Decapolis City of Gadara and Yarmouk Gorge
Umm Qais Travel Blog› entry 4 of 19 › view all entries
We stopped at Gadara for lunch and a break from the boiling weather. The temperature was amplified by the Roman ruins which where made out of black basalt stone. Basalt is a volcanic rock that is common in this area. It is a truly unique site. It is basically an all black stone city: a black amphitheater, black columns and black houses. I'm sure it was beautiful during its peak as a Roman Decapolis city. The city sits on a cliff edge overlooking the Sea of Galilee, the Yarmouk gorge, the beginning of the Golan Heights and modern day Syria and Israel. We were lucky enough to capture some pictures of the flora and insects trying to survive in the Jordanian summer heat. Lunch at the rest house was traditional Arabic food: appetizers like Hummus, Pita, Tabula, mixed vegtables and then the grill was chicken kabob and Kofta.
After lunch, our guide Rasha gave us an Islamic history lecture about the region and specifically about the Battle of Yarmouk which took place just down the hill near the gorge. This was the historic battle when the Rashidun Caliphate viciously repelled the Byzantine Army of multiple times it's size on the counterattack after the Muslim conquest of Palestine. It was the first time that the world would see how bravely a man can fight when he carries the banner of Allah.
We couldn't go down to the actual battle site because it has been taken over as a military zone. After all, this it the area where the borders of Jordan, Syria and Israel come together.