Jordan/Amman: Day 1 -Bubble Pipes and Bills

P1010341P1010359P1010334Good flight but by the time we got out of the airport it was gone 1.00am.  The car hire chap drew us a map of how to get to the hotel, but once we got near the city centre, we got very lost.  In the end we paid a taxi and we followed him!
Today we got up reasonably early – beautifully sunny and did the sights in Downtown Amman – Roman forum & theatre and the BC Citadel.  Nothing special, but I did enjoy wandering the streets and some novel experiences.  Coffee in a sheesa cafe – all the men smoking bubble pipes – I was the only woman!  The coffee was fab – creamy, strong and a hint of cardomen.  For lunch we wandered in a cafe where they had huge racks of roasting chickens – again all me …. We were politely shown up stairs to the mixed gender restaurant!!!  There was some confusion over ordering and I ended up with two sorts of soup and tender lump of lamb on the side.  James had a chicken wrap, with chips 😁 and coleslaw. It was all very tasty and cost less then £7!!!  
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A quick wander through the food and gaudy gold markets and then a taxi to a posh hotel where James used to drink, all of 27+ years ago.  A glass of wine each and the bill was £25!!!! Won’t be doing that again.
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Irish History

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Yesterday met Fionnula and Sean for a guided tour of Glasnevin Cemetery.  Quite rightly high up on Tripadvisor.  Finally started to get my head around the 700 years of 

English rule and the part names like Daniel O’Connor and Charles Stuart Parnell played, amongst MANY others buried in the cemetery.  

Day trip by train to Belfast today – Sightseeing bus followed by a ‘spontaneous’ boozy quality lunch at Howards.  The bus tour took in the dock yards, Belfast Castle and many infamous streets from the times of ‘The Troubles’; The Falls Road, Shankill Road and the Peace Wall.  All the murals made me feel uncomfortable.  

Just about to read a short history of Ireland.

Luxury Hollyhead Accommodation

Chardonnay loaded Thursday evening with a full load, including bikes.  We want her weighed pretty much as if we are off full-time, as being over weight invalidates insurance as well as being unsafe.  Full load of clothes, tins tomatoes, water, fuel etc.

James took her to the weigh bridge yesterday (well, actually the 4th weigh bridge he came to in Avonmouth, having not been able to navigate to the SatNav, so drove blind).  The really good news is that we are light 600 kgs.  Out of this we need to add 4 adults, but this till leaves LOTS of weight capacity for more wine boxes.  Donations gratefully received.  Why wine boxes?  Concerns about our consumption vs daily budget and Scandinavian prices!

Yesterday James picked me up from school and we headed straight up to Holyhead.  I say straight up …. some mist, some rain, lots of road works.  Left Bristol at 3.10 and arrive in Hollyhead at 9.45 … tired.  Parked up at the Long Stay Car Park …. large bays, so we fitted neatly into two.  At £3.50 per bay for 12 hours, it was about the price of a Caravan Club Certificated Location.  One of the things we love about the CL’s is often they have marvellous views.  This car park was no exception; sea / dock on two sides.  Just as we were going to bed an overseas fishing trawler pulled in and proceed to disgorge its catch to a waiting truck.  Woke this morning to the same trawler revving up and the anxious shouts of someone shouting “That is MY dog.  It is NOT yours!”  No idea if the trawler left with it’s four legged stow away.  So like a CL in that our accommodation had interesting views, but nothing like as peaceful.