Jordan – from Friday to Friday
In Amman, with the photographer, Nikolai Schilekom flew on Friday evening, already dimly. Risked to please in a capricious, rainy and windy Jordanian winter, and got into a hot woman summer with daytime temperatures from + 30 ° C and above. In the Amman airport, we were met, put a stamp in the passport and taken to a four-star hotel next to the tourism authority inviting us (JTB).
After stooling the country in November 2005, many checkpoints appeared on the roads, there were unprecedented security measures in hotels. Every time, returning to the hotel, exposed to the inlet, and the hotel "Star", The more carefully check.
The bid on the development of tourism and education of Jordan made only a quarter of a century ago. In 1994, a peace treaty was signed with Israel, and today tourism brings the state with a six millionth population about a billion dollars a year. For a country that does not have oil fields is a serious upgrade resource. Jordanians – the people are active, friendly, but not annoying, having a sane manual and firmly intended to miss his chance. Looking ahead, I will say that I surprised us the sympathy of Jordanians to us only for the fact that we are Russians – an unusual feeling. Who knew at least a few words in Russian, tried to speak with us. On the blocks, having learned from the chauffeur that he is lucky "RUS", We were welcomed and missed without delay, only a couple of times asking for order to open the trunk. Many here studied in the USSR and the Russian Federation, home returned with Russian wives (Modern Jordanian family of monogamans), about 4% of the country’s population professes Orthodoxy, and so on.
On the first evening, throwing things in the rooms and snastling, we went to walk before bedtime. The city, the size of Kiev and the steepness of the streets, is not inferior to Vladivostok, in terms of Halu, striking on the avenue Zaran. The high-speed route with tunnels, without intersections and traffic lights, was little suitable for walking. In the midst of narrow sidewalks, trees are planted, bypass which can only be part of the carriageway. Having envy us, the taxi drivers were slowed down, the signals were offered, the gestures were offered to pass and in bewilderment left. They could not come to mind that people walk here, let him look at night. Pleasure and really small. Like tin dusty foliage, smell of pale rubber from the rushing machines and someone else’s sky with a lying crescent above head. Everything around closed – nothing remained how to return to the hotel and fall to bed.
But the morning of Saturday, when all civil servants still have a day off, issued amazing – solar and lazy.
Our guide and driver came out of the tripled minibus. The underlying guide is a miniature physique looks like a zealous and even a kartvit as he. In Tbilisi, where he studied, he was taken for Armenian. From there, in addition to the diploma of the builder, Sufyan brought his wife, recently accepted Islam from practical and legal considerations. In the mosque do not go, have two daughters – a student of Ilona and schoolgirl in Danu, in the family speak Russian in the family.
The driver of Mahmoud is a huge, silent and black Jordanian Palestinian, brushing on the turk. Speaks a little in English unexpectedly brittle voice. Long worked as an auto mechanic at Ferrari and Lamborgini plants in Kuwait, where his neighbor was the current Queen of Jordan. For six years now works on ja-ty. On all tourist sites and checkpoints, in restaurants where we have dinner, and in the towns, through which they drove, he has familiar and buddies. The driver-racer with an iron exposure to praise answers with dignity: "This is my job, sir!" In such a company, we went to get acquainted with Jordania.
Next door to the largest mosque Abdullah, the founder, the Founder are two churches – Coptic and Greek. From a certain hour, the mosque is open to tourists. The internal device produces a strong impression. Something was already in the spectacle of the unwanted shoes not allowed in. Having swallowed, I stepped into the opened doors.
Giant dome vaults resembled a planetarium. Only round clock hung on a bare wall (maybe they inspired this dubious comparison?). Somehow diagonally, face to Mecca, prayed on the floor about a hundred Muslims. Kids ran. To the left of the doors, children, adults and intelligent species of theologians read in turn Quran.
Our barefoot photographer instructed huge lenses on the praying, clouded the shutter – did not even look at him. A young Mullah from the common man was held by, mastering in the nose. A older people seemed to be simply rested here, enjoying cool, silence and desolation, as if it were not a temple, but the metro station on weekends in the summer, when everything in the cottages and nowhere to rush.
From here we went to the quarter of the Oriental Markets of the Old Town – Suk. The point of reference here was also a mosque, but in front of it, it was boiling such a stormy trading life that the eyes scattered.
