Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel

20th Mar 2016
Photo of Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel 1/2 by megha goyal
Panoramic View of South Theatre

Unlike my usual self I didn’t google/ researched anything about Jordan before going there. So the second surprise I got as soon as the hotel taxi picked me up. The taxi driver took me through all the places (with hopes of getting some business) that I could visit during my stay in Jordan.

Photo of Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel 2/2 by megha goyal
Blue Mosque at Citadel Amman
Day 1

Amman is the capital city of Jordan and most developed of all and itself has quite a few tourist attractions such as citadel, Ampi theatre, King Abdullah mosque, Down town. Detailed blog will be available soon.

Day 3

Jerash is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy. Within the remaining city walls, archaeologists have found the ruins of settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age, indicating human occupation at this location for more than 6500 years.

It is known for the ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa, also referred to as Antioch on the Golden River. Entrance costs 10 Jordanian Dinar (JD, as of April 2016) for all foreign visitors, which includes the Jerash Archaeological Museum.

Sunset @ Zeus Temply, Jerash

Photo of Jerash, Jerash Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal

The entrance to the Archeological Park is through the Hadrian's Arch, the southern gate of the city followed by Hippodrome partially restored, roman era stadium. The Visitor's Centre is located at the entrance to the archaeological park (just south of the Hippodrome and the Arch). Various sites such as the forum (the oval plaza), the south theatre, temple of Artemis, Nymphaeum are few well restored historical structures in Jerash.

Hadrian's Arch

Photo of Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel by megha goyal

Just outside of the archaeological park is a small souq—an outdoor bazaar, of sorts—that provides a well-rounded offering of Jordanian souvenirs and handicrafts. Many of the shop keepers are amiable and are willing to bargain over prices. Local children and teens will try to sell you Roman coins and other small artefacts found on the site though it is not advisable to buy from them as it is illegal.

Ajloun Castle (also Rabadh Castle), an Islamic fortress, is one and half hour away from Amman. The castle is located on the top of a mountain just outside the small city of Ajloun.

Entrance to Ajloun Castle

Photo of Ajloun Castle, Ajloun, Ajloun Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal

The castle is an interesting maze of passages and levels, and offers a wonderful view of the surrounding area, northwestern Jordan, and off into Galilee. I clubbed Ajloun and Jerash together on a single day excursion from Amman.

Corridor inside the castle

Photo of Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel by megha goyal
Day 4

Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge in Jordan, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land. The Dead Sea, West Bank of Jerico, Jordan River Valley and Jerusulam is visible on a clear day, and the day I visited was no less than that.

View of the Promised Land

Photo of Memorial Church of Moses, Mount Nebo, Faisaliah Sub-District, Madaba Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal

Here I met a very friendly and nice Tourist Police Officer who knew good English and guided me to the entire site, gave insights and offered me a help if I ever need for any travelling plans in Jordan though I never utilized it.

Serpentine Cross Sculpture @ Mount Nebo

Photo of Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel by megha goyal

After visiting the church at Mount Nebo I headed towards the ancient town of Madaba. Madaba is the city know for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. I chose to visit St George's Church & the floor has a mosaic map of the holy land, been protected in bits and pieces.

Before viewing the map, take a look at the full-size replica in the ticket office, making it easier to spot the details that you want to focus on in the church. There is a beautiful market around the church shops selling souvenirs of all shapes and sizes.

Famous Mosaics of Madaba @ St. George's Church

Photo of Madaba, Madaba Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal
Day 5

Dead Sea: Beautiful turquoise blue waters forcing your body to float instead of sinking, black mud at it shores has skin healing properties and salted water makes it impossible for any living being or plant to survive in it. Floating in Dead Sea is one of those things that was part of my bucket list.

Dead Sea Beach

Photo of Dead Sea by megha goyal
Day 6

Wadi Mujib: If you love adventure then this is the place to be, there are 4-5 different options (both wet & dry trails). I would not be writing much about it but suggest to experience trekking in the river having knee height water, climbing on the rocks against the cliff through a rope, sliding from the top the small cliffs feels like a steep water rides in an amusement park but in natures lap.

Wadi Mujib,wet trail through the Siq, PC: Google Search

Photo of Wadi Mujib by megha goyal
Day 7

Al-Karak also known as just Karak or Kerak, is a city in Jordan known for its Crusader castle, the Kerak Castle. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria. Al-Karak lies around 150 Km to the south of Amman on the beautiful King's Highway. It is situated on a hilltop and is surrounded on three sides by a valley.

Staircase to Heaven

Photo of Karak Castle, Kerak, Karak Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal

The castle is divided in two sections upper court and lower court. The lower court has been converted to a museum. The architecture of the galleries in both the upper and lower court are similar. However as per the information board, the lower court is magnificent, unfortunately it was closed for renovation when I visited.

Alley @ Karak Castle

Photo of Jordan, lesser known travelling jewel by megha goyal

One of The Seven Wonders of World, is the most visit tourist attraction in Jordan. It is a Nabataean city carved through the Rock Mountains. It is the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

First Glimpse of Treasury, I hope you recall from the movie National Treasure

Photo of Petra, Petra District, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal

As per our guide before 2013 (before the outbreak in Syria) there used to be 100s of meters long queue for its entrance. Detailed will be available soon.

Day 8

Wadi means Valley, and it is the largest valley of Jordan. It’s a desert red sand desert with high barren rock formations. The last habitation here is the Rum village, after that it’s all desert. The desert safari, camping and star gazing is one of the highlights here on a clear night (though nothing can be compared to Nubra Valley, Ladakh) are major activities here.

Red Sand Desert, Miles to go....

Photo of Wadi Rum Village, Aqaba Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal
Day 9

It is the city on the shores of Mediterranean Sea. It borders Saudi Arabia on one side and Israel on the other. And if you take a boat ride in the sea 10 mins, into that one can easily see Egypt. It is famous for shopping and beaches. Temperature here in general is 5-7 degrees higher than Amman. It city has beautiful corals underneath its water one can enjoy Glass bottom ride, snorkeling, scuba diving etc.

Coral Reef as seen while boating in Mediterranean Sea 

Photo of Aqaba, Aqaba Governorate, Jordan by megha goyal