A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about history


Roman ruins in Jordan? Yup!

sunny 26 °C

On the last day of my 6 day tour of Jordan, we headed north, to the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash. Above is a photo of me under Hadrian's Arch.
Our guide, Suhaib, educating us on the history of Jerash.
The hippodrome - where chariot races used to take place in ancient times, and in summer months, still do for entertainment! I would've loved to have watched one, but I was there in November.
Exterior of the hippodrome.
This ancient city dates back to 333 BC.
The Oval Plaza, or forum.
Jerash has 2 amphitheaters. One big, one small. At the bigger one we were given an acoustics demonstration by 2 Jordanian men.
No matter where we sat in the amphitheater the acoustics were exactly the same. After their demo we each got the chance to stand in the middle of the 'stage' and speak. By standing exactly in the middle it sounds like you are speaking on a microphone, but one step left or right and it sounds completely different.
The small concave space located between the 2 men (below) also acted as microphones. If you speak into them it amplifies your voice. No shouting required! Truly amazing! Nowadays we require so many electronics to put on a concert, but back then they didn't need anything fancy. Every summer Jerash Festival is held here - a music festival featuring local artists. Both amphitheaters are used. The way that they are built, you cannot hear 2 bands playing at the same time, nor can the nearby neighborhoods hear anything! All the noise stays within the open-air amphitheaters!!
This is the main street, the colonnaded Cardo Maximus.
The Gateway to the Temple of Artemis.
I feel bad, but I cannot remember what this is (below). I looked on a map of Jerash, and if I'm correct, then this is the Agora.
Unfortunately the majority of ancient Jerash now lays underneath the modern city of the same name. In the photo below you can see some ruins alongside the modern city.
This is the smaller South Theatre.
Jerash was actually more interesting than I was expecting it to be. I enjoyed the acoustic demo, the fact that all the ruins are fairly close together so theres not too much walking in the heat, that there where almost no other tourists (cuz people are too scared to come to Jordan cuz they think its 'dangerous'), and that chariot races take place here in summer! How fun would that be to watch!

Posted by ChantelleS 16:46 Archived in Jordan Tagged history ruins roman asia jordan ancient jerash Comments (0)


Tanah Lot Temple and Pura Taman Ayun

sunny 40 °C

On my last day in Indonesia I visited 2 temples. One very touristy, and the other unknown (my taxi driver didnt even know how to get to it). First, I hit up Tanah Lot Temple. This is probably the most touristy temple in all of Bali. Every tour bus stops here. So if you're like me, and doing it on your own, you just gotta be patient while taking photos ... the tour groups do eventually leave / move on.
The temple is built on a rock shelf out in the ocean. At low tide only, you can walk out to it.
Now you probably assume you can walk up the stairs on the temple, and around to the other side like I assumed. But you cant. The 'holy men' guarding it have quite the scam going on. You wade across the water, stand in line, get a flower put behind your ear and a dot on your forehead by the holy men ... and then have to give a mandatory 'donation' to be let in. All 3 holy men were wearing fanny packs overflowing with money! I was about to pay when a guy that had just went in was back already ... apparently you can only go up about 7 stairs around the corner before its blocked off. But of course you can't see around the corner to know this until you've already paid, and they're sure not going to tell you. Its really not even worth it to walk across cuz you cant climb anywhere anyway. The crossing is actually quite dangerous. Strong waves come at you from both sides nearly knocking you over! The whole experience wasnt worth it. But the views from the cliffs across from it are worth it.
The sand here is golden & black mixed
Theres a couple trails you can follow along the cliffs for nice views of a natural arch.
There was a couple getting their wedding photos taken atop the arch! I couldnt imagine wearing a big gown in +40C!!
Yet another viewpoint ... can you see the waterfall?
Then I got my taxi driver to take me to Pura Taman Ayun. Not only did my driver not know where it was, he'd never even heard of it. Perfect, my kinda place! After stopping for directions about 7 times along the way, we finally arrived. And there were only 2 other ppl there! Just the way I like it :)
This absurd sign was posted before you could enter the temple!! No one actually asks, and even if they did, I'm not sure how they'd know if your telling the truth. A bit ridiculous if you ask me.
Once inside the temple area there are these buildings that reminded me of Survivor's tribal council area, lol!
That is all. Its small, but nice. I enjoyed it more than the first temple. But that might be cuz the first once was crowded. These photos were taken outside of the temple area.
Well, thats all folks! Thats the last day of my 32 day trip to Indonesia & Borneo. Thanks for following along on my adventure! I just returned from Italy and the Middle East, so my next blog posts will be about that.

Posted by ChantelleS 20:36 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali indonesia temple history asia Comments (0)

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