When we arrived in Jordan we met our new guide Mohammed and hopped on our new bus for a day of travel. We had a few stops on our way to our ultimate goal - Petra. We drove for about 20 minutes before stopping in Madaba to see the famous mosaic in the church. Four new tour members joined our group for Jordan because they wanted to go to Israel and the second group is not large enough to include Israel. We ran into a colleague of my dads from Rick Steves, talk about a small world. Jordan, of all places, was not a place we expected to see other Americans, let alone someone we knew. After the brief church visit we went to a little restaurant to get some snacks and drinks since we had had our breakfast at 5:00. I saw falafel on the menu and instantly ordered that. I had been getting tired of it early on in the trip but then it stopped being available. I was not disappointed, it was one of the best I’d had. Not as good as the first one but a close second. It was back on the bus then for about three hours before we arrived at our lunch stop. After being here for a few hours I have already noticed some major differences between Egypt and Jordan. First of all there is not trash everywhere in the streets here and there are actual public trashcans, something I never saw in Egypt. There is still some trash but it is miniscule compared to Egypt. The government here is also much more stable. The people like the king and are happy with the way things are run. Another thing - and this is a big one - in Jordan I fell like I am being stared at like an exotic creature to be admired while in Egypt I felt like I was a plate of food to be devoured. So this is a welcome change. Our lunch was mixed grill, something we’ve been eating a lot. Many of us had eaten quite a bit at our first stop for snacks so several people didn’t eat. Because this was preordered my dad and I ended up with six to go boxes of mixed grill.
We got back on the road and drove for several more hours. I took a few little naps, listened to some music, and did some writing. We stopped one last time for a bathroom break before heading on to Petra. The rest stop was like Target of souvenirs. We arrived at our hotel built into the rock and checked into our rooms. The hotel was much nicer than I had anticipated when I heard “built into the rock.” My dad and I headed down to the cave bar. The bar was set up inside a cave and the atmosphere was very cool. We had some beer that cost 20 dollars for the both of us - WAY different than Egypt. Everything is much more expensive and the Jordanian Dinar is worth about a dollar and 40 cents. When the beer was gone we were all so tired that we all went up to our rooms pretty quickly. I collapsed into bed and fell asleep immediately.