Throwback to a time when DSLR, Blackberry, and digital cameras were the big things. When mobile phone cameras were still pixelized. This is a travel recap to a memorable time when a company that I used to work for gave an incentive trip to all of its employees to go to Jordan for the weekend.
Company Field Trip
It was an all-expense-paid trip to celebrate excellent efforts put in by the entire office for the year. A reward for exceeding our sales targets while building even greater teamwork.
It was a wonderful trip getting to know my colleagues and superiors that I've always admired and respected. That weekend, we all met at the airport, loosened up, and felt like kids on a field trip as soon as we crossed the immigration counter.
It was an organized trip. Aboard the bus, I remember lots of laughter and singing. We checked in at the Kempinski Hotel in Amman. That afternoon, we went straight to the city of Jerash for an archaeological stroll for 4 hours.
The Ancient City of Jerash
The Greco-Roman city of Jerash
The Ancient City of Jerash (also known as Gerasa) ranks second to Petra when it comes to a list of archaeological destinations in Jordan. Who would have ever guessed, Roman ruins outside of Italy?
It is located 48 kilometers north of Jordan's capital city, Amman, roughly an hour's drive. Its existence goes way back 3rd Century B.C. more than 6,500 years. Trade here flourished during those times as it sat along the King's Highway, the royal route of trade and commerce.
An earthquake destroyed many parts of the city in 749.
This impressively well-preserved city of antiquity was hidden for centuries in the sand until it was re-discovered in 1806 by a German orientalist, Ulrich Jasper Seetzen. The excavation and restoration carried on since the 1920s.
J.D. stands for Jordanian Dinar. At the Visitor's Centre, the entrance fee then was 8 J.D. then but is around 12 J.D. now for foreigners. Should you be visiting many sites in Jordan, a Jordan Pass, a prepaid entry pass to 40 attractions is more practical.
As we entered through the South Gate, The Arch of Hadrian, a 13-meter high triumphal arch entrance to Jerash greeted us. It was built in honor of Emperor Hadrian in AD 129 and walking through it already sets the experience on a high note.
Visiting Hours vary throughout the year. It is open daily.
- Winter November to April 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- April to May 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
- Summer June to October 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM
- Ramadan and National Holidays 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
We found the Hippodrome after walking through the Arch of Hadrian. Are you interested in watching a real chariot race?
Catch live performances of Roman Army Battle Tactics and Gladiators Fighting twice daily at the Hippodrome (except for Tuesdays and Fridays). The show is not part of the entrance ticket. Expect an additional 12JD for the spectacle.
Temple of Zeus
The ruins of the Temple of Zeus (Jupiter in Roman) offers scenic views overlooking the Oval Forum.
The Oval Forum
The Oval Forum (Oval Plaza), which used to be the marketplace, is nestled at the heart of the city. It connects the Temple of Zeus to the Cardo Maximus, the colonnaded main street to the other parts of the ancient city.
With 56 Ionic Columns bordering the space of 90 meters long and 80 meters in width, one couldn't resist taking snapshots here. It was the perfect venue for a company group photo.
Left: 11 remaining Corinthian Columns from the Temple of Artemis, Greek Goddess of Hunting and the Patron of Jerash (Diana in Roman)
Part of the lintels, reliefs with ornate decorations could be seen
The City of 1,000 Columns
Roman Bath Ruins
Dubbed the Pompei of the East
The North Theatre
The South Theatre
Corinthian Columns of Jerash
While standing on the mounds of the north and south gate, the strong contrast of the modern and ancient city of Jerash can be admired. The Jerash Festival is held each year for 2 weeks in July which features theatrical performances, concerts, poetry reading, and other forms of arts.
Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. By being mindful of the culture and as a sign of respect, avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops. Provide sun protection because the sun gets harsh during the summer months. Shades, sunscreen, and a hat and you are all set!
There was a lot of walking. Despite the blazing sun, we all had a wonderful time exploring Jerash in a relaxed atmosphere together away from the corporate environment we were so used to.
Writing this post made me miss my former colleagues. If I had the chance to re-live those moments, I would seize it in a heartbeat.
This was a picture of my much younger self. Thank you for reading. To be continued with the next post about The Lost City of Petra.