Images from Umm Qais, some exquisite, some not

Next it was off to the black basalt columns of Umm Qais, but not, of course, without a bit of a run-around first. After happening upon a bus to the awful, awful city of Irbid, we intended to catch another bus to our hostel in Umm Qais. Instead, an opportunistic Jordanian man attempted to drive us to Ajlun. Perhaps Jordanian taxi drivers think that shouting a city’s name about twenty times equates to a different city entirely, but I’m more inclined to think that this particular man was simply rather daft. Well, anyway, we did make it there eventually. So take a gander.

The quote above is from the blog ‘Travel to Saturn,’ painting a verbal picture the potential thrills and spills of striking out on one’s own in Jordan.

That said, while checking out what some other recent Umm Qais related bloggery, I came across these two images of the dark basalt stonework over at Flickr:

The contrast between antiquity & modern - by Puri

The contrast between antiquity & modern – by Puri

I might have taken the same shot, except our tour guide was immutably parked there this past November.

Only For the Royal Family - by Faris Madi

Only For the Royal Family – by Faris Madi

This latter image from taken from the last row of seats lining the ancient Umm Qais Greco-Roman theater. As the photographer, Faris Madi nicely puts it:

As you can see they made it from rocks in a curvy way…perfect

And finally this word image (followed by some huge .jpg photos)  from Lauren’s Live Journal of what many experience their first day out of Amman on a guided tour:

First stop – Umm Qais. Umm Qais is in the North West of Jordan, and is home to the ruins of the Roman city of Gadara. My guidebook says you can see Syria, Israel and the Palestinian Territories from Umm Qais, and there were terrific views there, but with my shoddy sense of direction I had no idea what I was looking at. The scenery was nice, whichever country it was.

One of the things I really loved about Jordan (it was also the case, to a lesser extent, in Turkey) was that the Roman ruins aren’t ‘fenced off‘ the same way they are in Italy (and the way Greek ruins are, in Greece). There were no guards, no ‘keep out’ signs, really nothing from stopping you from getting up close to the ruins. Umm Qais was really quiet – there was our party of four, and a couple of other small groups, and that was it.

Emphasismine … as I was quite disappointed this past summer while touring the Acropolis … having to pay to take photos from several yards away of historic locations obscured by ugly chain link fences.

Not so in Jordan, there you can still see, feel and touch the Biblical and ancient history – especially at Umm Qais.

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