The old man with two rickened coffee pots, similar to Samovar and Aladdin’s lamp at the same time, offered passersby coffee in plastic cups. Right on the sidewalk, the street trader decomposed disk saws and saws of electric drills. And although on the adjacent traffic jams, drivers pick into Clusons and worth the gallege, no one pushes, neither on faces nor in behavior there is not even a hint of aggressiveness. Sea jewelry shops, cheap equipment, deployed carpets, shut clothes, in the shade of which sellers, sitting on plastic chairs, drink tea.
Coffee beans in bags, drilling tea, drawers with nuts of all kinds and sizes. And in the labyrinth of the alley – the collaps of vegetables and fruits, the eggplants are honesty the size of the pumpkin and the dates are sold right on the palm branch. The taste of them struck me. It turns out that in childhood we are stacked with some similarity of candied cockroaches, and real dates – fruits of a gentle consistency, similar to large olives. Ripening, they become transparent from matte, as a preheated wax, and the cut branch looks like a weapon-fucked weapon.
But you really feel and see Amman can be only with the Citadel. This is the most ancient of the seven Amman historic hills, from where two Roman amphitheater looks like the toy at the foot. On the top – a restored fragment of an antique colonnade of the temple of Hercules, similar to the gates to the sky. From the 13-meter statue of the Greek hero, only a fragment of the white grade five, set in front of the entrance to the museum, survived. In the museum, pots are put up in the growth of a person who served to someone with coffins – they were buried in them. Under the glass lie originals of the pre-Christian Kumranian manuscripts – on the scrolls and green sheets of copper. Next to the Museum of the Ruins of the Palace of Caliphs and the remnants of Byzantine churches.
If you find yourself on the Citadel about noon, hear how Muzzins vote from the speakers installed on minintages. Sun in Zenith, in the sky neither the cloud, pegs. And a flock of gentle brown rods circling and circling over the citadel.
This city, in antiquity called Rabbat Ammon and Philadelphia, today stretches for world fashion and Western comfort. Already there are boutiques blocks, an open cafe with hookahs on the tables, a pedestrian street of culture, where youth rollers dressed in European fashion. Modern Amman family will acquire only 3-4 children, and not 7-8, as before, but it seeks to have at least two cars, three bedrooms and two toilets.
In a huge construction site, the construction of a real datentown with 55-storey towers. In total, there will be 8 them, and with them the traditional silhouette of the Muslim city will be held in the past, which made an indelible impression on me.
Go to the north – in Gerash, the city is just half an hour from the capital. Under Alexander Macedon and Romans, he was called Geras. He destroyed Heras in the VIII century an earthquake and thus melted: the city was buried under the frozen herd stream, like Pompeii under the Socla layer.
Modern Jerash rose away from the ancient city, which was part of the December decade – the Union of Provincial Roman cities, united to protect their interests and local trade routes.
20 years ago, Jordanians were hard for his restoration. Much started, raised the columns, cleared the drains. For the renovated triumphal arch of Emperor Adriana is an ancient Roman hippodrome, where for tourists are suitable for costume gladiator fights and rings on chariots. During the rest of the time, he serves as a giant sandbox. Not inferior to the size of the ancient ristalin and the forum area, closed around the perimeter of a slender Ionical column. In the summer there are concerts of the International Art Festival under the Open-air.
From the Forum, wide steps rise to the temple of Zeus, and the majestic stroke of the Corinth columns on the main street of Cardo. It leads from the south to the north and intersects with Via Decumanos, laid from the east to the West.
Picturesquely spread on the hills of the ancient city – a huge temple of Artemis, a Nymfe’s public fountain in front of the elegant facade of an ancient temple, two superbly preserved amphitheater (a click of fingers in the center of the scene sounds like a shot) – all this impress. But the main thing is Kardnadnaya Street Cardo. She seems to cancel time. You step on giant stone blocks with rips from the ancient Roman chariots and round stone hatches of the drain, acting and in two thousand years! In oblique rays of the sun, the colonnade is similar to the dial of the solar clock, counting years and centuries.
Madaba – Sky – Bethany
The tiny town of Madaba glorified the mosaic map of the Holy Land on the semi of the church. Georgia. She was posted one and a half thousand years ago. In the XIX century, the church was restored and the card was not repurchased – from her 125 kV. M has been preserved only smaller, fortunately, the central part with naive images of Jerusalem, Jericho, Mountains, the Dead Sea with ships and fishes, horrified upwards upstream of Jordan.
