Welll, sorry for the long Hiatus. I had a Looooong bout with a stomach virus that I contracted from some awful falafel that I had at world famous Hashem's restaurant. Its so famous that even the royal family drop in there from time to time whenever they get sick of eating properly cleaned food in one of their many palaces. I'll take you there sometime.
So we had the great fortune of renting a 2005 chevy malibu from a Jordanian Hertz for the day, so we decided to go to Jerash. Why have I never heard of this place? Oh, probably because I couldn't even point to Jordan on a map 3 months ago, thats why.
But dang. This was a nice place. I went to a lot of Greek ruins a few years back in Athens, and they looked pretty ruined so you get kind of bored quickly. But this place was very well preserved. Like a park of Ancient Rome that Walt Disney setup so that you don't have to travel to several different places to get the full experience of the Roman empire and overpriced souvenirs. Here in Jerashic Park you get it all!
So the Roman Empire was quite large as I'm told, and it had gone down as far as the middle east. Several cities were erected to protect the territories in the Middle east and one of the best preserved ones is Jerash. I was quite surprised to see my best roman architectures so far to be in the middle east, but maybe someone wise hundreds of years ago thought that it would be good for tourism, so they preserved it well.
You first start off at Hadrians Arch where it dawns on you that you are no longer in Kansas. We snapped a few pictures just to prove that we were there and headed off down a path with fallen roman carved columns.
To the left there is a still operational hippodrome (for those who don't know what a hippdrome is, its where they raced horse chariots... not hippos. Watch gladiator for more information). We bumped into one of their ... eh hem.. 'gladiators' who offered to take a picture with us.
(No danger here of this one pointing his pinky finger at me!)
After taking pictures with the microwarrior we trudged up a hill to the sound of scottish music. Not quite clear what bagpipes were doing in a roman re-enactment but we found ourselves at a fantastically preserved roman theater. Evidently the Brits conquered Jordan for a while and left the locals a tradition for scottish bagpipes in the military bands and a pension for fried foods in their cuisine.
Here is a picture of elodie just before this rich Saudi guy asked Elodie to be his second wife. The first wife took elodies picture so that she could hire a witch doctor to cast a spell on her to give her warts. Just kidding if you didn't already guess.
After 15 minutes of bagpiping, we moved on up the hill to catch a glimpse of the entire park. Amazing...It was like stonehenge but with more stones. A circled plaza of roman columns could be viewed from the hills, with a temple dedicated to Athena...at least thats what we think it was. It was all written in arabic so who really knows. After a while, tourists that saw that we had a book started asking us what these buildings were. We started making things up like, 'this is where they had their local starbucks'. 'I think this is the vomitorium.' 'I'm pretty sure they did sacrifices in this area.'
We wrapped up the day with a drive back home that only took 45 minutes. Talk about convenience. We had left the house at 12:30 and had an outright amazing experience seeing all this in half a day. I hope that you get a chance to connect to the full album via my facebook(click here) album. The place is one of the most beautiful places I've been to.