AW80D: Amman, Jordan

Amman - View From RainbowAmman - Rainbow St Sign

With attractions ranging from beautiful mosques to trendy neighborhoods to Roman ruins, Amman is a city of contrasts, with a mixture of cultural influences. Lonely Planet calls Amman “a modern Arab city, embracing an international and culturally diverse vision of the future.”

The city is about 3,000 years old and was at different points in its long history controlled by the Assyrians, the Persians, the Macedonians (under whose control it was renamed Philadelphia), and the Romans, before eventually (and much more recently) becoming the capital of Jordan.

While there, Dolphie sampled some of the local fare: Hummus is a dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic; Falafel is a deep-fried ball made of ground chickpeas and/or fava beans; Mansaf, called by some the national dish of Jordan, is “made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice or bulgur.” Apparently the name of that last dish, Mansaf, literally translates to “large dish,” which reminds me of one of my favorite things to eat in China, 大盘鸡 (dàpánjī) which translates literally to “big plate chicken.”  Dolphie also got to see bread being baked in a traditional oven.

Along with very traditional food, he got a glimpse of the more modern art of graffit:

Amman - Graffiti

Unfortunately, this time around, there wasn’t time to see what most people consider to be Jordan’s premiere attraction.

By Berthold Werner (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

By Berthold Werner (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Petra is an ancient city carved beautifully out of red stone, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, which we’ve mentioned before are places you definitely want to see.

(Two things: 1 – AW80D stands for Around the World in 80 Dolphies, wherein we follow the international adventures of Dolphie, mascot of Shoreline Community College; 2 – Credit where credit’s due, so thanks Wikipedia and Lonely Planet, and if you’d like to see where I got my information, just click the links.)

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