Monday, October 16, 2023

Israel/Egypt/Jordan 2023 - Day #20 - Jerash

Jerash & Amman

Rich Roman Legacies in the Heart of Jordan

Uncover the mysteries of two ancient cities dating to the days of Rome.

Drive with your guide to Jerash, inhabited for more than 6,500 years. During its Roman era, it was proclaimed part of the Decapolis, an alliance of ten great cities of Rome. A stroll along its paved streets, soaring hilltop temples and city walls reveals Jerash as a fine example of formal provincial Roman urbanism. Continue to Amman, Jordan’s bustling modern capital with a rich Roman history of its own. In its days under the emperor, it was also constructed in extravagant style. Under the Byzantines, churches dotted the cityscape; see the imposing Roman amphitheater set into the side of a mountain and visit the Amman Citadel, home to many early artifacts. Conclude your excursion at a women’s association, where you can immerse yourself in the Jordanian craft of soapmaking.

Cindy Larkin's birthday!

Up at 5:05, we put the luggage out in the hall at 6 am. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we boarded the bus about 7:15 am.

It was a long five hour drive back to Amman on the desert highway. When we got there, we did a very short driving tour of the old part of Amman. I was surprised how hilly that the city is.

We made a quick stop at the Roman Amphitheater in Amman. The theater was built in the 2nd century AD during the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. It has a capacity of over 6,000 people.

We continued to Jerash and had a lunch stop at a Lebanese Restaurant. After lunch, we had a Viking led excursion of the nearby Roman City at Jerash.

Jerash was originally founded by the Greeks in the 4th century BC, but it flourished under Roman rule from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD. During this time, Jerash was a major trading center on the Silk Road. It was home to a population of over 20,000 people.

The city has many well-preserved Roman ruins, including:
  • Hadrian's Gate: This monumental gate was built to commemorate the visit of the Roman emperor Hadrian in 129 AD [pic #2].
  • South Theater: This theater was used for performances and public gatherings. It has a capacity of over 6,000 people [pic #3].
  • Temple of Zeus: This temple was dedicated to the Greek god Zeus. It is the tallest temple in Jerash and offers stunning views of the city [pic #4].
  • Temple of Artemis: This temple was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. It is one of the largest and best-preserved temples in Jerash [pic $5].
  • Hippodrome: This hippodrome was used for chariot races and other sporting events. It is one of the largest and best-preserved hippodromes in the world.
We got to the hotel about 430 pm. We are staying one night at the W Hotel Amman. We had a cocktail in the Living Room Bar while our luggage was transferred to our rooms.

The Heringers, Larkins, Gainsleys and Leclaires had dinner together on our last night at the Mesh Restaurant in the hotel. I had an Ahi Poke Bowl and a Spicy Tuna Roll. The eight of us got along extremely well on the trip. I enjoyed getting to know the Leclaires.

With a very early start for home tomorrow, Sharon and I crashed about 930 pm.

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