Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Shopping in a new country is always a fascinating experience because you get to observe what the locals do and what products are on offer.  It's also a great place to learn the language.

On our 2nd day in Amman, we were taken to a Safeway in the local neighbourhood, Sweifieh.  We weren't too impressed with this place.  It was kind of like a President Mart in Taiwan, but instead of Chinese music being played throughout the shop, it was passionate Arabic music.  I'll try and record it one time because it is actually quite good.

Robert in Safeway

Then we discovered a place called Cozmo.  A big box store that has other stores inside like BHS, Hamleys and an electronic store.  We got very excited when we entered into the food store and found Waitrose products.  For those who don't know Waitrose, it is an excellent food store in the UK.  When we lived in Southampton, we shopped here all the time.  Needless to say, Cozmo will be out local go-to supermarket as it stocks the best products.

Another supermarket that we will go to on a regular basis is Carrefour.  A French supermarket chain that can be found all over the world.  We had one in Taiwan so it is nice to see something that we familiar with, like Waitrose.  I took the following picture when everyone was eating after a whole day of fasting, hence why there are hardly any people.

We are very satisfied with the choices of supermarkets we have found in Amman.  They are all clean and close by.  We just have to remember to bring our shopping bags because we are using far too many plastic bags which of course, is not good for the environment.  The supermarkets give them away willy-nilly.  I always have to repack the bags in order to cut down on the amount :-)  

As soon as we discover more supermarkets, I'll update this entry.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fuheis - Zuwwadeh Restaurant

This town is about 20km Northwest of Amman.  It is a predominately Christian town and is famous for fruit growing and cement production.  The main reason to visit this place is a restaurant called, 'Zuwwadeh'.  Our school took us here on our 3rd night in Amman and we loved it so much, we went back. Lonely Planet describes it as 'Highly popular with local and discerning expats, the ambience is lively and warm, much helped by the jovial staff.'

Here is a link to the restaurant - http://www.zuwwadeh.com/

The food is amazing and it has a very relaxed atmosphere.  We tried to get there before the sun went down, but we didn't manage it.  We will go back and take more pictures of the town because it is very pretty.

Mhamara and Babagonush dip :)

Inside Zuwwadeh.  There was a man playing Arabic music.  He was good!


Wow, wow, wow!  It has been a week and we have fallen in love with the city, the people and the food!  I know it hasn't taken long so it goes to show that we have made the right choice by moving here.

Today, we were meant to go to the Dead Sea, but Robert had a bad night sleep (jet lag) and was awake for most of the night with a horrid headache so we chose to stay in the city and do a bit of tourism in Amman.

We went to the Citadel.  Apparently the Citadel sits on the highest hill in Amman and is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon or "Great City of the Ammonites".  Whilst we were on this amazing hill or Jabel as it is called here, it was the call to prayer (adhan).  This experience was magical!  The muezzin echoed throughout the entire city.  It was very cool!!

The 5th tallest flag pole in the world.

Amman is an ancient city that has been continuously inhabited. The Citadel is a great place to go to experience the antiquity of Amman

Showing the different times of settlement in Amman.
 At the end of the year, the school will host a graduation down there in the Amphitheatre.

Roman Amphitheatre

I love this place :)

What they believe the Temple of Hercules would have looked like.

The Temple of Hercules

This temple was built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-80).

Buzzy Bee


My hero!

Hercules Hand

National Archaeological Museum

An ancient skull (6000 years old) found in Jericho.

A cool map of the area.

The museum houses many items dating back to the Bronze age .

An old Mosque

Umayyad Palace

This is believed to be the work of the Umayyad Arabs (AD 720).  It was once the home of the governor of Amman.  It was destroyed by an earthquake in AD 749 and was never fully rebuilt.

Our apartment

Here are some pictures of our apartment in Amman.  We have a spacious 2 bedroom place, great for visitors.  We have all of our stuff in being sent so I'll do before and after photos when we get all of our things.  Once our things are here, it'll feel more like home.

Front Room

Dining area, all open plan

Conservatory - we are most happy about this!

Guest Bedroom

Our bedroom

Loving the wardrobe!



Food that was already here for us.

Our road.

Also, we have a guard who lives in the building who does things like, wash the car, take out the rubbish and generally help us with everything and anything we need help with.  For instance, today, we bought heaps of plants and he helped us carry them from the car to the lift.  Apparently, he'll even go to the shops for us and get us some milk :)  Now that's service!

Friday, August 17, 2012

First day in Amman, Jordan - Mount Nebo

Here we are!  It has been 5 days and we have cable tv, internet and bank accounts.  It is the fastest settling in period we've ever had.  It is amazing.  I can not begin to tell you how happy we both are to be here and how much we have fallen in love with this country and its people.  

First day, we climbed up to Mount Nebo, a site where Moses is 'believed' (not proven) to be buried and also where he arrived and God promised him the 'promised land'.  

Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land.... Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendents.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." 

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day on one knows where his grave is. --Deuteronomy 34:1-6

There are many Byzantine mosaics here.  There is also a memorial church, but it is currently closed for refurbishment. 

On the platform at the summit is a modern sculpture by an Italian artist representing Moses' staff and Jesus' words in John 3: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up."

Here we are, jet lagged, but so happy to be here.

Some flora and fauna.

Way more to come :-)

Halifax, Nova Scotia

It is always such a treat to visit Nova Scotia because not only do we get to spend time with family, we also get to hang out in a very green, clean city.

When ever we visit Mom and Dad LeBlanc in Halifax, we are always treated to a lobster meal and it is delicious!  I've never had lobster elsewhere in the world, but I am sure it wouldn't be as nice as Nova Scotia lobster.

As it was my birthday a few days before, Mrs LeBlanc had decorated the condo with banners and signs.  It was super special.

And the birthday cake was yummy!  I had 2 slices.

I also had a very special afternoon with my sister in law, Jen who took me to a make up place where we got to learn how to do the smokey eye effect.

 Here is Robert with his brother, Andre and his family, Jen, Sofia and Jake.  It was a pleasure to spend time with you all.

A beautiful sunset on the harbour.

Breakfast at Cora's.  Probably the best breakfast place in the world.  I wish I could show you the menu.  I ordered a chocolate and strawberry pancake....mmmmm!

 Robert ordered a strawberry covered waffle.

 Happy eaters!

One thing I love about Halifax and Nova Scotia is the colour.  Here are some examples of the colour in Halifax.

 I like purple.

Ships are common in this part of the world.  Every two years, the tall ships come into town.

Halifax will gain a new library very soon.  Here is some of the construction work  You could write a message on the black boards.  I wonder if you can see mine?

 Whilst we were in Halifax, Robert's aunt Elaine and Uncle Bob came for a visit.  It was excellent to spend time with them and for me, it was my first time meeting Uncle Bob.  We have promised we will visit Newfoundland soon.

I wish I took more photos of Halifax because it is such a lovely city filled with massive trees.  Next time we visit, I'll take more.

A big thank you to all the LeBlanc's for such a lovely visit.  We are super thrilled to be closer to home so we can visit regularly.  See you again very soon.