Sunday, April 29, 2012

The cardo in Jerash

There is a cardo in every great ancient Roman city. A long walk way that spans the entire city depending on how big the city is. Everything else would radiate from the cardo, whether they be temples or businesses. It's no different in Jerash. This is a very impressive cardo. It showed the importance of Jerash in its heyday. The postings on this trip is ending and I'm running out of steam and inspiration. My next trip is May 18 when I return to another part of China.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The oval plaza

A huge oval plaza in the South gate of Jerash. I only realized just now that we actually entered by the South gate. It was a long day and we were getting tired. We didn't spend the time in Jerash that would justify the size of the place.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hadrian's arch, Jerash

Built in 129 to 130 AD to honor Hadrian's visit to Jerash. It is as magnificent as the arch in the Forum in Rome.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A very sweet video

My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.

Jerash 1

A huge Roman settlement... we only had a couple of hours to spend here. There were huge crowds from all over the world. It is an amazing place. As usual there was this long walkway so typical of ancient Roman settlements. We were supposed to meet up with friends to visit Jerash together. We tried to check up on a few churches in Amman because they said they were going to church first. But we couldn't find them. We discovered that Jordan still have a sizable Christian population and the churches are thriving and unmolested by their rival religion.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Other uses of a TV

The programs were all in Arabic, so we never turned the TV on. I'm surprised because some hotels do provide CNN or BBC but not this one. I remember a hostel in Rome that forbids hanging wet laundry on their furniture. I only do it in the night and then in the morning, put the almost dried laundry into the closet. Another thing, they just provide enough hangers. I've taken a few days off from posting. The hours I spent at work is just insane and has driven any creative juices I might have out of me. I work over 55 hours a week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Gerasa is the ancient name of Jerash, somed 50 Km to the north of Amman. This is the valley of Gilead as mentioned in the Old Testament. The song goes like this.... 'there is a balm in Gilead....' It had its glory days during Emperor Hadrian's reign even though the place is much older. At the entrance is this massive and glorious arch built by Hadrian.

Monday, April 16, 2012


On our way to Jerash, we stopped for lunch. Hummus, Babba Ganosh, flat breads and mixed grill, it was delicious. Now we're ready to tackle Jerash....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bedu coffee

It is really good if made right. It is grainy because they have no way of filtering the coffee and they add a pinch of cardamon to it. On this cold and frosty day it was a welcomed drink. MMmmmmmm

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ajlun castle

 You don't want to be the target of these...

Years ago I was in a medieval castle in the French Pyrenees, I saw these stone pellets and also an armor of chain mail.That was an interesting visit. This morning we were taken high up the mountains in Northern Jordan. Jordan is a land of contrast, the desert in the South and the lush mountains in the North. So on this foggy morning we arrived at Ajlun castle. As with all castle, it was sited at the highest point of the mountain with a perfect look out for whatever comes from below. Today it is being restored and is popular among locals. It is sited in a forest reserve with trekking possibilities.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Snow in Jordan

In the higher elevations in Northern Jordan, the rain turned into snow and the locals came out to play in the snow. It was a beautiful sight. We thought we might see snow in Petra but we did not. They say snow in Petra makes Petra even more beautiful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


It is sad to be stepping on mosaics a few hundred years old and left out to the elements. It was raining and there were puddles everywhere. These were beautiful mosaics.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Golan Heights

The hills beyond the valley is the Golan Heights. It used to belong to Syria but now is occupied by Israel. It is impossible to travel without before involved in politics of some sort. I have seen pictures of the Golan Heights in Spring. The wild flowers are a spectacle and numerous tours visit to see the wild flowers. Because of the problems in Syria and the close proximity to Jordan, many visitors are afraid to visit. Jordan is suffering because of it. It is very safe in Jordan and the people wants people to know they are very welcoming.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Northern Jordan

Southern Jordan is the desert but in the North, the land is hilly and lush. It is the farm belt with huge groves of olive trees and fig trees. In the Spring, because of the rain, it is green and covered with colorful wild flowers. We were here in January, we saw no flowers, just green grass. It was beautiful.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Umm Qais

Way up North of Jordan is this hilly countryside. There was a Roman settlement here as evidenced by the arena built with black basalt stone. Today it is abandoned but in its earlier days the Ottomans settled here and used the Roman stones as their building material. The columns of a temple is still left standing. So is the long and wide cobbled stone boulevard that was so characteristic of Roman presence. Umm QaIS is the new Jordanian name and is popular among the locals as a place for weekend picnics. But in the days of our Lord Jesus, the name was Gadara. Here as mentioned in Matthew 8:28 to 32, ' Jesus casts out demons and they sent into a flock of pigs who later rushed down the steep bank and into the sea...'

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The empty tomb

Matthew 28: 1-5 'After the sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled back the stone and sat on it. The angel said.... you are looking for Jesus who was crucified....He is not here; he has risen.....'
Happy Easter.

Mt Nebo and the Baptism site

Deuteronomy 34, 'Moses climbed Mount Nebo.... There the Lord showed him the whole land..... Then the Lord said to him 'This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said,'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes but you will not cross over into it.' Moses only saw the promised land from on top of Mt Nebo, he never set foot on it because of sin and unbelief. Understand that even though God forgives, yet sin and unbelief carries with it consequences. This was the same Mt Nebo mentioned in the Bible. We couldn't leave the taxi because at that moment the rain was really coming down, we saw it (we couldn't see, it was so foggy) from the parking lot. Then we went to the baptism site, Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan on this side of Jordan. Again it was raining hard and we didn't get to see it. Most people incorporate a side trip to Jordan as part of the Holy Land tour. So tourists to Israel will spend a few days in Jordan also.