All flights from Europe seem to arrive and depart to the Middle East in the middle of the night and mine were no exception. My Lufthansa flight from Amman left at 240 am so I setup a wakeup call for midnight and managed to get a couple of hours sleep before I had to take off. I arrived at Queen Alia Airport in Amman with plenty of time to spare and spent most of my time in the Royal Jordanian/Lufthansa Lounge.
The flight to Frankfurt was uneventful and we landed about 630 am a few minutes early. My flight to Denver was not until 1pm so I had a lot of time to kill. After grabbing some breakfast in the Lufthansa lounge I parked my butt in front of the TV and to watch CNN. The six hours dragged and I wandered around the airport, into various Lufthansa lounges, United's Red Carpet Club trying to kill time. Finally it was time to board. Security was pretty intense in Frankfurt. They were patting everyone down by hand and using the wand to check people. They actually spotted the nail clippers I had forgotten to take out of my bag and confiscated them.
After 10.5 hours we finally arrived in Denver. The nice thing about flying west is you gain the time. I left Frankfurt at 1 pm and arrived in Denver at 330 pm. It was nice to be home.
All in all it was an amazing trip. I never experienced any harassment or had any personal concerns about my safety along the way. People everywhere were extremely friendly and went out of their way to help me. Being Canadian may have helped to some degree, but I also never hid the fact that I lived in the US.
The Middle East is a very interesting part of the world and I would encourage anyone with an interest in different cultures and history to go visit. Syria, Jordan and Lebanon are all wonderful places and the tourism industry is fairly new there so you are likely to have many places almost to yourself unlike places like Egypt, Greece and Rome which are overrun with tour buses.
It was definitley a challenge travelling in such a foreign environment but by the end of my trip I felt totally comfortable. What had seemed so foreign and the culture shock I had experienced at the beginning of my trip had all but dissipated by the end.
Salaam Aleykum! (Peace Be Upon You, the traditional Arabic greeting, very useful when talking to surly border guards and policeman)