Madaba – November 5th 2017
Surprise!! We have arrived in Jordan. Leaving Europe was a big step. We had been in the European bubble for months and it was nice and a little nerve racking. Jordan in all honesty didn’t scream luxury and easy travel. It did grab me with it’s promise of adventure!
We were picked up at the airport by the car rental company. We squished in and he dropped us off at the nearby hotel where the rental office was. We seemed ready to go. GPS progr…..wait, we left our GPS in Athens, DOH! Luckily this car was equipped with GPS but we decided to use Google Maps as we had SIM cards for our phones anyhow.
So we drove ourselves into Madaba. We chose Madaba over Amman, the capital city, because it was a smaller city and since we were driving we weren’t sure how the roads would be and how busy it would be right in the city. Mark was pretty good with the Italian drivers, we had no clue about Jordanian drivers yet.
It very quickly became dark on our drive to the city. We were going through vast farm land with nothing around us. I must say, I was slightly nervous. We soon could see the city in front of us and my nerves were slowly calming. That is until we passed a group of about 30 young men on the street. Right in the middle of the street. There had obviously been a dispute there just moments before we arrived. What kind of dispute, I have no idea. We drove on through with no issues. Instead of focusing on the scared tourist in the car they had their own things going on!
We navigated the streets in the city quite well I would say. One way streets that weren’t clearly marked and lack of parking had us doing a few turns around the block but we soon were at the hotel. I should say it was more hostel like and was quite run down but we were just happy to have a space to put our bags down and feet up after a day of travel.
Soon we were fast asleep (as much as we could be with the smoker down the hall, gag!). At 4:30-ish we were all woken up by the call to prayer. There was a speaker right by us as the mosque was close and our hotel was quite run down to the point the windows didn’t close all the way and the walls were paper thin. The cats and dogs woke with the call to prayer also and soon the city was waking.
Not being familiar with Islamic religion all together, it was a new experience to listen to the call to prayer. We started our day with this every morning. Although the 4am wake up call was not what we all expected it was a new experience. An experience that showed us just how different the world is. The kids were exposed to something so utterly different to their world and I loved that it became the norm for them. It wasn’t scary. It was a brand new thing for them. How cool that the kids had that experience in Jordan!