The above map gives you a perspective to where Jordan is located in relation to Israel, Syria and Iraq.
The map below shows where we visited in the Northern and Western areas outside of Amman on May 17th and 18th.
The blue circle on the map indicates Amman. On the 17th we spent a full day visiting the North of Amman stopping in Jerash, Ajloun Castle and Ajloun Forest Reserve. Jerash is the second most popular site to visit in Jordan and there were very few visitors. The history of the city is a blend of the Greco-Roman world of the Mediterranean basin. The earliest Arab/Semitic inhabitants, who lived in the area during the pre-classical period of the 1st millennium BCE named their village Garshu. Later the named transformed into the Arabic Jerash. Evidence dating to the Bronze Age (3200BC-1200BC) have been found in the region. It was a spectacular site to visit. Below are photos of Jerash.
Below are pictures of Ajloun Castle.
Ajloun Castle is a 12th Century Muslim castle situated in Northwestern Jordan. From its high ground the castle was guarding the three Wadis which descend toward the Jordan Valley. Wadi is Arabic for Valley. It was built in the 12th century and has been the nucleus of a settlement which has grown to become the present town of Ajloun. We were able to explore many areas of the castle and see many interesting artifacts from the various time periods of the region. Joyce and I both said “wow”, this is what it must have been like living in a castle. It was very cool!
Below are a couple of pics of Ajloan Forest. Our final stop for the day.
May 18th we headed to Al-Maghtas (Arabic for Baptism) a World Heritage Site on the East bank of the Jordan River. Jesus’s baptism site known as “Bethany Beyond the Jordan”. We also visited the Dead Sea, 400 meters below sea level, where we covered ourselves in Dead Sea mud and floated effortlessly in the water. And we mean effortlessly, you couldn’t stop from floating. Trying to stand upright was a challenge.
After the Dead Sea we visited Mount Nebo, which overlooks the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The drive up the mountain was like driving on the moon, barren rock-scape, 40 degrees Celsius and hairpin turns to an elevation of 900 meters. Our final stop was Madaba, known for its 6th century mosaic map of the holy land now located in the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George.
Next stop the Dead Sea. 400 meters below sea level but quickly decreasing. The sea has fallen over 9 meters in the last 10 years. Lucky to see it now before…?
Below, Mount Nebo, the monument to Moses and the place of his death.
Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge in Jordan, approximately 817 meters above sea level, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place where Moses was granted a view of the promised land. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the North, a more limited one of the valley of the Jordan River. The West Bank city of Jericho is visible from the summit, as is Jerusalem on a very clear day like we had today.
Final stop of the day was the city of Madaba, known for its 6th century mosaic map of the holy land.