20 August 2014

Adventures in Jordan: Jerash and The Dead Sea

Jordan's relatively small size (about the size of Indiana) allowed us to leave our home base of Amman to explore other parts of the country quite easily. We knew the week was going to fly by, that we wouldn't be able to see everything the country had to offer, but that we could fit in most of the highlights.

We chose the hottest month to visit the Arabian desert (and I was traveling with two of the whitest people I know).  Needless to say, we brought and used bottles of sunscreen.  We drank water like it was going out of style.  And we made it without heat exhaustion or dehydration. 

Our first day trip was just north of Amman to the ancient city of Jerash, where Roman ruins remain well-preserved.  You will find classic arches, two amphitheaters, a hippodrome that used to host chariot races, temples and a forum.  I found these Roman ruins to be just as impressive (if not more so) that the ruins in Rome.  

The Cardo Maximus, an 800m long street that used to be lined with 500 columns

The Forum (and me in my nerdy hat)

My travel companions for the week: Kiki, Danny, Anuj and Mohammed

The triumphal, 13m-tall Hadrian's Arch 

Yes, this is a Hooter's shirt from Albuquerque!!  This man was showing us one of the arches that sways.

Refueling and hydrating with a Banana shake - one of Kiki's favorite foods on the trip.

The Dead Sea was next - another easy day trip from Amman.  The sea is 400m below sea level - the lowest spot in the world.  The salinity of this body of water is extreme due to the high rate of evaporation.  The salts and minerals are thought to be therapeutic - but oh does it sting if you have any cuts or god forbid you just shaved!  

Sun hat, coverage and SPF 70+ required!

Dan floating in the water and reading a magazine.  It was the craziest sensation!

The heat at the Dead Sea was pretty intense - it was still quite warm even after the sun set.  These long, hot days made for tired babies and adults alike.  Kiki really showed us her ability to adapt to her surroundings - she was so good and patient with us.  It was somehow liberating to know that we could all push our limits and still enjoy ourselves.  This is what traveling is all about, isn't it?

One tired little girl.

Overlooking the Dead Sea and Israel.

Next up, Petra and the Red Sea.  

Mo and Danny in the Bedouin gear in Petra.

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