Archive for the ‘Jordan’ Category

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Jerash

April 13, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

Our last site to see was Jerash. It was established by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. and later expanded as a Roman city, one of the Decapolis cities.

triple arched gate

Much of the city was toppled by the earthquake in 749 A.D., but it is one of the best preserved sites.

steps and massive Corinthian pillars

The pillars of the Temple of Artemis remained standing despite the earthquake.

Roman street lined with columns

We had a guide and it was worthwhile. Sometimes the guides can get in the way of the experience (such as the one at the Citadel). This guide went slowly, told us important information without it being too much and gave us lots of time to take pictures and enjoy ourselves.

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Ajlun Castle

April 13, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

medieval castle

Our last day of site seeing in Jordan started with Ajlun Castle. It was built by a nephew of Saladin in 1184-1185 A.D. and enlarged in 1214-1215 A.D.

bearded man with 4 Nigerians

Before we even got into the castle, we encountered a bus load of Nigerians who all wanted to have their picture taken with DaddyBird. Some even decided that they needed a picture with me also.

large castle room with arched ceilings

The castle was larger than it appeared and very interesting. To see all the pictures, click here.

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Amman Street Food

April 11, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

Al Reef shwarma stand sign

We headed out for dinner. First was shwarma at Al Reem. (3.00 dinar $4.25 for four)

hand holding a shwarma sandwich

Followed by falafel sandwiches at Al Quds Falafel. (1.40 dinar $2 for two)

falafel being cooked

falafel sandwich

Followed by one of everything at Hamish Restaurant. (6 dinar $8.50 for full dinner for two)

three bowls of food

restaurant in an alley

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Madaba, Mt. Nebo, and the Dead Sea

April 10, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

After Wadi Rum and Petra, it seems to be downhill. Perhaps we should have reversed the order of our itinerary.

Dead Sea, beach, feet

On our way to the Dead Sea, we stopped at St. George Church in Madaba where there is a mosaic map from the 6th Century. Neither of us is very interested in the Byzantine era. I enjoyed some of the newer mosaics that were hanging in the church (21st Century).

We also stopped at the Mosaic School, where we were briefly (very briefly) shown how new mosaics are made in a small workroom and then ushered into the expansive gift shop. The school teaches Jordanians, some of whom are physically disabled, how to create and restore mosaics. They do good work.

Next was Mt. Nebo, where there are more remains of mosaic flooring from a Byzantine church. The view of the Jordan Valley was lovely, despite the cloudiness.

By mid-afternoon we were at our Dead Sea hotel, ready for a late, late lunch and a long nap. Testing the waters waited until the next morning.

See all the pictures – click here.

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Petra Cats

April 9, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

You knew it would happen, right? A post about stray cats during our vacation is traditional.

orange tabby laying on top of a garbage can

We saw this tom three times on our trips up and down the siq (canyon). He clearly has a territory that is his niche. There is a patch of bamboo and a large crack going away from the path area, so there is probably a whole ecosystem that provides for his needs.

Since we were walking out on the second day, we could stop to have a little chat with him.

bearded man petting cat

He was very sweet and very clean (except for his dusty paws). It would appear that he has a pretty cushy life just sitting around, licking himself, and watching the tourists go by.

man petting orange tabby

The cats in this region aren’t Arabian Maus, like our own Oliver and Bert. These cats have shorter legs, shorter spines, and rounder faces. They are very nicely proportioned, medium sized cats.

cat on man's shoulders

He even made himself right at home on DaddyBird’s shoulders.

We tore ourselves away and went further up the trail. This little female came running with her tail in the air when she saw us.

orange tabby with tail in the air

She also was happy to get some attention.

man petting orange tabby

Until the dog came…

cat at the base of a tree

And she had to take defensive measures.

cat in the tree, dog at the base of the tree

All the stray cats we’ve encountered in town have been very skittish and defensive. It was nice to encounter these two, who have it pretty good and can afford to be friendly.

If you would like to see all the pictures from our second day at Petra (222 of them) click here.

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Petra!

April 8, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

first view of the Treasury of Petra from the siq

Our first day at Petra started at 8 am. We met our guide, Abdullah Al Nawafleh, bought some hats to shield us from the sun, and headed in. To ease the experience we hired a horse drawn carriage. Abdulla negotiated it so that he could drive us in and another driver would come to pick us up at the other end around 2 pm.

The horse drawn carriage is a rough, rough ride. We were bounced down the path. Luckily, Abdullah stopped occasionally to explain the features along the way giving us a bit of a break. The path in is all downhill. We felt sorry for the poor horse who slipped occasionally on the rocks.

We had a marvelous time. The tour was informative and enjoyable. We had a few hours on our own, mostly spent in the Roman part of town. We started to climb to the Monastery, but I was not up to it. We came upon a trinket stall along the way and the Bedouin woman invited us to stop and rest on her bench. I took her up on the offer. She also offered us tea. We accepted not realizing that she would have to start a fire and make the tea for us. A couple of tourist police on their way up and a German couple on their way down joined us. It was quite pleasant. We bought a necklace from our host. She was very gracious.

Then we headed back to our rendezvous point for our carriage ride back to town. It was a bumpy ride back and a bit worse because there were no stops to alleviate the experience.

You can see all of the 390 pictures here.

Day two, we go in slow on foot.

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Jordan, Day Two – Citadel, Amphitheatre, Wadi Rum

April 7, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

Wow, this was an eventful and amazing day. I took 341 pictures – click here to see them.

We started with the Citadel, the top of a hill in the heart of Amman which has a wealth of archaeological sites dating from all periods – early bronze age, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, etc.

couple at archaeological site

From here we went to the Roman amphitheatre at the base of this hill.

amphitheatre

There is also a small museum there. While looking at this dress, a young woman standing next to me asked “Do you like it?” I said, “Yes, it’s beautiful.” She said “Not so much.” I’m guessing, but there seemed to be a group of students so she may have been a Jordanian university student. Too bad she doesn’t appreciate her own past. Since I’ve made clothing and done embroidery, I have a better appreciation for what kind of work went into creating this beautiful dress.

black dress with red embroidery

Next we were on the road to Wadi Rum. This took about three hours.

bearded man and limestone mountain

Wadi Rum is a large area of limestone formations. We rode in the back of a jeep pickup driven by a bedouin who lives in the valley. It was an amazing time.

ancient rock art depicting camels

We stopped a couple of times to see petroglyphs.

eroded limestone formation

We stayed for sunset, then it was back to our tour driver so we could head to our hotel in Wadi Musa. Tomorrow we explore Petra.

We are having an amazing time.