Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day Trip to the North from Amman

We met our tour guide yesterday. He's a nice Jordanian-American who spent the past 15 years living in Chicago driving taxis and long-distance trucks named Mohammed. It's nice to have a tour guide who understands American culture but is proud of this beautiful country we're visiting. Yesterday, we visited Ajloun Castle and Jerash. These historical sites are both in the North, the biblical Gilead. Although we found no balm that day, it was gorgeous weather and we had a lovely time.

In addition to seeing a well preserved Islamic military spot, we had some of the best mint tea we've had so far from a little mint tea seller at tehe base of the castle.

Philip was quite the trooper and gamely was worn throughout the day. It was a warm day and he and I both felt the heat in our Moby, but he was quite secure as I walked up and down the castle steps.
After lunch we went traveled on to Jerash, an equally magnificently preserved Roman city. We had a wonderful tour guide for the duration of our time there. She actually has a grandson named Akram. As we walked with her we were near a group that was receiving a tour in a Italian. I was surprised by how much Italian I remembered and how similiar their spiels were. Although our guide had some good perspective on modern life. We ran into some teenagers wanting to speak English with us and generally being teenagers. Aaron surprised them and their "harassing" of us with some pretty good Arabic.

Modern Jerash in the background covers more than 50% of the original city.

Goats help keep the grass well groomed.

11 of the 12 original Ionic columns are still standing. Roman architecture continues to astound. We were able to see the seismic "cushion" that they used in their earthquake proofing. She placed a spoon in the base of one of the coumns and we were able to see how much natural movement is present and that the column could withstand.
Since Jordan spent some time within the Empires upon which the Sun Never Set, the playing of bagpipes has become a part of their national culture. Here the bagpiper was playing Ode to Joy. It was definately a unique mish-mash of cultures and times

Here I am standing next to the wall that was built for Hadrian's visit. We're all standing in the Oval Plaza.


  1. I don't know why blogspot won't let me format this differently. I've given up trying to fix it.

  2. Oh man do I miss that tea! I've found some good mint here state side but I cannot figure out what kind of tea they use. Would you find out for me?