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Blogs: Day 1-2 JFK to Jordan Via Paris | Day 3 Road to Petra | Day 4-5 Petra | Day 5-6 Desert | Day 7 Dead Sea


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Flying from Tampa to JFK we had a 6 hour layover before our Air France flight to Paris. Checking in and buying duty free eats up an hour but we still had another 5 to kill.

So we did the math. At $10 per drink in JFK, probably more than $25 for dinner we worked out that it would be cheaper to pay the entrance fee for the Air France lounge which is $50, but this gives you unlimited FULL bar, food which includes full salad bar, snacks, variety of cold cuts and cheeses, two soups and a choice of two main courses - all you can eat!

AND a quiet comfortable environment with free wifi, private restrooms and a shower! It's a no brainer! Just 5 drinks and it's already paid for itself!

The flight itself was a little over 7 hours and jam packed. Not pleasant - there was less leg room than on our domestic Delta flight. They must operate under the assumption French people are small. My knees were jammed up against the seat in front of me. Wendy didn't care, she slept through the entire flight as usual!!

Paris is 35 degrees so not conducive to exploring and we have been to Paris before, in fact I have been twice.

Instead we headed to our jet lag therapy hotel a short shuttle ride away. The hotel room we booked came with free access to the Club Room which provided free snacks, drinks and breakfast.

And in the club room we met these two lovely American ladies who were taking pictures of themselves and instagramming them.

They were certainly showing a lot of... well... at LOT of it!

Our flight from Paris to Amman the next day was a MAJOR DISSAPPOINTMENT and will guarantee we will never fly Air France again.

We paid for an upgrade to Business class and this is what we got.

As you can see their business class on an Airbus A320 is EXACTLY the same seats and legroom as economy. The only difference is they guarantee not to book out the middle seat so you have 3 seats between two of you. THAT's their business class.

WTF?? When have you EVER seen business class have the same seat and legroom as economy?

Other than that all we got was a glass of champagne and a fancier meal. REALLY?

We got to our hotel at 11pm which is in a Grand Hyatt - very comfortable and as Amman has duty free on arrival we bought wine and whisky at very reasonable prices. $17 for Johnny Walker Red.

Jordan has the Dinar (JD) as currency and JD1 = USD 1.40. We have not changed our money as dollars are accepted everywhere.

There are only 9 people (all from USA) in our tour group and Ahmed (pictured on the left) is our tour guide. Yip and he told us the Jeff Durham jokes about Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

Jordanians are very welcoming and seem to have a great sense of humor!

Today was a city tour of Amman.

We started out by eating Kanafeh - it is made with white cheese, topped with crunchy pastry, then drenched in honey and goat butter and topped with crushed up pistachio and cashew. VERY YUMMY!!!!  It's sold on the street so don't miss this tasty treasure next time you're in town.

The traffic is pretty hectic but not as crazy as we have seen in some other countries such as Cairo and Vietnam.

Jordan has a king, but also a democratically elected parliament and prime minister. Despite being surrounded by its warring neighbors (Syria, Iraq, Israel) Jordan remains peaceful with no major internal or external issues.

Of it's 10 million inhabitants 2 million are Syrian refugees, approximately 1 million Palestinian refugees and the number of Iraqi refugees are estimated about about 1 million.  Ahmed indicates the reason the Kingdom is so peaceful is because, (jokingly) "We know better" but in all reality, he continued, "Where would we go?"  Israel and Palestine won't take us.  Saudi would never take us.  And, who the hell wants to go to Syria, it's all destroyed."  Great words to live by.   

Our next stop was at a fruit and vegetable market downtown, where you could also buy just about anything else.

Vegetables were of a very high quality and some of the largest cabbages we'd ever seen!!.

Then we saw a Roman theater. Over the years Amman has been occupied by many different cultures and has many difference names including Philadelphia! This was when ruled by the Greeks.

Amman can trace its history back to 7250 BC. That's 9000 years old!

Even though it is a Muslim country, it is very free - people mostly dress Western and there are liquor stores everywhere!

Then it was off to the top of the hill over looking Amman for a visit to the Citadel.

The Citadel shows evidence of occupation by several different cultures over the years and dates back to the Bronze Age 1650 BC. There are the remains of a Greek temple as well as a Byzantine Church and a Muslim Palace.

The reason the buildings in Amman all look mostly the same color is because it is a law that residential buildings be faced from limestone.

The majority of Jordan's population originate from Palestine together with a substantial portion of Syrian refugees.

Only 5% of the population are Christian but all live peacefully together.


And finally...


You always know which direction Mecca is as every hotel in every Muslim country has an arrow pointing there for prayers.

Wendy was hoping for a Bidet in Paris but didn't get one. At least in Jordan she is ONE STEP closer with the hose!

Yeah, this is NOT the order I am used to for elevator buttons!!

Took me a while to find my floor! Damn 4 should be NEXT to the 3!!

Travel is the best education you will ever receive.  Not traveling is like staying on the same page of the best book ever