Over Christmas last year I decided I wanted to do something different and very cultural – so along came Jordan. A very Muslim country but still very open to tourists. The people on whole were very friendly though you could see from the way women dressed that they held onto very conservative traditions. This is a collection of wonderful pictures taken on my trip experiencing the middle east for the first time.
Ancient Jerash & Kerak Castle, Jordan
First up was ancient Jerash. Populated for over 6,500 years, the golden age in Roman times when it was conquered by General Pompey and became one of a confederation of ten important Middle Eastern cities, known as the Decapolis League. It has only just started being excavated in the last century and is widely acknowledged as one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Walking around the colonnaded streets, soaring hilltop temples, handsome theatres and the chariot-racing stadium, it is easy to imagine Roman life carrying on around you. It is thought that only about 10% of city has been uncovered.
We then travelled onto Karak Castle, via the Kings Highway which is 5,000 years old (though has been nicely updated with proper pavement I’m happy to say). This ancient Crusader stronghold is the most famous of a chain of fortresses built for the Holy War against Islam in the 11th Century which lasted for near 200 years…gives one a bit of perspective
On our gallivanting road trip down to Petra, we also stopped off at Mount Nebo – a site of Christian significance due to its reference in the Old Testament as being from where Moses saw the Promised Land, which can be seen on a very very clear day 🙂
The Rose City, City of Petra, Jordan
The piece de resistance…built by the Nabataens in 312BC, it is a symbol of Jordan and has high tourist traffic. We however, visited in December which is winter and quite chilly but still stunning blue skies. The Treasury was carved into the rock face. There is little more to be viewed inside and seems to have served no real purpose than to show as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Only about 25% of the city has been discovered so there is still plenty more to be discovered.
Walking up near 900 steps through the mountains, to the high place of sacrifice you get a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains…not to mention a rough idea of how hard it would have been to traffic the poor animals to be sacrificed up steep steps
We also experienced Petra City at night which I highly recommend. They light hundreds of little candles to line the 1.5 miles leading into Petra and then have a little show of wonderful traditional music being played by candlelight
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan
We stayed one night camping out in the desert which was a lovely experience. I wouldn’t turn down the chance to go back again for a proper camel or horse trek through the desert of this wonderful place. Wadi Rum Desert is the more popular of deserts for tourists but still very bare with wide open expanses and beautiful rock formations as you can see in the pictures. I got up at 5am for the sunrise picture…but the colours only became stunning at 7am…two hours of sleep lost but all part of the adventure
The Dead Sea, Jordan
We ended our journey with the Dead Sea which was a long the way from Wadi Rum back up to the Capital Amman