Blogs from Madaba, West, Jordan, Middle East

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Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba October 21st 2016

Today was the official last full day of our tour around Jordan and as we all climbed into the van that would take us north to the city of Jerash, we all came to the somber realization that the end was near. Driving into northern Jordan, I was amazed by the number of refugee encampments that we had driven by. Our guide Faisal had explained that not all of these were Syrian refugees but many of them were Palestinians living in the encampments for over 10 years. He had indicated that estimates range from 1/3 to about 40% of the Jordanian population consisting of refugees. That high proportion of the population just amazed me. We pulled into the Jerash ruins which are considered to be of the best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. I ... read more
Hadrian's Arch in Jerash
Hadrian's Arch in Jerash
The Jerash Visitor's Center

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba October 20th 2016

After a great 2 days of exploring the ruins at Petra, we headed off towards Madaba just outside of Amman. On our way to Madaba, we would have several stops to check out some additional sights of Jordan. The first stop was really just a quick road side stop to stretch our legs. Our van pulled over the side of the road where Faisal explained that below us was the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the largest nature reserve in Jordan. However from our vantage point, it looked like a dry and deserted wasteland. After this quick 15 minute stop, we headed towards the town of Karak where we would visit it's castle. Perched on top of a hill with great views of the surrounding area, Karak Castle is a fortified castle from the era of the Crusades. ... read more
Canon at Karak Castle
The View from Karak Castle
Exploring Karak Castle

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba December 15th 2015

We got an early start on the road and made our first stop at Shobak castle, where we were the only tourists. Shobak castle lies on a remote knoll 1 1/2 hrs north of Petra. It was constructed in 1115 by the crusader king Baldwin I and was used as a desert stronghold along the King's Highway. The castle was eventually taken by the Muslims after an 18 month siege by Saladin. I had read of the castle in my guide book and they recommended bringing flashlights for the more remote sections, to include a long and dark secret passageway which they provided directions to find. We did find the passageway which was little more than a narrow cave, and slipped and slid down through the bowels of the castle and into the mountain for the ... read more
Shobak Castle
Karak Castle

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba September 27th 2015

27 septembre 2015 - Jour 4 Nous quittons Amman pour nous rendre au sud, à Petra. Mais tout d'abord nous faisons une halte en périphérie de la ville sur le Mont Nebo où Moïse serait enterré. Il faut le dire au conditionnel car il n'y a aucune preuve archéologique de son tombeau mais selon la Bible c'est ici que Dieu lui aurait montré la Terre Promise et qu'il serait décédé. Et à la demande de Dieu, il devait faire en sorte que l'emplacement exact de sa tombe ne soit jamais révélé pour qu'il ne devienne pas un lieu de pèlerinage. Des tombes ont bel et bien été trouvées sur le site mais il n'y a aucun moyen de prouver s'il s'agit de Moïse. Le fait est qu'ils ont tout de même édifié un monument et une ... read more
Atelier de mosaïques
Carte en mosaïques
Château de Kerak

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba June 7th 2015

After breakfast there was really nothing more to hang around for so it was time to move on. At the end of the 1km dirt track from the Bedouin camp is a 'B' road. We asked one of our hosts the best way to get back on to the Desert Highway. Do we go back the way we came or continue on this minor road? The answer we were given was to continue on the road for about 20 minutes and we will join a main road that will take us to the Desert Highway. We looked in the direction that the Bedouin was pointing and all we could see was a range of mountains!! We didn't try to ask what the terrain was like. ‘OK' and ‘not bad'seem to have different connotations in Arabic. As ... read more
More prestine stores on route to Madaba
A Jordanian IKEA
Inside St George's Greek Orthodox Church, Madaba

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba May 30th 2014

Madaba lies approximately one hour from Amman and is most famous for its mosaics. You might have heard of the 6th century Madaba Map which is a large mosaic in the Byzantine Church of Saint George displaying the holy land. But this is not the reason why I have convinced my boyfriend to stop in Madaba for a few days. On the contrary I am more into softer fabrics and after discovering that Madaba is also a carpet city I have become dead-set on finding myself a magic carpet. I have grown up in a house with oriental rugs and I love the earthy tones of such carpets. In my stepfathers summerhouse there used to be a particular massive kelim carpet which was all eroded from decades of use. I love it. To me it is ... read more
Carpet making
Mosaics
People being baptised

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba April 16th 2014

Geo: 31.7195, 35.7941In addition to being windproof, our tent was also exceedingly dark. Before the sun rose, I heard what sounded like a persistent hum. While it sounded like rain, I was convinced it couldn't be, given where we were. I went out to the necessary a little after 7:00am, and while the sun was now up, I could clearly see in the sand the distinct impressions of rain drops. I later confirmed that there had indeed been rain showers earlier that morning. While there were rudimentary toilets (and showers...no one partook), there was no way to really get clean after the previous day's activities, but we resigned ourselves to this fate and simply got up and washed as best we could. Whatever electricity there had been the day before was exhausted from the solar generator, ... read more
Our Drive out of the Desert in the Morning
Mosque in Madaba
Church of St. George (home to Jerusalem mosaic)

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba April 11th 2014

Geo: 31.7195, 35.7941After capitulating on the car rental situation, we loaded into our rather decrepit Peugeot 206. I had purchased a GPS mapset for Jordan, so we hooked it up, punched in our hotel in the town of Madaba -- about 10 miles from the airport -- and off we went. It was now after 1:00am. We literally had not gone more than 100 feet when a police car rolled up behind us. He honked his horn several times, but I was navigating a series of traffic cones to get properly oriented toward the exit. K asked me if I needed to get over, but as soon as I was clear of the cones, he veered sharply around and passed me. This incident, and the following few minutes, were all it took for my "old driving ... read more
Our Welcoming and Long-Anticipated Beds!

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba October 14th 2013

Today, we should visit Jerash in the morning. In the afternoon, there was more time for Madaba, because we didn't had that much time yesterday to see everything. But first, we had breakfast at our rooftop restaurant in our hotel (Mariam hotel, in Madaba). Again, the breakfast contained out a small English breakfast (eggs, vegetables, some small lamb sausages), flat bread with hummus, and small, sweet breads, coffee, tea and fresh juice. After breakfast, we left to Jerash, together with our guide Omar and of bus driver Waél. Jerash is one of the best kept Roman city's of the world, and the best kept Roman site of the Middle East. Only 5-10% was found, the other parts are still buried at the site or buried underneath the modern city of Jerash. In the Old Testament, Jerash ... read more
Nymphaeum
The South Theather
Cardo Street

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba October 12th 2013

Today was the day: I finally go to Jordan! Before my trip, people asked me why I wanted to visit Jordan, a country in the Middle-East. People think that Jordan is also very restless due the Arabic restless, but that's not true. A time ago, I saw a TV travel program where the Dutch Erica Terpstra (old politician and old athlete) was visiting Jordan. She went to Amman and I really like the atmosphere, it looked like a "1000-and-one-night", fairytale. Then, she visted Petra. I was very wondering what was behind "the Siq", a narrow canyon with a big height. Then, you saw the Treasury of Petra. I never saw that in my life, and my mount fell open: This couldn't be true! Since that moment, I would like to visit Jordan and started to read ... read more
Me at Schiphol
Our Plane
In the Sky




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