Amman, Jordan

October 11 & 12, 2009

Umayyad Mosque at the Citadel of Amman

After a driving tour of the city, we visited the Citadel of Amman on the highest peak. Within the ancient walls were roman ruins and this mosque from the 8th century. The waving crowd is our tour group. Left to right are Phil, Jim, Katie, my Dad, our guide Mohammed, Barbara, our second Barbara, Vince, Christina and my uncle Jerry.

Salt in the Dead Sea

We then drove about 45 minutes to the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on Earth, around 400 meters below sea level. Amman is at 900 meters above, so it was a long descent. The water is 37% salt, and you can see solid salt under the water and below my feet.

Christina at the Dead Sea

We all went swimming in the extra salty water. Well, you don't swim so much as float since we were so bouyant that it's not possible to sink. Then Christina tried the local beauty treatment. You may be able to make out the hills on the other side of the sea. That's Jericho, in Israel. Below, mud being applied.

Playing in the mud

The next day, we drove north to the ancient Roman city of Jarash. Most of the people in the shot below are our tour group. We're walking along the old Roman road, very well preserved. A modern city is built on top of the ancient ruins, and it's not feasible to displace all those people to excavate. However, the old city held about 40,000 people and quite a lot of it is being restored.

Ancient Roman city of Jarash

In the afternoon, we explored the Ajlun castle. This old fortress was built by a nephew of Salah al-Din and protected the locals from Crusaders.

Tomorrow, we start our journey to Petra!