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At the Temple of Artemis in Jerash, Jordan. Exploring Greco-Roman ruins with Ya’lla Tours.

jerash, Arch of Hadrian

It’s interesting to see how this blog has evolved over the years. These days, it’s travel-culture that really makes me tick. On this path, I feel I can make the most difference — especially by shining a positive light on subcultures, and encouraging people to explore the world with an open mind.

For these reasons, I can’t wait to share my experience in the ancient Greco-Roman city of Jerash, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Our expert hosts Ya’lla Tours — who also guided us through Petra — took us back in time, to a lost civilization.

camel toy souvenirs, amman

Jordan is home to dozens of archaeological digs. The UNESCO heritage site Petra is the most famous, but Jerash is noted as one of the best preserved ruins in the Middle East.

Jerash (or Gerasa) is 30 miles north of the capital city, Amman. At the entrance, I saw display tables of scarves, stuffed camel toys and other souvenirs.

greco roman ruins, gerasa city

When you walk up the south stairway, you’ll encounter the Arch of Hadrian — built to honor the Roman Emperor when he visited around 130 AD.

jordan jerash ancient ruins

It felt like a dream, wandering through the three stone arches.

Outfit details: Cute bunny top from the Miffy store in Hong Kong, a Baby the Stars Shine Bright purse from Shinjuku Marui Tokyo, and a blue skater skirt from World Wide Love Tokyo.

ancient greek stone carvings

Our Ya’lla Tours guide told us about Jerash’s prosperous past, and how it was the hometown of the mathematician Nicomachus. He pointed out Greek words carved into fallen stones.

jerash city architecture

Jordan is a progressive country so there aren’t any dress code restrictions. It is not a problem to have bare legs here, although you will want to wear sturdy shoes or boots for the unpaved ancient paths.

hadrian's arch, greek arches

Amazing to see the Roman’s advanced architecture and engineering, which has withstood major earthquakes.

jordanian man with horse

Unlike Petra, Jerash didn’t have too many tourists wandering about. Only a few vendors offered us a snack or a horse ride.

jerash ruins history

This added to the feeling that I was re-discovering an ancient world.

Roman Oval Forum jerash

The path opened up to the Oval Plaza, surrounded by a colonnade. In the middle, I saw two altars and a fountain.

row of roman columns

No wonder Jerash is nicknamed “the city of 1000 columns.” If you’re an art history buff like me, you’ll recognize that these are in the Ionic style. (Other parts of the city have Corinthian columns.)

Oval Forum, ancient jerash

My filmmakers were shooting video the entire time. This photo is by our Ya’lla guide; the rest are by Melissa Rundle and me.

Jordanian bagpipes, Bagpipers

Wait… why are there bagpipes in Jordan? Our guide told us that a bagpipe-type instrument originated in the Middle East, possibly thousands of years before it appeared in Scotland. You learn something every day.

jordan south theater

We perched in the South Theater, which held as many as 3000 spectators, and watched the performers. Funny enough, there was a seat reservation system back in ancient times. You could still see stones marked with Greek letters like alpha, delta, epsilon!

view archaeological site gerasa

We climbed up to the top, and got this brilliant view of the sprawling ruins. However, descending proved to be a bit of a challenge… I ended up looking like a hunched grandma, as I crawled down the rows. (No, I’m not posting those photos!)

Jerash Temple of Artemis, acanthus columns

Perhaps my favorite monument was the Temple of Artemis. The daughter of Zeus was the protector goddess of Jerash, and they honored her with a grand processional entrance to this place of worship. Look up, and you’ll see acanthus leaf carvings on the Corinthian columns.

roman lion carving

I spotted a lion in the Macellum or marketplace.

jerash colonnaded cardo maximus

Let’s wrap up our journey with some Insta-snaps (follow my my Instagram for more). I’m standing on the “cardo” or long colonnaded street, which was the main route in Jerash. You can still see the marks of chariot wheels on the stones.

artemis temple, jordan

Filmmaker Melissa prayed for a hot beverage as we ascended the Artemis Temple. The goddess granted her wish: at the top, a young Jordanian man with a surprising British accent was selling cups of coffee and mint tea!

jerash Hippodrome, Colonnade pillars

I leave you with the Hippodrome, or giant arena for chariot races and other sporting events.

jordan paintings scarves

We learned so much about Jerash thanks to Ya’lla Tours. With a driver and expert guide, our trip to Jordan was stress-free. Ya’lla does custom, small group tours in many countries including Israel; I hope you’ll keep them in mind for your travels.

Have you ever visited an archaeological site? What was your experience like? And do you like my Miffy outfit?

SHARE & COMMENT

38 Comments

  1. Posted April 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    AMAZING!!! I love these photos and that was the best coffee I ever had!

    • Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      we’ve had some insane experiences!

  2. Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    awesome <3

  3. Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Stunning

  4. Posted April 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Ahg Love it <3

  5. Posted April 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    ♡ ♡ ♡

  6. Posted April 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Well I do love when long-time bloggers have their blog evolve.. the blog grows up with the blogger :)
    Your blog has always been interesting and it’s only getting more interesting :) !

    • Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Ah, I’m glad to hear! It keeps me motivated <3 Thank you.

  7. Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    amazing photos and looks ♡

    • Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Glad you are liking the pics

  8. Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Excellent :)

  9. Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant!

  10. Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Fab photos and outfit hun

  11. Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Jerash is incredible. The best place I’ve visited in the Middle East, by far

  12. Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Omg what a place!!

  13. Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Cooooooool

  14. Posted April 18, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    My type of trip. I would go to Oman too.

  15. Posted April 20, 2014 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    living the dream girlie!

  16. Posted April 20, 2014 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    I adore that

  17. Posted April 20, 2014 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    amazing beauty <3

  18. Posted April 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    MASHALLAH NICE

  19. Posted April 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  20. Posted April 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Sweet

  21. Posted April 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    U are the best

  22. Posted April 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting! Re: bagpipes, Italy has a tradition of shepherds’ musical instruments much like bagpipes, called ‘zampogne’. Not from Scotland either….. :)

    • Posted April 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Like Scottish Fold cats.. apparently there were Chinese “lop eared” cats centuries before, but they went extinct!

  23. Posted April 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    the place were so historical … i wonder how they had built the structure.. its so amazing

    • Posted April 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      The ruins of Greco Roman buildings amaze me… can’t believe how they must have looked when they were new!

  24. Posted April 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    you are TRULY a globetrotter aren’t you?….your omniscient…you’re EVERYWHERE… ha

    • Posted April 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      haha! This week, Toronto!

  25. Posted April 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Miffy dress is so cool!!

  26. Posted April 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    very much U_U

  27. Posted December 29, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Ur my blogger inspiration.

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