Aug 11, 2009
Sep 30, 2010
Where I stayed
Umm Qais Hotel
It was a Thursday evening when we were there (the equivalent of our Friday) so an interesting time to people watch as the locals came out to stroll, picnic and play soccer in the Roman theater!
As is the norm in Jordan, a 100km trip to Umm Qais required 3 buses and took a few hours. It was easily worth it though, once we were at the top of the hill - the ruined black and white Roman city of Gadara on one side, views over the sea of Galilee (Israel), Syria and the Jordan valley on the other side. The hillsides of the Golan Heights were right in front of us - pretty impressive, as this is about the closest you can get to them (unless you are in the Israeli military perhaps?). Amazingly green, but with no sign of human or animal life, the hills are still a major sticking point between Israel and Syria - these days they are within Israeli borders (unless you are looking at a Syrian map). Everything looks very green and fertile, even the archeological site is awash with flowers and rampant weeds, which the local children collect and try to flog to unsuspecting tourists.