A Pedacito Of Jordan - Just What I Needed
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
I was out of the country for about 10 months and in a separate country from my family, friends, and fiance. 5 months in I was pretty worn out. I was enjoying the adventure of living overseas, but deeply missing my people and certain luxuries from my home culture.
The solution - I had a break from my work, so I hopped on a plane to visit my friends and fiance in Jordan for two weeks.
Maybe it’s the mouth-watering shawarma wraps, the affordable fresh hummus, the lively art scene, being reunited with who I love, the dark olive green and rust-brown hills that follow you around the country, or the warm and generous people, but whichever of the many reasons, Jordan is a lovely place to visit and just what I needed in that season.
While there is SO much of Jordan to see and pay proper respect to, this entry will focus on my time in Madaba and Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan, and felt more “westernized” to me than other less-metropolitan areas in Jordan, as per my experience. Madaba is a town about 30 mins south of Amman and has ancient roots in Moab. Just outside of Madaba is Mount Nebo. Al-Mafraq is a northern town near the border of Syria.
When I came to visit Jordan, some of what I had previously missed the most were my fiance and quality coffee (and some other foods from the USA). We went on a date night to “the Boulevard,” which was a breath of fresh air for multiple reasons.
It’s a fun strip squeezed between two huge towering hotel buildings. Along it are many shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and art installations (when we were there, there was a huge Christmas installation).
This wasn’t the “local traditional cultural” type of place but is definitely a lovely, artful, and refreshing place to shop, eat, and relax, and it felt like a little slice of home in that way, but also unique to Jordan at the same time.
Like I previously said, quality coffee is one of my favorite hobbies and you better believe that Amman fulfilled that longing.
One of the shops along The Boulevard is Dimitri’s Coffee, which aside from being a super cool place to read, catch a breath, make a friend, do some work, or take a reprieve on your trip through Jordan, has INCREDIBLE specialty coffee. Even if you don’t love coffee, the space alone is worthy of your time.
Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts + Jungle Fever Coffee and Tea House
Still within Amman, across from a sculpture garden is a wonderful National Gallery of Fine Art with another quality specialty coffee and tea shop! This is a truly great place to go as it has a lot of Islamic and developing world art.
The additional coffee shop is partially a library/book store and workspace, so it’s another lovely place to spend some time after wandering through the gallery and garden.
Madaba + Mount Nebo
Another highlight of my time in Jordan was in Madaba and Mount Nebo. Madaba has ties to ancient Moab and is famous for its exquisite mosaics. There is a tour with multiple sites one can do while there, but we just went ahead and saw the supposedly most famous mosaic which was found at St. George's Greek Orthodox Church, and an ancient mosaic map of the nearby Holy Lands at the visitors center.
You might begin noticing a trend in our travel and spending habits with this next place. In Madaba, there is yet again another remarkable bookshop/coffee shop called Kawon.
This magical space has books filling the nooks and corners of a house, with art hanging all around, and a basement coffee shop that leads to a patio and garden with ground-level cushions and benches - this place is a great place to read a book with some tea or coffee, and cats lounging next beside you.
Right outside of Madaba is Mount Nebo, which is where the Prophet Moses supposedly died. After some time a monastery was established with beautiful mosaics that are still able to be viewed still today. On a clear day, one can see into Israel/Palestine and some of the surrounding areas.
If you have the time, Madaba and Mount Nebo are worth your time!
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