Philobiblon: Poor Jordan

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Poor Jordan

I was sad but hardly surprised to see that Amman has been the latest target for presumed al-Qa'ida bombers.

I have very fond memories of travelling in Jordan - the whole process was delightfully easy, you could trust people - even ticket touts, taxis had meters, and there was almost no hassle travelling as a woman on your own. And in the whole of the Middle and Far East it is the only place I know (well, except Singapore) where drivers don't perpetually have one hand on their horn. (Althought the traffic is still pretty crazy.)

Most people go for Petra, which is the most astonishing place - no photo can really do it justice, but there's much more. Jerash is a spectacular Roman site every bit as well preserved as Ephesus - giving that magical feeling that you are not in a ruin, but in a very nearly living city.

And Amman itself, although the modern city is nothing to write home about, has a magnificent archaeological museum (I particularly remember some great late Neolithic statues the like of which I haven't seen elsewhere), and a nice neat little Roman theatre with a fun folklore museum.

I'm going to see if I can scan a few of the pictures I took and post them, but anyway, I'd recommend that if you were thinking about travelling there, or just looking for somewhere to go, don't overlook Jordan, even now. As we all know, these things can happen anywhere.

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