Jewels of Jerash
After our arrival into Amman, Jordan we headed north for the first day of our tour with On The Go. Driving north through the mountains toward the Syrian border we entered Jerash. Jerash is known for its well-preserved Graeco-Roman ruins. It is said that the ruins of the city of Gerasa, set along the “Golden River” extend under the existing city which now offer residents brilliant views over the city ruins.
The ruins which have been excavated run along the river and alongside the new city and include impressive arches, a forum, columns and a functioning amphitheatre. One interesting point was the way in which the columns were constructed in pieces and joined with a lead key in the centre of each piece which allowed the columns to move and thus withstand earthquakes. This may be part of the reason the ruins here are so well-preserved. Our guide Jamilla gave us a great demonstration of this by placing a spoon under the edge of one of the columns. The spoon then moved up and down as the column swayed slightly in the wind.
From Jerash we headed a little further north to Umm Qais and some more Roman ruins and a view to sea of Galilee and the natural cliff which separates Syria and Jordan The ruins were awash with poppies and daisies really adding to the magic of the place and a small museum had an interesting Greek headstone with a message which roughly translates to this: “Passerby, there you stand as I once did. Looking at me lie where you will be one day. Remember life is short, so live each day to the fullest. It was a wonderful message and a great reminder of why we have embarked on this adventure.
At the end of the day we returned to Amman in preparation to visit the south and sites such as Mt. Nebo, Petra and Wadi Rum. On the way we stopped to find Jordans national flower the black iris which is luckily still flowering this time of year.
The map used in this post was taken from www.onthego.com and shows the path of this tour, Road to Jerusalem.