suitable for all levels of ability? Aqaba’s coastline has a fringing reef stretching over 25kms till the Saudi Arabian border. The reef starts literally at the water’s edge and extends like the fingers of your hand into canyons leading to pinnacles and drop offs. At most sites, when you are only 100m from the shore you are already descending to 50m or more.
6. When I became a part of the historical Arab Revolt drama in Wadi Rum, I absolutely loved it! You can also step back in time by going to some of these performances. For example, in Jerash, you can experience the Roman Army and Chariot Experience (RACE) at the hippodrome. The show features forty-five legionaries in full armor in a display of Roman Army drill and battle tactics, ten gladiators fighting “to the death” and several Roman chariots competing in a classical seven lap race around the ancient hippodrome. I would love to see it.
7. An unforgettable way to view Wadi Rum is from 2000 meters in a hot air balloon. Ballooning trips are available during April to June and September to December.
Another way is to fly above the beautiful rock formations of Wadi Rum in an open aircraft. See the seven pillars of wisdom and the natural dunes of the desert from 6,000 feet.
The stone temple Qasr Al Bint in Petra.
8. Did you know all buildings of Petra, from the iconic Treasury, to the smallest & plainest tomb, are carved in the rock, except one? Qasr Al Bint, the oldest and most important temple in the city, sits a couple of kilometers from the Treasury and is built with rock slabs cut from the surrounding mountains.
9. Amman, the capital city sits on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley, a perfect base to explore deep into Jordan in any direction as it is not more than four hours’ drive from anywhere in the country.
10. Nabataeans were genius engineers. Nabateans built a complex network of cisterns and channels that allowed water to be available throughout the year, even in the driest months at Petra.
11. It is believed that Mount Nebo in Jordan is the burial place of Moses and hence the most revered holy site in Jordan. At Mount Nebo, The Serpentine Cross, which stands just outside the sanctuary, is symbolic of the brass serpent taken by Moses into the desert and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
12. I wrote about it earlier, I repeat here again. Jordan is not as conservative as the rest of the Arab world. While other Middle East nations are highly conservative, particularly when it comes to women, Jordan is quite liberal. So while you do see women dressed modestly, they are seen outdoors all over town, driving, shopping, kitty partying and more.