We arrived for our small group tour to find out it was going to be a lot smaller – just the two of us! Everyone else had backed out – wimps!!! It’s obvious the over hyped media has scared others away but not us, we just scored a private tour for a fraction of the cost!
We started our tour with the largest and most important mosque in Amman – King Abdullah – to learn more about Islamic daily practices. Hands down this is the prettiest one I have seen yet! We then headed into “old” Amman to see where the streets grow tighter but still not as close as the houses, and you can buy everything bootleg for $2 dinar. You can find bottles of DKNNY or Burbarry perfume and DVD’s of films not yet released…and of course a hookah pipe made like a machine gun!!! Our guide, Sufyan provided a special treat for us, it was a chance to taste a typical mid morning Jordanian snack or Knafeh – which is basically a cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar based syrup with fried cheese and a pistachio topping. We ended our city tour with a trip to the citadel (highest point in Amman) to take in surrounding views of the capital before heading north to Jerash.
Only about 45 minutes south of the Syrian border lies the third century city of Jerash. Described as the Pompeii of the Middle East I can argue the case that it is much better preserved and immense than Pompeii itself. You literally feel like you are standing in the middle of Rome or Greece. It is without doubt that the Romans created everything here including an almost completely in tact amphitheater where Sufyan whispered a number in my ear while I was stood on the ‘speaker’ stone and my husband heard him from the top. , There were aqueducts on roads that lead to sewer systems, and columns built to withstand centuries of winds and earthquakes. But what I would consider the most impressive feat of the city was a railroad system where they would link chariots together and pull them along tracks dug into the main road to the city center or market area. This allowed them to be able to monitor all goods imported and to properly tax the vendors. The Romans never cease to amaze, but this is by far a much less visited Roman city and way better preserved, an absolute must see in Jordan!