We woke up to the delight of only tepid water from a broken shower - didn't check this out when we checked in to the hotel. It was still freezing so it was a very quick shower, breakfast and out. We were quite envious of Ken & Judi back in Dahab, in the sunshine with a good breakfast. We went down to the bus station - yes there was a bus to Amman leaving in 30 minutes. Needless to say it didn't leave on time. It didn't leave until it was full and that was 1 ½ hours later.
We arrived in Amman at a remote bus station - tried to get a taxi. We were passed from one driver to another only to end up in the oldest, most clapped out taxi with a wizened old driver. He and the taxi started off wheezing - he offered me a cigarette - bad for you I said - all I got was a toothless grin. We found the reason for the taxi saga - the downtown area of Amman was chaos as half the roads were up and the old gut was the only one willing to take us. We were dropped a little way from the hotel but eventually found it.
After checking in, we went off to look round Amman. We ended up going through the fruit and vegetable market - there was some of the biggest radishes I had ever seen. I got accosted by a stallholder who informed me he was Palestinian and it was my government's fault he was a refugee. He was referring to Lord Balfour (he of the Balfour declaration) after the 1st world war. The discussion ended amicably.
We then had a look round the Roman amphitheatre - very impressive - apparently the most complete one around. We decided there was not much to see in Amman so started making arrangements for a trip out the next day and then move on.
We had tried to go on an organised tour on the following day but it didn't run due to lack of takers. That meant we had a more leisurely trip just to Jerash - the Roman town about 50km north of Amman. We took a cab to the northern bus station and found the bus to Jerash. It looked like we had just missed one as no one was waiting in the bus. We were told it went in 10 minutes - disbelief on our part, 30 minutes later, the bus had 6 passengers having seen various passengers come and go. We gave the bus away and negotiated a taxi ride.
Jerash is a vast site and once we found the entrance, we set about looking over the place. It was all columns, had 2 amphitheatres (well one is not enough!), a chariot race track and lots of other ruins. It is supposed to have had 25,000 people at its peak - and you could see why. As Roman ruins go, it was impressive.
We came back (also by taxi) and were quite surprised how green this part of Jordan is. After leaving the Nile valley, it seems like we have seen nothing but dessert and scrub. While it's not quite rainforest, everywhere was green and there was quite a bit of agriculture.