09 September 2009

A jaunt to Jerash

This morning we left Madaba and drove North towards the Syrian boarder and the town of Jerash.

The big attraction at Jerash is the Roman city which is often referred to as the Pompeii of Asia. Thanks to the dry desert heat it has some of the best preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy.

Most of the city dates from the 1st to the 3rd century AD and although it isn't on the same scale as Pompeii it's still really impressive.

The colonnaded street that runs the length of the town is nearly 1km long and was lined with 500 columns.

The city also features a hippodrome where daily chariot races are held. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any Ben Hurr style action as the 2pm race that we turned up to see wasn't on. We did however get to see a bagpipe recital!

We just thought it a little strange to see a Bedouin Arab playing the highland fling on the bagpipes in the middle of a Roman Amphitheater in Jordan.

We ended the day by going for a meal at Jerash's most well known restaurant, a great place on the outskirts of the town called Lebanese House. The back of their menu features some entertaining spellings of some famous past patrons including, Richard Gear and Nilson Mandela.

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