In Jordan, everything is not far away, and from Madaba we went straight on the sky – the biblical mountain of the unbearable, with which the Lord showed Moses Land promised. In 2000, this place was consecrated by Pope John Paul II, and the number of pilgrims here sharply increased.
The mountain overlooking the surrounding hills, the Cave of Moses below, the serpentine road running to the Dead Sea. From here to binoculars, as if in Madab’s mosaic, it would be possible to see a clear day and the other place consecrated at the same time Pope Roman. This is Bethany – Biblical Vifania, where we also visited. Almost half a century, different serious commissions were established and finally found that with a very low degree of error in this place Vadi-Harrar Valley once, John Baptist baptized Jesus Christ.
Riverside of the Jordan River – Border Zone. The plot was cleaned and equipped only after the conclusion of the world with Israel. Built font and pools in which Russian politicians and groups of American tourists love to be baptized. In 2003, the Orthodox Church was built, there will be a hotel for pilgrims – thousands of Russians arrive here every year.
Our guide was caused to be the deputy director of the reserve on the last name Al-Jamal (in Russian it would be "Verblyuzhansky") – Dysday, cute, little funny man who studied in Mariupol. Speak Russian for him, it’s like to remember youth – the names of the Moscow metro station stations, he listed as the names of loved ones, and crushed, learning that some were renamed. Through the thick Tamarisky thickets, he brought us to that dry now the area of the bed, where Jesus was painted. Crown argument in favor of this served as partially preserved ancient temple – without an altar. "The font of Jesus was the altar, dear!" – solemnly stated our guide. I went to the coast of Jordan – a muddy, overgrown with a river. In five meters there was an Israeli shore – watering blood from two sides State border. Jordanian lads with a machine gun came out to the descent to water. I washed my face, turned around and began to climb my stall stone steps.
The Dead Sea
The whole sea of dead water attracts imagination and disgusts at the same time. I do not know how about healing properties and rest, but even from ordinary curiosity to visit the Dead Sea stands. That in it is intriguing except that lying on the water can be read magazine – for example Geo? Well, it is impossible to drown. Due to the threat of terrorism, by agreement with Israel, access to water and swimming after sunset is strictly prohibited (and in December the Sun here comes around for about five in the evening – and the night comes immediately).
We settled in a five-star MoEvenpick hotel before sunset. In addition, it was detained by the guard, interested in the photographer equipment. Nikolay still managed to run on the beach five minutes before the closure, and for a long time then the security knocked him on the shore signs. Nothing remained how to sorry to move out of the cool pool in heated and back. Sufyan with Mahmuda returned to spend the night in Amman. Immediately after dinner, I went to bed to swim at dawn in the thick oily water of the Dead Sea.
What do you say, reader, about this feeling? Unusual, that’s for sure. On the coastal stones dressed in salt shell, it is easy to hurt, and the eyes should be protected from moisture from entering the diluted hydrochloric acid. So the desire to dive do not arise. Pleasure such a bathing is unlikely to call, but for health, they say, useful. As in all hotels in the Dead Sea, there were many expensive procedures with all these salts and dirty.
Suddenly something rowed, poured clubs of the Size Smoke. Where in the territory of a five-star hotel take a tractor? As it turned out, it began to fume the bushes so that the flies became smaller – their in the valley of Jordan and along the shore of the Dead Sea is simply neuroran. They say the reason in intensive agriculture using organic fertilizers. Narrow coastal strip of fertile land, giving two harvest per year, feeds all the rest of Jordan.Peter
Peter – the capital of the Nabatoe kingdom, which has known before the I century, Northern Arabian lands. In general, the Nabotes were the people of trading, but they glorified their architects and Kamenotees, who wore Peter in the rocky monolith – in a huge stone bag of natural origin.
A necropolis was created here – the city of the dead, where the Nabatoes were buried to know their felt, and after a century, they themselves began to settle in the middle of graves. Then Petro in turns owned Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Mamli Turks. With the loss of military and commercial importance, Peter was forgotten by Europeans for many centuries, until in 1812 she did not reoperate the Swiss Johann Burkhardt. And today it is one of the most famous in the world. (About Peter – in GEO NO 11/2003.)
