Monday, July 20, 2009

Jerash, our day with Jane

We had such a wonderful and comfortable stay with Jane. We could eat
fruit and veggies without worrying about how clean they were, so we
ate our fill of cherries, peaches, grapes and salad.

We headed off to see the citadel in the morning, came back for lunch,
then went to Jerash in the afternoon.

We walked through the citadel and Jane explained what we were seeing,
and the historical significance of it all. The museum there housed
artifacts from many time periods in history, from paleolithic plaster
statues to clay pots to glassware and bracelets, to burial coffins and
marble statues.

The drive to Jerash was pretty with fertile valleys and barren hills.
It took 45 minutes to get there.

We entered through a large gate, past the hippodrome, where Romans
wrestled hippos. (and raced chariots). We then saw the temple of Zeus
which was under construction, and then to the theatre a semi circular
floor surrounded by stone seats. A man was there dressed in Arab
clothes and head covering wearing a Scottish sash and playing the
chanter. It was strange to be in ancient Roman ruins and hear the Skye
Boat song played as we clambered to the top to get a good view.

We experienced our first two wonders in the theatre. There was a focal
point on the floor that showed the sweet spot acoustically. Also there
were parabolic reflectors around the side that we could use to whisper
to eachother across the floor.

We saw a number of temples to various gods, Dionesis (sp?) which
became a church later, and a large temple to Artemis where we saw our
third wonder. A man selling drinks claimed to be able to push a column
and make it move. We put our fingers under the ehge of it, and it did
wiggle a bit. Jane put a pocket knife blade under the column to show
that it wiggled with the wind too.

Not far from that were three side by side churches that shared a
narthex area. They were the church of St. George, the church of St.
John the Baptist, and the church of St. Cosmos. There were some neat
floor mosaics, and we saw a walk in baptismal font in St. John the
baptist's church, which indicates that there were some kind of remains
of him there-- perhaps even his head, which is claimed by many

We walked through the street lined with columns, past the butcher shop
with a hacked up chopping stone and a sloped floor which was easily
washed off, and past a bath house.

We hurried back, got money exchanged and bid Jane a fond farewell. We
will really miss her company, expertise, and Arabic language support.
Thanks for everything Jane.

1 comment:

  1. so this whole wrestling hippos thing...did they expect to win? were they often successful? sounds ... interesting. :P