When four kings decided to go to war against the wicked Sodom and Gomorra in Genesis 14, they went trekking down the ‘King’s Road’ and when Moses dragged his followers through Edom in Numbers 20, they wandered down the ‘Kings Road’. In real life, the King’s Road was a travel route linking Southern Jordan to Damascus and the north trade routes of China. Now it’s a windy, two lane road that meanders by Mamluk forts, Crusader castles and ancient biblical sites like Herod’s Castle.
I hired a driver for $65 and we left the beautiful Wadi Mousa (the city next to Petra) at 9:00am.
The scenery was fantastic with our first stop at Dana Nature Preserve.
Crusaders castles off in the distance.
Crazy winding roads into valleys.
Then a stop at Karak, a crusader castle built in 1142.
The place is massive with five or six levels and a maze of rooms, tunnels and walls.
The castle was fantastic. I could have spent a whole day wandering around, guessing what each of the rooms were for and getting lost but we were off to the city of Madaba after only two hours.
Madaba was settled by early Christians so there are a lot of very old churches. What makes these churches so special is their amazing mosaic floors. St. George has one of the oldest known maps of Christendom made of tiny mosaic stones on it’s floor. That’s Jericho in the center….before the walls came down :)
I spent the next couple days exploring the area including a day at Jeresh, an ancient Roman city that was a major part of the empire and is on par with Ephesus in Turkey.
We also got a show of Julius Caesar's centurions and chariot races. The whole thing is quite historically accurate and educational as well as entertaining. It’s apparently staffed by retired military men and they did do the marching rather well.
I’ve run out of time and I’ll be heading home for New Years but I think I might come back to Jordan. The people are really nice and I missed so much this trip that I could do another trip easily. I also felt quite badly for the people in the tourism industry which has been hit quite hard by BBC’s and CNN’s ‘over’ reporting of the trouble in the Middle East so I don’t mind spending a bit of money here.