"Travelers are the greatest ambassadors of tolerance."
Paris, oh Paris. I've seen you from above. I've looked out over your beautiful fields, and gazed at your cloud-filled skies... but only from the air or the air...port. And so it was again today.
Once I landed in Paris and made my way through security again (yes, they make you go through security even though you've simply gotten off a flight and then walked down the corridors to security to get on yet another flight), I was walking to my gate for the Paris to Amman flight, when I heard my name being called from behind me. It was Uncle Mike.
Nancy and Mike and their friends, Mark and Lynn, had rested at their arrival gate (from Cincinnati) for awhile prior to making their way to our departure gate. Once we all congregated at the gate, I met a few more people who were in our group. I knew there had to have been people on my Salt Lake to Paris flight who were part of our small tour group since Discovery Expeditions & Adventures is based in Salt Lake, but I hadn't met them yet. Mark and Lynn's parents, Alvin and Marilyn were there. I also met Jeff and Heidi, Stephanie and her grandma Amanda, Cindy and Luke, and Kevin.
|Al, Marilyn, Mark, and Lynn|
Photo courtesy of Mike
The next leg of the flight was not quite as comfortable. Somehow, I ended up in a window seat, a choice I have no recollection of making. My preferred seat is always an aisle seat which allows me to get up freely and use the aisle for elbow and leg room, if needed. Luckily the flight wasn't too long. At least I don't think it was. I don't have much recollection except that it was much more cramped and the announcements were made in three languages, Arabic, English, and French.
We arrived in Amman at about a quarter after 9pm. I was the first in our group off of the plane, so when I made it down to where our Jordanian host was waiting for us, I rushed off to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Suddenly, I was the last one of the group to make it back. Our Jordanian host took all of our passports and handled the visa and customs for us, while we sailed on through to the other side to claim our luggage.
|Baggage claim at the Amman airport|
Photo courtesy of Mike
I had mentally prepared myself to wear the same outfit during the entire trip in case my suitcase got lost. (I brought one change of underwear in my back pack). After ten minutes of waiting and watching other people claim their bags, I was beginning to think that my mental preparation might have been a good idea. Luckily, I didn't have to worry anymore when my bag made its appearance on the baggage carousel. I believe I was the last one from our group to get her bag. Hallelujah!
|The Grand Millennium Hotel in Amman|
This photo was taken the next morning, since we arrived in the dark
Luggage loaded and sleepy passengers all accounted for, we bused from the airport to the Grand Millennium Hotel in Amman. We were surprised to learn that the hotel had agreed to have a late dinner buffet just for us when we arrived at nearly 11pm. We were all tired, but the hospitality was simply so generous, we could not say no.
|Wonderful buffet dinner at the Grand Millennium|
|Aunt Nancy and I dining... at 11pm|
My room was a pleasant surprise: very clean, very nicely decorated, even if an interesting, more modern taste. Honestly, it was much nicer than I expected. And heaven sent was that bed! If I haven't mentioned before, Pat joined us in Israel, so I had all my accommodations in Jordan to myself.
As you can see if you look closely, the bathroom boasted a glass wall in the shower. For those who needed a little more privacy, a screen can be rolled down on the other side.
Our wake-up call was scheduled for 6:30am the next morning, so I got to bed as quickly as I could. However, in my tired state, I couldn't quite figure out how to keep the electricity on to charge my phone, so I had to keep the lights on. It was one of those hotels that you are only able to turn the electricity on by keeping your key card in a little slot. But also if you turned off all the lights, then the plugs wouldn't work either. I was too tired to figure it out. Good thing I had my eye mask.
Sunday, October 25, day two:
Flights: 4 floors