Israeli Days/Jordanian Nights: Day 9

 The archaeological wonders of Jerash.

The archaeological wonders of Jerash.

We rose relatively early this morning to ship out from Nazareth and undergo the comprehensive security measures at the Israel-Jordan border crossing. There were lines to be waited in, passports to be stamped, luggage to be x-rayed, and metal detectors to be walked through; when all was said and done, a little more than an hour had gone by before we'd climbed onto the new bus along with our new tour guide (whose name escapes me at the moment) in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The new tour guide — who I will now refer to as "Mustache," until such time that I learn his name and its proper spelling — is more than well-studied in the history of Jordan. As we drove from the border crossing toward our lunchtime destination, Mustache discussed the Greeks and Romans and Byzantines, groups which all have ties to the desert-laden country. The Ottoman Empire had its say about the region for a good long while as well, until the conclusion of the First World War was at hand. 

Following a much-needed feast at a dainty restaurant that I never caught the name of, we stopped off at the Jerash Archaeological Site, which hosts numerous ruins from ancient times, Roman architecture chief among them. Similar to Caesarea in Israel, Jerash is home to a hippodrome and a theatre, the latter of which came packaged with some locals playing the bagpipes and drums. Additionally, you might stumble upon the various remains of one of the churches; walk down the Cardo (the main — and uneven — stone street); or pass some time taking a break in the colonnaded Oval Plaza. 

Our visit to the Jerash Archaeological Site was really the only event of a day mostly spent traveling. In total, we were probably on the bus for more than six hours, though no more than two at a time. And so it sounds like a lazy day for the most part, but with the sun beating down as we explored the Roman (and Greek and Byzantine) ruins at Jerash, combined with only a few hours of sleep the night before, made me quite tired. Even as I am sitting here writing this, my eyelids are heavy and my head occasionally bobs, as if I might fall asleejjjjjjj1eojfobgunfonwekownfioqn   nionfoi nionf ...

Just kidding. I'm still here. But it's going to be another long day tomorrow, starting with an early morning visit to perhaps the most famous place in Jordan: Petra, a historical and archaeological city cut into the side of a mountain called Jebel al-Madhbah.

More on that tomorrow. Signing off from the desert. You stay classy, San Diego.

-LTH