Amman and Jaresh

March 5-6, 2009

Pnina and I expected to stay a couple of days in Wadi Rum.  But after our first day’s tour we decided to take off.  The  issue was that without a 4×4 or a camel it’s pretty hard to see Wadi Rum – the area is huge and hot really set up for hiking.  And renting a 4×4 or camel is expensive.  So, after one day there we hopped a bus to Amman.

We already passed through Amman a few days earlier, after entering from Israel, on the way to Petra.  It didn’t look particularly nice the first time, and now, up close, it didn’t look much better.  Dull 4-story apartment blocks in all directions.  We found a simple hotel in the center and spent the first day just wandering around.

Pnina in the streets of Amman, not far from our hotel:

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Having dinner – some kind of greasy pie:

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Having a mixed-fruit juice:

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We had one more day to kill before our flight out of Amman.  We took a suggestion from Scott & Fi (who we met in Wadi Rum) and hired a taxi to take us to the ruins at Jerash.  In fact, we used the same driver they had, a guy named Maher (If you’re interested in hiring him call 0796662371 or email maher_abukhalaf at  The round-trip to Jaresh was 10 JD.  He also does a tour to some hot springs at the dead sea for 20 JD (something we would have loved to do if we had more time).  Maher has been living in Jordan for years but he’s from a Palestinian family (there are a lot of Palestinians in Jordan, some have their Jordanian citizenship by now, and some still don’t).  He also spent some time coaching women’s soccer in France.

Centuries ago Jaresh was one of the biggest cities in the world.  Today it has ruins of that roman rule: a field for chariot racing, a couple of auditoriums, and columns everywhere.  It’s strange to see this Roman heritage here in the middle of Jordan, but I guess it shouldn’t be – the Romans left their mark across a huge territory.

The entrance gate at Jerash:

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Local actors put up a mock chariot-race show.  We didn’t see the show but we saw the actors selling tickets:

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The bigger of two auditoriums.  If you stand in the center and talk or clap you get a strange echo:

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Some of the ruins had some in-tact mosaics on the floor:

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Pnina doing her song-and-dance routine in the smaller auditorium:

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