Jerash and Ajloun Castle

Trip Start Jan 18, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Jordan  ,
Sunday, March 2, 2008

This Saturday I went on a trip with my program, CIEE.  We first went to Ajloun Castle.  It's the only Muslim castle in Jordan, surprisingly!  I asked our guide why that was and he told me it's because for one, the Muslims didn't have the time to do so and they just ended up taking over Christian castles, and for two, it was very expensive because they didn't believe in using slaves (because of Prophet Muhammad's teachings) whereas the Christians did use slaves to build theirs.  The castle was beautiful and the area around it also was; unfortunately the weather in the morning was a bit rainy and foggy so we couldn't see the view that well.  We also were supposed to go on a hike but we couldn't because the land was muddy and they didn't want us making tracks.

After Ajloun we went to Jerash and saw a Roman army reenactment in the Colosseum as well as chariot races and slave duels.....the actors did a very good job and it was a lot of fun to see it all.....I videotaped a lot so hopefully you can see some of them on this blog

Then we went to lunch and then we headed back to Jerash to see the city.  It was absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!  I felt like I was in Rome!  The columns are huge and intricate and the arches are also a sight to see.  It's amazing that this all could be built around 1800 years ago and still be standing!!!  They were so advanced for their time it's shocking....for example, they built the columns so that they would sway just enough to withstand any earthquakes but not enough to fall you can actually feel the columns move if you put your hand under it!!! so cool ;) 
The theaters are also gorgeous and really neat.  If you stand in the center of it everything you say echos.  Also, if you whisper something into the stone on one side of the theater somebody on the other side can hear it if they put their ear to the stone! 

Half of Jerash is now covered by modern Jerash.  I guess the Ottomans had people who migrated from around Russia settle in either Jerash or Amman so half of Jerash lays beneath them.  Jerash is not a world heritage site yet because I guess sometimes they do not properly uncover the ruins or something like that.  But my god it should be!  It was very cool and I recommend that everybody go see it while in Jordan!!!
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