Monday, January 24, 2011

Jordan Egypt 2010 - Day 1: Jerash

Jerash boasts itself as the biggest Roman town ruins outside Italy, and one of the most famous tourist spot in Jordan, I was expecting beelines of tourists flocking the place, but on the contrary, hell no!  When we arrived in Jerash, there was hardly anyone, other than the locals.

We had our first meal in Jordan at the Rest House Restaurant near the Jerash Roman ruins.  It is not the one at the visitor center, but further down, outside the Hadrain's Arch.

P was still very energetic and full of smiles because now he had food on the table.

While I was already very tired from the long long long flight from Singapore to Amman.

It was a buffet, and cost JD8 per person.  There were not too many selections, but they were all ok and not too bad.  I was not really used to their way of cooking and seasoning, but the food was still ok.  The restaurant was like a ghost restaurant, with the two of us as the only customers.  Lucky later a couple of Caucasians came too.  Business was really bad, and I didn't expect a popular tourist spot could be this quiet and 'peaceful'.

After lunch, we went straight to the Roman ruins, and being welcomed by the Hadrian's Arch.

We were there at around noon time, or slightly later, but look at the color, it was like dusk.  The sun shone weakly on the ancient stones, giving it a warm and yellow cast in a chilly winter afternoon.  This mountain turtle has never seen any Roman ruins before, the grandness of this arch really impressed me.  It is elegant.

This arch was built in to commemorate the visit of Emperor Hadrian to Gerasa in 129 AD.  Hell, I must write a complaint letter to the Chinese education authorities, as I didn't have a clue of who Emperor Hadrian was!  The Chinese education failed me!  But in this internet age, a Google search will tell you all about Emperor Hadrian.  He seemed to be one of the few good emperors in history.

Immediately after Hadrian's Arch, the impressive Hippodrome came before your eyes.

This is where you can see the live Chariot parades.  Too bad, we didn't have the time, nor the timing was right for us, so we missed it.  Standing right there, it felt like I went back in time to the age of gladiators.  The excitement, and cheers, and the cruelty.  They were so vivid in front of me, as if I had lived as a Roman citizen once.

Jerash Roman ruins is huge place.  Even if you are not a history freak, which we are not, it will still take you about two hours just to walk around the entire place.  Take note of the sunset time, as in Winter, the sun sets at around 4.30pm, but the sky looks like dusk starting from 2.30-3.00pm.

Ok, I can't bring to every single site in Jerash, so before I go, I will show you a video of a 360 view of a small section of the Roman ruins.

You can find all my Jordan/Egypt related posts here.

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