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Jerash

Another post about Roman ruins! (last one, promise…)
Last weekend culminated with a trip to Jerash, sometimes referred to as the ‘Pompeii of Asia’. We arrived at Jerash in the heat of the day, so I definitely had a euphemistic ‘glow’ by the time we’d walked all the way to the North Gate and back. I like to think I’m pretty experienced when it comes to visiting ancient sites (Ephesus, Diocletian’s Palace, Pompeii, Knossos, and Pula among others), but I was still seriously impressed with this one. Admittedly there has been some modern reconstruction, but – to my eyes, at least – this was quite subtly done.
The Hippodrome. Sadly they are no longer running re-enactments of chariot racing and Roman legionaries. Nooooo :(

Hadrian’s Arch, or the ‘Arch of Triumph’.

The South Gate.

The forum. One of the highlights of Jerash – this is one BIG circle.

A random street.

The Nymphaeum (sadly sans water in the fountain). Another highlight of Jerash, although the pillars make it difficult to get a good photo.

The North Gate. My trusty Lonely Planet guidebook says that “you deserve a pat on the back” if you reach it, as few visitors bother to walk this far. Pat given.

Umm… Temple of… Athena? No, Artemis. She was the main patron of Jerash.

Both the North and South Theatres were in excellent shape.

Indeed, there was even some free entertainment in the South Theatre. These chaps were having a ball.

It’s always good to be reminded of one’s Scottish roots!Here’s a moment of quiet contemplation from the guy in the red shirt (I couldn’t find a picture of the theatre without him).

My final picture shows the Temple of Zeus. Wow. Am I allowed to make another ‘highlight of Jerash’ comment here?

By this stage we had done quite a lot of walking in the sun, so it was a huge relief to cool off in a Lebanese restaurant at the end of the afternoon. Jerash is definitely the best thing we’ve seen in Jordan so far. However, I have a suspicion it will be challenged for the title this weekend when we visit Petra and Wadi Rum. I. Can’t. Wait.

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