My entrance ticket to Peter turned out to be with a half-million number – apparently, so many tourists visited here for the year. The price of a ticket ($ 30) also includes tax in favor of a local tribe sombr. For him, a modern village with a hospital and a school was built in the neighborhood and provided a monopoly on Verviv and trade in souvenirs in Peters. Her main attractions are unchecked tombs and mausoleums, reminiscent of palaces and temples, Necropolis Streets, the ruins of an ancient city with a cut-down amphitheater – produce a strong impression.
But truly genius in Peter the inlet Gorge Sik ("Russecin") and El Hazne ("Treasury, treasury") – famous tombs, masterpiece architecture. Going along the bottom of the narrowing, then expanding settlement in a hundred meters high – a real adventure with a plot. Every morning, crowds of tourists rushed to the attack of Peters, rolled the waves of multilingual groups with guides. That and the point is suspending to fall behind the next group, and keeping the head, suddenly you understand that you go on the bottom of the prehistoric canyon. With a terrible pressure, there is a flow of depth in tens of meters – there is a wavy relief of the walls, almost closed above the head. It becomes creepy. Sica’s length is about 1 km – and this is a whole short reality film, ending when it literally falls out of the square with an El Hazne facade in the center, with camels, tourists and souvenir rows. This gama will not hear even on the eastern bazaar!
Next Overnight – Camping on the Edge of the Desert. In the middle of the scaling cliffs, the ranks of canopies agree. The role of roof, walls and doors perform dark camel blankets. The camp is covered in candles with paper plates and the most strange lighting device from ever seen by me – a gas cylinder with a tube, at the end of which something like white sock. When gas is ignited, "sock" swell and shines not worse than the stove light bulb.
In the desert, Wadi-Rama cannot be traveled to his move – as well as Peter, she was given to the deposit of local Bedouins. At the entrance to the reserve you need to leave the car and buy a ticket. The choice of means of movement is small – camels or jeeps. We chose a jeep – and rushed!
Wadi Rama is amazing picturesque rocks and stone walls in the middle of the sea, in time immemorial, they were islands and reefs. Millenniums were fighting them, the waves decorated with some kind of clinb, winds blurred through. The most picturesque mountain at the entrance to Wadi-Rama Bedouin is the name of the seven pillars of wisdom – this is where a lot of smallest in the east Lawrence Arabian took the name for his book! An Englishman-adventurer – a cult figure in these places. Our paths coincided. Lawrence spent through the desert troops, and they took from the rear inaccessible Turkish fortress Aqaba on the Red Sea. Our way lay there.
Aqaba. Red sea
Less than an hour to move from the heart of the desert to the seashore – a pleasant contrast. Roads in Jordan excellent. Built on Iraqi money during the years of Iran-Iraq war. Then, through the Jordanian Aqaba, Iraq received a lion’s share of imports. Mountain ridge covers the Aqaba and Israeli Eilat from three sides – two parts of one settlement, which once called Isla. The eternal summer reigns here.
Sea harbor – always the gate to the big world. So that trade was Boyachey, Aqaba made a free economic zone. Therefore, beer, 50-degree anise Arak and wine here fierce. The city is close to Western standards, similar trading blocks are easy to see in any European capital. With the friend of Sufyan and Mahmoud we are right in his shops sat down to drink tea – the hottest of everything that is served in Jordan. Jordanian cuisine is quickly Americanized, but in the restaurants Aqaba still serves fresh bread, freshly dried perch and the steady coffee almost without cardamom.
Red Sea conquered me. Such affectionate, as if soda with a vinegar in the water was divorced so that the hair became fluffy. However, many Jordanians have their own opinion on this. The guard of the hotel in Fufayka Zyabko was buried, with a mixture of sympathy and disgust, as the Turks on the White Guard, looking at the swim hinge, leaving the sea in the early morning. Water temperature + 20 ° C, and on the eve of the evening there was + 25 ° С. But only the most desperate Muslims bathe in the sea (about Muslims and speech there, for them it is taboo).
It is a pity that it was not guessed to buy a rosary in Jordan, so that in Moscow to indulge in the memory of memories, going through them and rolling into the title: Amman, Jerash, Madaba, Sky, Bethany, Peter, Wadi Ram, Aqaba.