Day 19: Amman - Wadi Mujib - Karak - Petra (2)
Karak Travel Blog› entry 37 of 54 › view all entries
Stop 2 was Karak, a town named after a crusaders castle perched high on a hill top (where have we heard this before?)
This is Jordan's most beautiful and best preserved castle, but can in no way be matched against the Krak des Chevaliers in Syria (but then again, which castle can?).
The city itself stems from biblical times, when it was known as Kir or Moab. As it lay along an important trade route between Damascus and Egypt (and still does, as a matter of fact) the place was of significant importance to pretty much every army that ever marched these lands. The crusaders first built a fortress atop the hill here, but it was later used as a stronghold by the Mamluks, then the Ottoman Turks, and much later Christians in the 19th century. Even today there is military presence in the form of a nearby stationed US Army garrison.
We spent a nice hour here, meeting up with quite a few cool Jordanian locals who were visiting the castle.
Though we hadn't really noticed in the tourist frequented Amman, the people in Jordan are every bit as friendly as they are in Syria, though perhaps the effect mass tourism has on a country is a bit more noticeable here.
The good thing about having our own driver and our own itinerary was that we could stop wherever we wanted, and more importantly, have lunch wherever we wanted. No expensive tourist buffet this time, no just a simple roadside shawarma - the way it should be!