Around and around in circles we go.
Amman Travel Blog› entry 116 of 251 › view all entries
June 22nd, 2008 – by: cmgervais
The goal was simple enough: to head out to Wadi as-Seer, west of Amman, and visit Iraq al-Amir (Caves of the Prince) and a castle ruin called Qasr al-Abad (Palace of the Slave). Easier said than done.
We set off in the right direction (we think), and then were soon faced with a fork, then a traffic circle, then another, and none of it was labeled, so we drove around and around, hoping to come to a sign, the caves, ANYTHING…
In the end, after meandering all over the outskirts of the city, we actually gave up on trying to find the sites, hoping just to get back to Amman.
The castle area was small, and easily viewed in about 15 minutes. It is thought that the rest of the original complex or outbuildings now lie under the town of Iraq al-Amir (the castle itself was rebuilt/renovated under the direction of a French archeologist). The remarkable aspect of this 2nd century castle is the size of the stones used to construct it -- they are enormous! The largest stone is 7m by 3m (23 feet x 10 feet), but only 40cm (16 inches) wide…I read on Wikipedia that this flimsiness caused it to be susceptible to earthquake, which is how it was eventually destroyed.
We then drove a short distance, and climbed a stone staircase leading up to the caves, which were apparently homes or stables at some point a long time ago. There was no signage, so we just peeked instead the ones that were gated, and walked into the ones that weren’t. If nothing else, it was a nice respite from the heat.
Then it was time to go back to the hotel. It’s almost comical how we seem completely doomed to taking the wrong turn here, going the wrong way there… I am sure there is a trick to navigating in this city, but we haven’t learned it yet.
We did make it back, eventually, and spent the rest of the evening in. Steve worked out, but my upset stomach is still with me, so I passed on that, and skipped dinner as well.
Tomorrow, dare we venture out again? Yes! The plan is to go east, to visit the desert castles on the road towards Iraq… although, of course, we hopefully won’t be going quite that far.
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