Blogs from Al Karak, West, Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak May 27th 2014

After two days in Wadi Musa we are on the road again. We are heading to Madaba which is only an hours ride south of Amman and close to quite a list of biblical places. The drive there will take us most of the day, and on the way we will get the chance of a few hours to explore the Temple Knights castle of Kerak. I can't wait to explore Kerak and I must admit that in anticipation of our trip I have re-read Jan Guillou's amazing trilogy about Arn Magnusson, Knight Templar. Jordan is dry and with little vegetation as we drive up the Kings Highway. All the houses which we pass seem unfinished with metal sticks on the roof as if the Jordanians are all planning to attach another floor to their home ... read more
View from King's Highway
Anna the Crusader
The winding road

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak March 31st 2014

I had a good sleep after the day at Petra, so we went down early for breakfast at the El-Rashid Hotel. Again, this is budget, so the breakfast was very limited, but was not bad. I think they may make you an omelette upon request, but we just had bread and labneh, with tea/coffee. Then we took off. We decided to head down the road less travelled and made our way towards Little Petra. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn somewhere because the signs were not very forthcoming. We followed signs to Wadi Araba, but this is on the flatlands west of the mountains, which meant we took a windy mountain road that wound up ending in a gravel road with potholes. We were unsure how much further it was, so we turned back and found ... read more
Al Karak Castle
View to the Dead Sea from Al Karak
Al Karak Castle

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak February 1st 2013

No snow overnight, but it was still cold and gloomy with the threat of more rain. Ahmad talked with the Tourist Police and was advised that while the Petra site had opened this morning it was likely to be closed down again if (when?) it rained. Not really wanting to go through the whole evacuation exercise again we agreed with Ahmed that the best course of action would be to proceed to Karak. After a quick stop at Moussa (Moses') Spring we started climbing back into the Petra Mountains. Before long we were above the cloud line and visibility was almost zero again and the road was lined with snow that had been ploughed from the road after yesterday's bad weather. When we reached the other side of the mountains the sky was blue and there ... read more
Karak
Karak Interior
Karak Tunnel

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak April 16th 2011

Jordan is truly the Promised Land when it comes to outdoor sports in some “virgin territories”. What might look as desert & arid scenery at the first sight is actually filled with hundreds of canyons, waterfalls and underground springs leading to the Dead Sea, possibilities are thus countless. On this sunny Friday, I settled for my first “off the beaten track” canyoneering experience in Jordan with nothing else than the Wadi Assal – nickname “the big one” although by then I didn’t know it yet. Leaving Amman & making our way to Wadi Assal Friday morning 6.20 am, Amman – the day starts with the usual nightmare whenever you need a cab on a Friday early morning. So somehow it was a warm up “trek”, heading on foot to the main streets & keeping my finger ... read more
Breathtaking rappelling down
That was my favorite one, quite a view!
Slide time

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak November 15th 2010

Karak Castle was built by the marauding crusaders in 1142 and was once commanded by a sadistic French guy in non-oxidized armour named Renauld de Chatillon who took great delight in throwing his victims off the ramparts. He placed wooden boxes around their heads to make sure his torture victims didn't knock their heads and get unconscious before they hit bottom. Saladin's forces took the Castle in 1183 after an epic siege. ... read more
View from Karak Castle
W.. and E.. admiring view from Karak Castle
Karak Castle

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak November 15th 2010

The King's highway is one of the three North-South arteries of Jordan. The others are the Dead Sea highway to the West and the Desert Highway to the East. The Desert highway is a modern freeway that is quite busy, but both the Dead Sea and King's highways are twisted scenic roads with some spectacular views. We travelled the King's highway South from Madaba to Karak Castle. It crosses Wadi Mujib, which is Jordan's very own Grand Canyon. We stopped for Bedouin Tea at the top of the valley, before descending down hair pin turns into the Wadi and then back up across the other side.... read more
Bedouin Tea stall at Wadi Mujib
Bedouin Tea stall at Wadi Mujib
Bedouin Tea stall at Wadi Mujib

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak March 30th 2009

07h00 came surprisingly early. I know it happens at the same time each day but I'd once again found it difficult to sleep on the small mountain that purported to be a pillow. Clearly though, after having got rid of the pillow, I must have slept as the alarm clock was waking me up. After taking a shower and dressing, I packed my rucksack and headed down to breakfast. Not good - again. This time, the bread rolls were like bullets, but still, I dined on orange juice, coffee and bread - but drew a line at warm milk on the cereal! Returning to my room, I packed my washing kit and headed down to reception to checkout. At 08h15, we climbed into the bus and headed off for the first stop of the day. Mosaics ... read more
Madaba - Inside the Church
Mount Nebo
Moses

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak January 11th 2009

My last day of touring was a trip to the city of Karak to see the Castle. This was a one hour bus trip from Jordan's southern bus station. The castles was originally built in 1140AD and is a natural strong point in the area. Since then, this site has been key for any power that wants control of the area. Sieges where the common way of taking the Castle, with the majority of them lasting months of years, with in habitants eating everything inside and selling wives and children to prolong supplies. Much of the interior has been excavated with numerous halls, churches, kitchens, quarters etc. This concludes my blogs for the moment, as I head home tomorrow. Thanks to all for taking the time out to check these entries out and providing comments and ... read more
Arrow Shooting Slot
West Wall
View To Dead Sea

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak August 15th 2008

Our next stop was the Crusader castle at Karak which was included in the movie Kingdom Of Heaven.... read more
Ethan at Karak
Me with the view

Middle East » Jordan » West » Al Karak May 2nd 2008

Today was a massive day. We joined our tour group in the morning at about 9am at the Shepherd Hotel in Amman. They had all only just arrived from the UK at about 2am. We were the only people doing a land only trip so we were in a pretty good state compared to all of them. There were about 14 people on the tour and only one other man so Dave was in women heaven. Unfortunately most of the ladies who were on the trip were a little only ( a group there as a 50th b'day present to themselves). We all hopped on a bus and then headed off towards the first stop of the day at Mt Nebo. Mt Nebo is supposedly the mountain where Moses died, within sight of the promised ... read more
The Popes cross at Mt Nebo
Mosaic Map Ruins at Madaba
The mosaic map of the world at Madaba




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