On my last day in Jordan, we journeyed north again to Jerash. It’s a city that holds an ancient Roman city within its borders. We entered the city through the Philadelphia/ Amman gate which faces the south. There are four gates into the city, each named for a city it faces: Philadelphia (the original name for Amman), Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo, I believe. It was a late sunny afternoon and the slanted sunlight made all of the pale stone practically glow.
First, we went to the hippodrome, where horse races and other spectator sports events were held. After clamoring around there for a bit we continued into the city, scaling all the crumbling columns along the way. Eventually, we came to the market place. It’s made up of a long, paved street lined with columns. Stalls would have been lined up in between the columns and horse drawn carts and people would have gone up and down the road. The street includes cross walks, drainage pipes, and grooves worn by cart wheels.
A little ways away was a separate food market, it had the same basic layout, but it was in a circle instead of a line. One of the most impressive things to me was the engineering that went into this city. The first example of this was the earthquake warning system that the original residents built. First, they built columns that have some wiggle room to them (most of the workers at Jerash are perfectly willing to show you how to leverage a stick or a key to get a column to wobble). Then, they would put blocks of limestone on top of the columns so that they were just touching. Now, if you tap limestones against each other, they make a chiming sound. So, when the first tremors of an earthquake approached, the columns would sway a bit, knocking the limestones together to make a clatter.
After climbing around some more and taking lots of pictures, we turned back to go see the amphitheater. On our way back through the town we ran into a herd of goats. So here are the goats:
Anyway, we eventually made it to the amphitheater whose acoustics I do not understand, but am impressed by. Sean, two of the kids and I climbed up to the top of the stands where we could see the hills and the surrounding city all around us; it is an incredible view.
With the sun slipping away, we slipped out of the city and went home so that we could all exchange photos from the trip and so I could do some last minute packing before heading to the airport just before the clock struck midnight.
I think Jerash was a pretty perfect way to end my time in Jordan. Obviously, Wadi Rum, Petra and everything else were phenomenal, but Jerash is really good representation of Jordan as I know it: a modern, vibrant city that is saturated with ancient cultures that you can get up close and personal with. And beyond that, it is surrounded by beautiful desert.
It was an incredible trip. Thank you so much to my family for hosting me and showing me their current country of residence ❤
This is gonna be my last post about the recounts my adventures abroad!!
I’ll be doing a few more posts, mostly about culture shock, and packing, and things people have asked me about, but as far as telling about my day to day experiences this is the last chapter for now. It has been crazy, intense, and oh so much fun! Thank you all who have been reading these posts! It means so much to me that you all take time to (hopefully) enjoy these stories and respond to them. I hope to blog again in the future, when I have more adventures to tell about ! 🙂