ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “champions

AMMAN CITADEL & CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, Amman, Jordan

2006.05.17.

For thousands of years since Neolithic times, the ā€œLā€ shaped hill known as the Citadel of Amman has been inhabited.  Ruined temples, churches and palaces dated from the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad period stand on the citadel hill today.  Most of the site remains unexcavated, despite archaeologists have been working here since 1920.  The most impressive remain on the hill is the ruins of Temple of Hercules, a Islamic palace and a modest archaeological museum, in which parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display.  After dropping off our dirty clothes at a laundry shop, getting ourselves some stamps at the post office, and having a peek at the 2nd century Roman Theatre through the metal gate, we turned to the Citadel hill.  On the hill, we chatted with a group of cheerful girls who were playing on the street.  They spotted us from afar and seemed pretty curious about the three of us.  One of them spoke to us in simple English, and we ended up taking pictures with them in the midst of innocent laughter.

In the evening, we had dinner at a restaurant with a large balcony overlooking a busy street.  After dinner, I had a short break at the hostel before returning to the restaurant that we had supper to watch the 2006 UEFA Champions League final on their live TV.  There were 15 local men in the tiny restaurant watching the game.  I sat down at an empty chair behind a man and ordered a bottle of coke.  The large balcony window was opened and I could hear the noise and cheer from restaurants and tea shops down below.  It felt like everyone in the city was watching the game.  Almost all the other men in the restaurant were smoking cigarette or shisha (water pipe), and the place got pretty smoky.  When Campbell scored the first goal for Arsenal, the restaurant owner came out and teased all of us.  He yelled at me saying “Barca finishes, Arsenal good!”  Throughout the game, the men around me kept on sneaking out to the balcony and yelled down to people on the street.  I wasn’t sure whether they knew each other or they were just too excited about the game.  Assisted by Henrik Larsson, at around 76th minutes Samuel Eto finally scored the first goal for Barca, and then the second came 5 minutes later through Juliano Belletti.  It was the perfect night for the Barca supporters in Amman.  As I walked back to the hotel, I passed by groups after groups of joyful locals coming out from tea shops and restaurants after watching the game.  Some were walking home in laughter, while the others hopping on cars that packed both sides of the street.

06ME34-07The first impression of Jordan was clean and pleasant.

vernacular architectureAmman is a popular Arab city for international visitors.  It also receives the most medical tourists in the region.

06ME34-14Locals that we met in Jordan were all very welcoming and friendly.

citadel 1At the Citadel, the uncompleted 2nd century Temple of Hercules was the most prominent Roman structure.  Probably destroyed by earthquakes, it once housed a 12m stone statue of Hercules.

06ME34-19Lying mostly in ruins at the Citadel, the Umayyad Palace was built in the 8th century.

Umayyad PalaceA new dome was restored at the entrance hall of Umayyad Palace in 1998, though not all experts have agreed on whether there was truly a dome in the old times.

06ME34-16Looking down from the Citadel we could get a good view of the Roman Theatre.

roman theatreSituated at the foot of Jabal Al-Joufah opposite to the Citadel, The 2nd century Roman theatre could seat 6000 people.

06ME34-21The Raghadan Flagpole was once the tallest in the world. It is visible from allover the capital city.

big flagAs of 2015, the 126.8m Raghadan Flagpole is the 7th tallest in the world.  It flies a 60 x 30m flag.

ammanMainly cladded with limestone or sandstone, residential buildings in Amman are limited to 4 storeys above ground.

children on the hill 1At the Citadel hill, we stumbled upon a group of cheerful children.

children on the hill 2The young girls were quite curious about us.

children on the hill 3Amman is considered to be one of the most liberal cities in the Arab world.  Many children have been exposed to the global commercialism since very young age.

children on the hill 4One of the girls tried speaking to us in simple English.

06ME34-24I passed by Al-Husseini Mosque on our way to supper.  Erected in around 640 AD, Al-Husseini Mosque was one of the oldest mosques in Amman.  The structure was rebuilt in 1932 by King Abdullah I.