Amman & The Best Museum Ever

We left Hong Kong for Amman Jordan May 14 on a Royal Jordanian flight (thank you Kiran/Makhanis for the airline miles). We chilled in the executive lounge (thank you Kiran for your platinum status) before our flight and on the TV screen you could clearly tell we were not in America; not in LA at least, the weather girls look quite different where we’re from.
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Our Royal Jordanian plane had little personal TV screens and tons of movies to choose from. I watched On Golden Pond. Kiran watched Wreck-It Ralph.

During the flight, the pilot got on the loudspeaker to make an announcement, naturally, in Arabic. For a second, I was paralyzed and gripped with fear upon hearing Arabic on the loudspeaker – I thought the plane had been hijacked! That was true culture shock.

All in all, Jordan exceeded our expectations. It was the first time either of us had been to the Middle East, so honestly we probably didn’t know what to expect. The people were very kind, and we had the best hummus of our life every morning for breakfast at our hotel, Jordan Tower. To us, the greatest parts of Jordan were Petra and Wadi Rum, obviously, but we really enjoyed Amman and the surrounding areas as well.

We visited the Amman Citadel, a settlement and fortress that dates back 7000 years. From the top of the hill you can see what is reportedly the tallest flag in the world.
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We spent the better part of a couple hours hanging out in a Roman Amphitheater that was built about 1,850 years ago. It is still used occasionally today and can seat up to 6000 people.
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I love this picture. Sure some Muslim women may be oppressed, being forced by societal expectations to cover their heads lest they excite men; who, as dogs, are incapable of controlling ourselves. But at least the women got style (note the matching Burberry headscarf and purse)!
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Prior to the amphitheater, we had falafel at Hashems, the best falafel joint in Amman.
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I noticed another white guy there but didn’t say anything to him. In the amphitheater, we saw him again so we started talking. Turns out he (Jason) was from Long Beach so we reminisced about home before we eventually parted ways. Then we saw Jason back at our hotel. Then we saw him climbing the steps of Petra. Then we saw him at the top of a rock watching the sunset in Wadi Rum. Jason, we’re sorry we missed you in Jerusalem!

We also took a day tour to see the Dead Sea, Mt. Nebo, and the place where Jesus was (allegedly) baptized. And I’d discuss it here in this post, but Kiran took such an amazing photo of me at the baptism site that I think that day deserves its own post entirely.

OK, the best part of this post. Forget the Louvre, forget the Met, if you’re a dude (or a female car enthusiast as Kiran considers herself), you have to go to the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman. Honestly, Kiran told me about this place so she gets all the credit. She used to work for GM and said she has been to a lot of car museums during her time there, but says she has NEVER seen a place like this. I can’t wait to compare this when we visit the Porsche museum in Stuttgart later this fall.

As soon as I walked into the museum and saw the world’s first motorcycle I knew this place rocked. It’s a woodie!

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But there were so many other motorcycles too. A few steps from the wooden motorcycle you see an old-skool Harley.

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And more Harleys
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And more Harleys
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Then a 1936 Brough Superior SS 80
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And a 1920 Excelsior Series 20
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A 1942 Zundapp KS 750 (German war bike) and behind it a 1942 Harley Davidson WLA

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1952 Triumph Thunderbird T6
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1951 BMW R53/1 and a 1940 BMW R23
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1937 Indian Chief V Twin and a 1934 Harley Davidson VLD Big Twin. A Rolls Royce and some more Harleys chill behind them.
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Here’s said Harleys: A 1926 Model B and a 1928 Harley Peashooter Pup
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There’s just too many to name.
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But this one stood out
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I should mention the cars too. Here’s the first armored car that was used in modern Jordan, a 1956 Cadillac Type 75 Fleetwood Imperial. It was a gift from President Eisenhower to King Hussein. When is a gift a gift and when is it bribery I wonder.
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Here’s a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300d Cabriolet D
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And a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 Sc Roadster
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1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V
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1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Sedanca de Ville
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This is a 1952/53 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, one of the rarest cars in the world. Just 17 were made for Heads of States
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Speaking of Rolls-Royce, can you believe this is 1917 Rolls?
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Speaking of bad-ass luxury war trucks, a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 280 GE 4×4
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And an old Land Rover with a .50 caliber accessory that was used to guard the King during parades.
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Speaking of Land Rovers, there’s a photo of the Queen of England in a convertible Land Rover used when she visited Petra.
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And guess what? They had that truck there too.
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They had the coolest BMW Kiran and I had ever seen.
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And a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT. Kiran geeked out on the Tron motorcycle behind it.
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And my favorite Porsche when I was a kid, the ‘ol 959.
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Overall, the museum was amazing, an automobile museum truly fit for a king.
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And then the true Grand Finale, an F40 AND an F50! Side by side. Same room. Incredible.
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Here’s me, in shock.
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F40
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F50
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Kiran likes this shot since it shows Ferrari with the Jordanian flag.
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Gosh, I almost forgot, King Hussein even had the floating car!
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If I only had that at the baptism site…

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One response to “Amman & The Best Museum Ever”

  1. Anonymous says :

    On this very neat Father’s Day, what a gift for Sam and Me to hear from our kids, regardless of their place in the crazy world, to include Turkey. Made me smile all day. Hugs from the site of the 6/15/13 Naked Bike Ride, Madison WI. Nope, just watched. At 65 there is no reason to further embarrass oneself!!

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