Ajloun, Um Qais, Jerash

Trip Start Apr 10, 2011
Trip End May 24, 2011

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Flag of Jordan  , Irbid,
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A shared day trip with Wayne (a self-proclaimed hick from Illinois), also on his first Middle East trip. Like him, many travelers in Jordan are combining Jordan with trips to other countries in the region, usually Israel and/or Egypt.

A long day visiting three archaeological sites around Amman. Um Qais is perched on a high hill on Jordan's northern border, right next to the Syrian border and offers views of both the Sea of Galilee and Syria. While the views are lovely I find it somewhat depressing to be staring across the border at Syria for the second year in a row (last year I was at it's norther border with Turkey). I am reconciled to never being able to visit Israel so am happy to peer across.

Net up is Ajlun Castle, a fortress built by Saladin's nephew to defend this strategic point from Crusader attacks. In good repair it's fairly complete with interesting passageways and chambers. It's around midday and there are a lot of local and foreign tourists.

Jerash is probably the most well-known, being the site of one of the most important and best-preserved Greco-Roman city, Gerasa. The stone road through the city remains and it's an eerie sensation to be walking on the same stones as the Romans. 


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