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Published: October 31st 2012
Monday - Jerash, Ajloun, Dead Sea
We start off with Khaled waiting in the parking lot and us in the lobby, however after almost half an hour we connect and are on our way. We decided to head to Jerash before the heat of the day….This was incredible. The site is in such awesome condition and it is huge. They are still excavating. It was great to do this in the cool morning air. Was a real contrast seeing the new in the background of the old. We spent almost 2 hours here going through with our guide who had been doing this job for 30 years....Jerash is massive and the ruins are so incredible. The oval plaza, the fountain and cathedral area and massive walkways and columns were very impressive. We turned down the chariot race and personally I really didn’t want to see the horses running in the hot air let alone be responsible for it. The ruins all seem to have stray cats and I think for the most part people are feeding them. If I had known there would have been kernels in my pockets. We bought some bracelets on the site and were happy with our
purchases…although we found out later we had been overcharged in comparison but hey...we were happy with the first price so really couldn't complain. Everyone is trying to make a living and feed their families. Jerash was an incredible size and so worth the visit. A great start to our first full day in Jordan.
After Jerash we head to Ajloun and up to the castle high on the hill…we did a quick self tour here although a couple of guides did come up to us and try and engage in conversation and offer information. We politely turned them down quickly before we would have to pay them. We really enjoyed the castle and I wondered about the stories these rooms and corridors could tell. There was a small museum inside along with some historical information along with a few stacks of rock cannonballs. Knock you silly. Views from the top to the village below were pretty cool. Our tour that we prebooked has included all the entry fees so that has been really helpful.
Our driver, Khaled, is married with 3 boys and has quite the sense of humour and is a lot of fun. Very polite
and nice and taking care of everything. We also got some pictures of road signs and there are a few notating how close we are to the borders of the neighbouring countries including Syria.
From here we head to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, 400m below sea level and as we make the very long drive down, our ears keep popping. Would not want to have to climb up this highway on foot. There are police all along the highways in Jordan checking for speeding…the fines are steep and too many of those tickets will land a person in jail for 3 months…. Interestingly, also private citizens do this as well as the police. The view is incredible as we drive down to our resort and towards a whole day of kicking back and no touring. As much as we have absolutely loved this we are looking forward to some downtime at the Dead Sea. We didn't make it down to the beach fast enough to get sunset pictures. Tomorrow will do it.
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