Our stay in Amman was quite amazing but coming down here feels like we are really on vacation now. Where Amman is a busy, crowded city with a welcoming but conservative feel to it , Aqaba is a more laid back resort town with a much larger number of visible tourists. That's not to say that there are women in spaghetti straps and shorts roaming the streets, by any means and I still feel like I need to make sure at least my shoulders and upper arms are covered but I don't feel like I stick out quite as much. Maybe I am just getting used to it.
Our final night in Amman we had to skip the fancy restaurant a second time because The Kid wasn't feeling well ( truth be told, I felt the same way the night before). Instead, we returned to Jafra, the place almost directly across from our hotel. This time they tried to seat us amidst a cacophony of shisa smokers so we had to ask to sit outside. It was pretty chilly and we had to keep our coats on but that was preferable to dying of an asthma attack inside. Unfortunately, by the time our food started to arrive, we were surrounds by Shisa out there
too. Clearly this is going to be a problem for me anywhere we go so I went to the pharmacy where I bought a new inhaler, without a prescription, for about $6. I might buy myself a couple more before I leave as souvenirs.
Anyway, dinner at Jafra was good but not quite as good as the first night although this time we ordered fries because fries are always good when you feel a bit queasy and they were excellent. The Kid pronounced them a million times better than the soft, oil soaked fries of Portugal, so chalk one up for Jordan in the deep frying dept.
We didn't do much on Wednesday morning before our driver arrived to take us down to Aqaba ( still not feeling up to snuff) but I managed to sneak out alone with my camera to shoot some photos( everything so far has just been with my iPhone). I tried out the ATM at the bank, made a stop at Habibah for a treat to bring to Shack and had one last walk about.
I'm sure we could find more to do but I feel like we saw all we wanted to see with two full days in the city. I don't care for high end shopping and we don't travel halfway around the work to go to H&M so we skipped the new part of the city altogether. If you go and want to check that out add a couple more days to the itinerary.
The first three hours of the drive south were uneventful. The terrain is barren and sadly, it's strewn with garbage ( you can't help but notice the garbage everywhere, sadly) so we both stopped paying attention to the scenery eventually. Suddenly, we rounded a big bend and came out to see this:
Holy crap! From that point on, we both perked up and couldn't take our eyes off the view. This is where you start to drive down, down, down through the edges of the wadi and it's gorgeous.
Shack's driver, Mr Hamza, must have called my phone five times to talk to our driver. I found out later he was lecturing him to drive slowly, make sure Mamashack has enough cold water, stop so Mamashack can use the washroom, make sure the air condition is on, drive slowly, get Mamashack something to eat. At all costs, do nothing to bring harm to Mamashack.
As we approached the city, our driver pulled over to the side of he road and just sat there. I finally asked why we stopped and he said "Mr. Hamza" and I looked out the back window and saw a black SUV flash the lights and slow down as he passed us as our driver pulled out to follow him. Mr. Hamza was giving us a royal escort.
I can't even imagine who the hell our driver thought we were at this point. It seems that Mr. Shack has endeared himself to one and all here in town and so the kid and I have become precious cargo. Whatever we want, wherever we want to go, we are to be taken care off. This next week should get interesting.
Shack got today off work so he showed us around, we hung out by the pool and just relaxed. Tomorrow we leave for two days in Petra so I am anticipating much shock and awe, sore feet and sandy bits and pieces.
Last night my wimpy kid fell asleep at 5:30 so we went out without him. We dined like Kings at Shack's favourite restaurant, Al Shami ( the chef took us into the kitchen for an impromptu cooking lesson) and then went to a bar with most beautiful view in town, The Sea View, owned by Shacks new BFF, Safa.
Today we took The Kid to Al Shami for lunch and I got another cooking lesson from the chef. This place deserves a dedicated post so, for now, enjoy the photos of our food.