Day 273… I awake to the ridiculous middle eastern weather of 1° celcius… it is windy… it is raining… it starts to sleet… and only slightly further up/away from me it’s zarking snowing! I am wholeheartedly unprepared for this and have to go buy a new jacket to wear OVER THE TOP OF MY EXISTING JACKET. Seriously its as cold as a mother-in-law’s heart here at the moment, leaving me with few options to explore. Luckily the hotel is really good with good relations with local off-season drivers and guides… so today I do manage an adventure. After checking out the ancient Roman Amphitheatre literally across the road from the hotel, I’m off on a private tour thingy.
I jump into my private car/tour/thing to explore the beautifully preserved ruins of Jerash, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman cities left on the planet. These ruins were re-discovered in 1806 and continue to be one of Jordan’s most amazing sites. The ancient walled town that survives today is a remarkable evocation of life 2,000 years ago.
Excavation and restoration of Jerash has been ongoing since the 1920s. Recent excavations show that the area was inhabited during the Bronze Age as far back as 3200 BC. Conquered by the Romans and then the Persians… and then the Byzantines, Jerash was destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century. Monuments of note in Jerash include the Corinthium column, Hadrian’s Arch, a circus/hippodrome, two temples (to Zeus and Artemis), the oval Forum surrounded by a colonnade, a long colonnaded street, two theatres, baths, small temples and an almost complete circuit of city walls. Phew! Also here is a mini museums as well as a simple eatery. Oh… and did I mention FREEZING RAIN AND WIND AND SLEET!? Well after being frozen by a blast from Hades’ coldest reaches of Hell… & a few sneaky ice giants i dare say… I manage to break my glasses! After all these months, I now need some minor spectacles repairs. Dammit.
Anyway, back at the hotel I start up after conversation with 2 lovely Russian backpacker girls; Natasha and Vera. Theynare couch surfing thru the middle east and are on the way home, we have a lovely conversation and get after few new pro tips into the bargain. Learn 3 words in a native language… hello, too expensive and thank you. Say u like culture and trying to learn language.. good impression and easier to bargain. Also if wet weather… wear small plastic bags over your sox in case shoes get wet… feet stay dry. Nice!