Sunday, August 13, 2006

Final Party

Thursday, August 11 was the last day of classes so we had a party! Here's a clip of some of the action!

And a group picture

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jerash Ballet

Who needs the Jerash Festival when you have Matt G., Jon, and Brian? Brian's opening move is especially fantastic.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

True Love at the Giza Pyramids




Sunday, June 18, 2006

Iraq al-Amir

Jordan is located in a nice, small neighborhood of countries - Saudi Arabia is about 3.5 hours south of Amman, Syria is less than two hours away, Palestine/Israel is just 45 minutes to the east, and driving just 15 minutes out of Amman you get to Iraq.

Iraq al-Amir that is. It's not quite the country - different spelling. Iraq al-Amir is a row of ancient caves in a beautiful green valley, Wadi al-Seer, just outside of the 8th circle in Amman. We took a taxi from our apartment building and went all the way out there - 4.50 JD one way. Minibusses would have been cheaper, but we figured that we saved ourselves two or more hours by just taking the taxi. In Iraq al-Amir there are no means of transportation. Very few people live out there, and if they do, they have donkeys, not cars.

The caves were beautiful - completely different from Petra. These gaves were green and damp and were full of bats. They were really long and deep; anciently used as calvary stables.

Long cave at Iraq al-Amir

Outside of the caves, about 1 km down the wadi, there's an ancient fortress. It was built before Romans came to the Middle East, about 200-300 BC. It's made with huge solid blocks of rock and is in pretty good condition still, like most ruins here in Jordan. It was all locked up, but some old farmer guy came and opened it up for us, letting us climb on all the walls and stairs we wanted. He didn't tell us about the 1 JD bakshiish we had to pay him after. Oh well.

After all that, we took our taxi back in to Amman. Even though the meter said 7.70 JD, he charged us 10, since he had to wait around while we spent our time spulunking. Not the most economical trip - could have been cheaper - but it was a nice change from the big city of Amman.

For more on what happened, check out our blog.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


We left for Petra on Friday afternoon. Our goal was to take a mini-bus from the Wahadat bus station but when we arrived there the bus was full. Instead we hired a taxi with the Slades for 20 JD each way.

The ride is 3 hours long, including a built-in pit stop at a gift shop on the high way. They have some pretty, but majorly overpriced souvenirs.

Our taxi driver took us directly to the al-Anbat 1 hotel where we had arranged to stay for 2 nights. It is a rather nice, and inexpensive, hotel that has nice rooms and a pool. There is also a restaurant for 5 JD per person for dinner, which really isn't very bad since Wadi Musa tends to be rather expensive.

We headed to Petra in the morning with the free shuttle that the hotel provides. Remember to bring your Student ID Card (I forgot mine and we had to taxi back up to the hotel and then down again...) because you get in for 1 JD if you are a "resident." Since we have ID Cards from the University of Jordan, we got in for 1 JD. With an ISIC card you will get 50% off.

We went rather early in the morning and that was a very good thing because we were all alone in the Siq and the Treasury area was fairly empty. You will get bombarded by Bedouins trying to sell you necklaces and camel rides. It is best to not buy anything when you first arrive in Petra because they will try to take advantage of you. After a few hours though, you will recognize a good deal, as well as some Bedouin tricks.

Andrew and I rode camels and that was really fun!

The Monastery was definitely worth the hike up there, although you can take donkeys up. It is worth the extra hike to see the Lion Triclinium on the way to the Monastery.

A second day in Petra would be good to plan on. There is so much to see and the hikes take a long time (approximately the same time on an animal as on foot, regardless of what the Bedouins may tell you). We went to the High Place of Sacrifice on our second day. It is about a 45 minute hike and has some nice viewpoints. The Slades hiked down the backside into the main part of town and said that was a worthwhile hike, but Andrew and I hiked down the way we came up and explored the tombs.

We also spent some time in the Amphitheater.

If you want to read more, check out our blog.

--Andrew and Nancy Heiss

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dead Sea

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Dead Sea group hug

A group hug at the Dead Sea...well, maybe just a group hug for Jude and Josh.

Jude, Eliza, Brent, Amanda, Josh 1, Don, Wade, Josh 2. Also in attendance but not pictured: Jeremy, Bridget, and Miriam.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fleeing the waterfall