Is It Hard To Get Into The Citadel Military College – When I arrived in Jordan it was dark outside, and my favorite part of arriving in a new country now consisted of looking out the window and trying to see something. I always love getting my first glimpse of a new country from the window of a taxi from the airport. But hey, it’s time to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep!
Next day we will explore the beautiful Fort of Amman. Because what started as a beautiful journey through this beautiful archaeological site in the heart of Amman ended with us in the back of a police car surrounded by bulletproof vests, chasing through the narrow streets of the Jordanian capital.
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Is It Hard To Get Into The Citadel Military College
I promise you, I’ll tell you exactly how it all happened and how we shared a tray of Arabic sweets with the local tourist police in the evening.
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Amman is a concrete jungle on one side, with real skyscrapers here and there, but Jordan’s capital also has an older, more authentic side. With sandstone colored houses and several fascinating archaeological sites as far as the eye can see.
The Fort of Amman is one of these important tourist attractions and a highlight for many visitors. The site is located on top of Amman’s highest mountain, Jebel Al Qala, and is about 850 meters above sea level and is part of the seven hills that originally made up Amman.
Amman Citadel is a popular sightseeing spot for many reasons, but its two most prominent features are the Temple of Hercules and the Ummayad Palace.
I strongly recommend you get travel insurance before your trip because the risks are never worth the cost. For example, I ended up spraining my ankle walking through Wadi Mujib, but I could have easily broken it instead. It’s better to be safe than sorry, as medical expenses in foreign countries can add up quickly.
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Amman is usually the first stop on everyone’s itinerary when visiting Jordan due to its proximity to Queen Alia International Airport. Flights from all over the world touch down here and the airport is only 30 km south of the capital.
There are several ways to reach Amman from Queen Alia International Airport. You can opt for a private taxi which takes about 35-45 minutes and should cost around 15JOD. Or if you want to drive yourself you can also get a rental car from the airport. If you are not the most reliable driver, it might be a good idea to take your car only after visiting Amman. Driving in the capital is largely without any traffic rules or lines and sometimes more than 5 cars criss-crossed next to each other. We got our car on our second day as we arrived after midnight, but yes, driving in Amman is not for the faint of heart.
Another option is to take a shuttle bus from the airport, they drop you into the city center and leave every 30 minutes. The airport offers its own bus services from 6.00 am to midnight every day. These buses run every 30 minutes from the airport to Amman Tabarbus Station. The journey takes between 45 and 60 minutes depending on traffic and costs 5-6 JOD.
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Once you are in the capital you want to go to Amman city where you will find the citadel on top of the highest hill. If you’re staying in the old town, you can easily reach the archaeological site on foot, but be aware that there are a number of steps involved. If this seems tiring, you can take a taxi from the city center from 1JOD or drive up with your rental car, as there is a large parking lot next to the entrance.
Amman Fort is open from 8am to 7pm on Saturdays to Thursdays between April and September and until 4pm between October and March.
When it comes to the best time of the year to visit not only Amman but all of Jordan, I advise you to choose spring or autumn. During the day the temperature is good and can go up to 30 degree Celsius but it is beautiful outside and perfect weather for exploring. I went to Jordan in the middle of August and I can tell you, it was bloody hot. Often I will have to breathe a bit in the shade, but then again there are less tourists so summer is calmer from that perspective.
When it comes to hotels in Amman, the city is an example of contrasts. On one hand it has luxurious 5 star hotels with huge skyscrapers and then there are cheap downtown hotels suitable for backpackers. Unfortunately there is no such thing as small boutique hotels here yet but I have listed my favorites in both categories below.
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Be sure to check out my detailed review of the Four Seasons Hotel in Amman, including many more photos.
As one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world, this historic site has been occupied by many great civilizations including the Romans, Byzantines, Persians and Greeks. The fort is surrounded by an impressive wall that also offers a stunning view of the sand-colored houses of Amman.
History buffs can spend a whole day at this archaeological site, but the two main highlights are the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace.
The Temple of Hercules was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and unfortunately very little remains of this magnificent building. Some say the Amman Fort was never finished due to archaeological evidence of missing columns and other evidence, but the remaining two columns, which can be seen from anywhere in the city of Amman, are a testament to how grand the place once was.
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However, there is definite doubt that the temple was actually dedicated to Hercules. If you look a little further you will see a large stone hand, a 13 meter tall statue remains. Some say it’s a statue of Hercules, others say the hand is more feminine, meaning the temple was dedicated to a female deity.
The Umayyad Palace is a large Umayyad-era palace complex located on the Citadel Hill in Amman, Jordan. It is a remarkable historical building with a beautiful dome. This is also where our crazy adventure in Amman began. Remember when I told you earlier that we were in the back of a police car?
We arrived in Amman after midnight and to be fair we didn’t have the best night’s sleep either. But just as the sun was beating down on the sand-colored buildings of downtown Amman, we stepped out and walked to Amman’s citadel. We didn’t want to wander around the ruins without learning anything, so we hired an official local guide.
Of course we had to take as many photos and record as many videos as possible with our smartphones. After the Temple of Hercules it was time to visit the Umayyad Palace and our guide asked us to pose with one of the archeological artifacts.
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After visiting the palace the tour ended and we walked around the fort wall and again took tons of photos. My friend Kate wanted to record another video but couldn’t find her smartphone. Although we searched his bag 5 times without any result, we slowly started to worry. We retraced our steps but her phone was nowhere to be found. There weren’t that many other tourists so we still kept our hopes up.
That’s when I realized I could try to locate her phone with the Fine my I-Phone app. I loaded the app and to our surprise it actually worked! But instead of seeing his phone somewhere, we saw it going away. We started to track its location, but they had already left the archeological site and by the speed of the marker we realized they were in a car.
We found our guide and told him what had happened and he was incredibly kind and took us to the local tourist police at the entrance to the fort. We explained to them what happened and time was running out so my phone only had 4% battery left and neither of us had a portable charger. Then things got interesting!
The police asked us to climb into the back of their car and together we ran through the narrow streets of Amman. I am
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