After the chariot show, we wandered out to the main area of Jerash to visit the ruins. The entrance is through the South Gate.
Off to the left is an inviting opening in the wall. Not sure if this would have been enclosed, as part of a building, or if it was a courtyard.
From the weathering on these stones (some are carved) it seems this may have been an outdoor area. One day we might take a formal tour and learn more, for now, we do our own exploring and peeking among the nooks and crannies we find. Somewhere in this greenery was a frog or lizard with an amazing croak… we couldn’t find it though. This little niche is on the outside wall of the hall whose entry door we found a little further down the lane (below).
An area within the same courtyard area.
Walking toward the enclosed hall, looking up at the bridge and columns overhead…
This door was not open last time we were here! The entry to the Temple of Zeus. I did not explore much here as we were on the look out for the rest of our group … I definitely will need to revisit this part, read some more signs, etc.
Inside the hall. Yep, we definitely need more time to explore this!
Below is a photo from this week’s visit to Jerash. With the exterior wall of the hall on the right side, entry door just behind me, the arched bridge over my head, the small courtyard that the children explored up ahead and off to the right (out of sight), and the South Gate to the front, we noticed that the left side of the walk has been recently excavated. When we were here before, we walked up what was an earthen ramp on the left… it has been dug out, and now rectangular outlines of cut stone are revealed. Were these rooms? A foundation for a walk/stairway up to the forum?
Below is a photo of what it looked like on our last visit – although you’re going to have to try and turn the scene around in your head. When I took the picture below, I was standing with my back toward the South Gate looking at the Entry to the Temple of Zeus. For the photo above, I was standing under the archway in the background of this shot. The ramp that Brad and Brian are posing on is gone now, and the (obviously modern) structure with the 3-pane window under the arch is no longer there. We are now able to walk through the arch, take a short right turn, and go up the stairs into the forum. There are two entry doors into the Hall on the left, the one we see next to the arch in this photo, and another on the other end of the arch.
Under the arch.
The second door. I liked the greenery growing along the walls.
I also like this little explorer who was helping me find interesting bits to photograph!
And after this quick perusal of the entry hall, the kids were up the stairs and running off into the forum… eager to lead the way to the rest of the site.
Touring with kids does tend to be hit and miss depending on how fast or slow they feel like traveling/playing/looking/climbing/paying attention/etc., and it doesn’t help to push or demand that they stay focused. Kids have different wants, needs and energy levels than adults, and trying to make them conform to a strict schedule of guided tours can be hard on everyone! I like that we can simply wander about randomly. I also like that I probably see things I wouldn’t have otherwise because a child got down on hands and knees, crawled into a corner that I wouldn’t have thought to, and pointed out a particular bit of fascinating carving. I saw more of the Temple on this visit than the last, and more of the forum and colonnade as well, I also saw less of everything than what I wanted(!), but that’s ok, as we can always go back – and that’s one of the real perks of living as an expat with kids. When you are traveling – everything must be done NOW. When you live in a place, things can be done now, and/or next weekend, and/or next month – which makes for a much better pace and experience.
More photos later!