Sunday, February 03, 2008

Crossing Countries

After saying my goodbyes to the boys, I headed back up to Amman. It was a fairly short journey, only three hours, and relatively uneventful. During the trip, the driver picked up a few hitchhiking army recruits and gave them a lift with us back to the city. They looked very grateful.

I was travelling by myself again and it was time to head into somewhere new and exciting. So after spending just a night in Amman (and a boring one at that), I began my journey into the next leg of my trip.


Waking up nice and early, I made my way to a service taxi station where I would be taken to the border.

The trip was short, and before I knew it, I was at the Jordanian immigration hall. Easy! How hard could this be? I paid my departure tax, had my passport stamped and was soon sitting on a bus headed towards the crossing.

This was a desolate crossing.

Guard posts and lots of guns was the order of the day.
Finally, we reached and crossed the famous King Hussein Bridge.
Everything seemed fine! I had made it all the way to Israel in about an hour and a half! What was all the fuss about I thought? I had heard so many horror stories of problems entering Israel, and yet this seemed to be going swiftly.

I was VERY premature in my thoughts.

Once inside the Israeli immigration hall, I wasn't going to be moving for a while.

A very LONG while in fact. From the time I sat down after being asked to sit, it would be another FIVE HOURS before I got up again. So for five hours.... I sat.... and I waited for the immigration officials to complete my security check.

The cold and clean hall became a strangely familiar place to me by the end of this wait.

Thankfully, I was granted entry.

But my problems weren't over yet. After jumping into a sherut on the Israeli side, I was able to quickly reach Jerusalem. But the old city is a maze, and a tightly packed maze at that. What should have been a simple walk to the hostel became a one hour nightmare trek through side alleys and streets until finally.... finally.... I stumbled into the hostel.

I had started travelling at about 7am that morning. It was after 3pm that I reached the hostel and thankfully.... a bed.

No comments: