Adventure to Jerash

Trip Start Aug 03, 2007
Trip End Aug 01, 2008

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Friday, September 14

Today was another grand day for an adventure! I met Steve & Anita, Erik and Keesha and we went first in search of coffee and found that the Starbucks in Abdoun had their drive-through open. It's Ramadan so it is even harder to find things open on a Friday morning but we managed! Got gas and then headed on our way up to Jerash. It is about 50 km north of Amman and a detour too-just follow the yellow signs and you quickly realized that you are not in Kansas anymore.

The scenery changed from the whites of Amman to more greens of the olive trees, farming and a cooler climate. We drove by a live stock auction and slaughter house, waited for goat herds to cross, and saw lots of fruit stands by the side of the road selling figs, pomegranates, grapes, and fresh dates along with something that looked like lettuce.

We got there about 10:45 so it took us about an hour from Amman to get here. We wondered through the Craft Center aka "The Tourist Trap" and did see some pretty things. At first we were getting the tourist price but we kept telling them we live and work in Jordan and that we wouldn't pay those prices so then we got the "special" price just for us. It was quite humerous as we were 5 Americans together! Steve & Anita bought a carpet and I am sure that they will be back for more. :-)

The cost to enter was 8JD for non-Jordanians but once we get our residency cards we can go for half price. Our tickets were stamped in duplicate and off we went to Hadrian's Arch to enter the site. What an amazing place this is! I felt like I was in a cross between Pompeii and Delphi with all the ruins around you. We spent about 2 hours wondering around but I know that I did not feel like I was done looking so another trip back is in order especially when it gets cooler weather. I would also love to see it in the evening. Check out the sky in the pictures-it was so blue and not a cloud in site! I wore out one battery taking pictures but wow, I couldn't help myself. The ruins just lay there, no fencing or numbering to protect it from wondering hands so it was easy to get close to different things to see what was there. Under one tarp was the uncovering of a tile floor but I didn't see any pattern from where I was. It was amazing so I think I will let the pictures do the talking for me!

Lunch was at the Jerash Rest House on the site. We all ordered the buffet for 7JD and feasted well-see my plate. It is all local specials of dips-hummus, eggplant dip with tahini, cucumber yogurt salad, pastas, rice with lamb, a beef kebob in sauce, roasted eggplant in tomatoe sauce and lots of other goodies to try. Dessert was fresh grapes and a pancake filled with a coconut/walnut filling that was almost sweeter than baklava. Hard to imagine that one!

After lunch, we got back in the cars and went looking for the Ajlun Castle but made a detour to the Olive Branch Hotel at Suf. Some other friends had stayed there and told us to check it out so we did. The view is amazing and will be a fun place to go for a weekend of exploring. Didn't make it to the Castle so we headed back to Amman but had to stop and buy pomegranates from a side stop. Did you know that there are two different kinds of pomegranates? The dark red is the sweeter one while the light pink is more bitter. The seller opened up one for us to try and needless to say, I was hooked! 2k was 6JD-kind of expensive but what a treat and we got 6 of 'em.

Got back to Amman and then started the process of grading papers!
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