Jordan Journals

Crusing Jordan's Highways

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A November 2002 trip to Jordan by HobWahid

The Treasury Photo, Jordan, Middle East More Photos
Quote: Jordan is a small country with a surprising amount to offer. This journal is about renting a car, crusing the highways of Jordan, and seeing all the sites.

Crusing Jordan's Highways

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Overview

The Treasury Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Jordan has lots to offer, but number one on the list, of course, is Petra. To go to Jordan and not see these ruins is a crime.After Petra, my number two place is Jerash, absolutely amazingly well preserved Roman city. A lot of people get sick of Roman ruins, and think that if you have seen one, you have seen them all, but Jerash is special, a must see.The Dead Sea is another spot any visitor to Jordan must see, unless of course you have already seen it from Palestine or Israel, but the experience of floating effortlessly is something everyone must take part of.Other than that there are a few more spots that you can choose from. If you are a nature person, you must see Wadi Rum, its ca...Read More

Qala'at ar-Rabad

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Attraction

Qala'at ar-Rabad Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Qala'at ar-Rabad, also known as Aljun Castle, is an old castle that was built by a descendant of Salah al-Din to fight against the Crusaders in the 1100s. It held off the Crusaders, but then fell to the Mongols in the 13th century, only to be rebuilt by the Mamlukes, who turned it into a shining example of early Islamic castle building. The fort remained in use throughout the Mamluke and Ottoman periods, but towards the end of the Ottomans and during Jordanian independence, it fell into disuse and became inhabited by local families, until it was turned into a museum in the later part of last century.Qala'at ar-Rabad is located in the northern part of Jordan, about a 45 minute drive from Amman. Loca...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2002

Umm Qais

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Attraction

Theater Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Umm Qais is an old Roman village in northwestern Jordan. The village was a thriving trade town during the Roman era, and enjoyed good trade relations with the Nabateans, the people who built Petra. It continued to be a lively town throughout the Ottoman era too. One of things that makes Umm Qais different and unique from other Roman cities, is that all the structures were made out of balsite, instead of marble. Balsite is a gray, very-stone-looking rock that doesn't give the city the clean, rich, prestigious look that marble does, but instead makes the whole thing a little dark, but it is interesting to see.Umm Qais is not the most spectacular Roman city you will ever see when it comes to Ro...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2002

Floating in the Dead Sea

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Attraction

Floating Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
The Dead Sea Rest house is located on the northeastern tip of the Dead Sea along the Dead Sea highway. The beaches on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea are not as nice as those on the Israeli side, but they are under development. The Jordanian government is trying to turn them into a veritable tourist destination. Most of the beaches are in the same clump in the northeastern corner. There are a few high-class hotels with nice beaches, such as the Mövenpick, but there is a hefty entrance fee. There is also a small, free public beach, which we stopped at, but seemed extremely sketchy. So we went to the Dead Sea Rest House, a nice middle ground. The entrance fee was about $5 and the Rest House has all t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2002

Amman, the Quiet Capital

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Attraction

Amman Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Amman is the not-so-bustling capital of Jordan. With a population of 1.7 Million, it is a good-sized city, and a historical one, too, dating way back to before the Nabateans and Romans. For its size and history, however, Amman doesn't have too much to offer the tourist. Although, you will most likely fly into Amman and pass through it sometime, you can enjoy the few things it does offer. Amman also makes a good place to base yourself out of, as it is right in the middle of the country and all the roads pass through it.In terms of historical sights, Amman has two major ones. One is the Citadel and the other is the old Roman theater and square. If you have seen citadels like the one in Cairo, you wil...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2002

Mt. Nebo and Madaba

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Attraction

Mt Nebo Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Madaba is by far my favorite city in Jordan. Located just southwest of Amman, it is centrally located and is a great place to base yourself for touring Jordan. The city has a strong Christian tradition and to this day retains one of the highest numbers of Chistians of any city in Jordan. Throughout the city the are many churches, such as St. George's that have old and beautiful mosaics that are worth seeing. Madaba is a much more alive city than Amman is and has some great cafes and restaurants to hang out at, smoke shisha and drink arak, the Arab equivalent to the Turkish raký, a powerful drink made from anis and mixed with water.If you are going to stay in Madaba I highly suggest th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 1, 2002

Petra

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Attraction

Al-Khazna Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Petra, The Rose Red City, is the most famous sight in Jordan. You've probably seen it in Indiana Jones and in National Geographic (which honored it as one of the places you must see before you die), but nothing could ever compare to seeing this spectacular city in person. With its elegant temples and tombs carved into rose red sandstone, it awes and inspires. It is like no other ancient city on earth.If you can, avoid going to Petra during high tourist season, late spring-early summer, at all costs. Unless you like being overrun by busloads of tourists with flash-bulbs remarking how Harrison Ford stood there, I suggest you stay away. We went in November, it was perfect, and make sure to get ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 2, 2002

Roman Ruins at Jerash (Gerasa)

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Attraction | "Jerash"

Roman Ruins at Jerash (Gerasa) Photo, Jerash, Jordan
Quote:
Jerash is right up there as one of the best ancient cities I have seen. It outdoes almost anything in France, Italy, Greece or Turkey. In my opinion it surpasses places like Delphi and Pergamum, and is equal or slightly better than Ephesus and Pompeii. What makes Jerash great is its size and the fact that it is so well preserved. The other great thing is that it is not so well known, and will be completely empty if you hit it in off-peak season, like we did.Try to get to Jerash early in the morning or late in the day. It will be less crowded, not as hot, and the light will be at its best.The entrance to the ruins is a bit confusing; our guide book told us it was at the Visitor’s Center, but ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 2, 2002

Roman Ruins at Jerash (Gerasa)

Jerash, Jordan

Our Car Photo, Jordan, Middle East
Quote:
Some people say that renting a car in Jordan is dangerous because the roads are bad, and the drivers crazy, but those people obviously haven’t been to Egypt, or most other third world countries for that matter. Renting a car is perfectly safe, and all the roads are is good condition. Sure, you will most likely find the drivers a bit more aggressive, and you will find yourself driving more aggressively, too, but it is perfectly safe. Renting a car is by far the best option for seeing Jordan. It will seriously increase your mobility and allow you to see so much more than you would be any other means of travel. At the Amman airport there is an Avis, National and a Hertz, which will all give you fair p...Read More