On Friday (weekends in Jordan are Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday), Elise, the kids, and I joined a field trip to Ajloun Castle in the north of Jordan. The castle was built by Saladin the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, in the 12th century to protect the realm from Crusader incursions.
In the distance, you can see the castle at the top of the hill.
After arriving at the castle, our tour guide gave us the option of stopping at the "happy room" before beginning the tour.
From the top of the castle parapets, you can see 360 in all directions down into the surrounding valley. According to our guide, on a clear day you can see Jerusalem and--with binoculars--the Mediterranean sea.
After the guided tour, we had an opportunity to explore the castle on our own, including the museum.
We saw 1,000 year old mosaic tiles pieces and ceramic pottery "grenades" in the museum. Sam asked why they didn't just use explosives. Of course, I explained to him explosives hadn't been invented yet. The guide also explained to us they used terra cotta pipes to carry water from cisterns to filters. Rain water, or "sky juice", didn't require filtration and could be drank directly from the reservoirs.
I'm not exactly sure what "ablution" is. And I definitely don't know what it means to take a "wudoo". But we had some fun trying to take a guess.
The artist at work.
After the castle tour, we stopped at Lebanese House restaurant in Jerash for a full mezze spread of hummus, pita, babaganoush, and a mixed grill. It was amazing!
Clementine had been up since 1:00 in the morning due to jet lag and both she and Sam crashed in the bus on the way back to Amman, exhausted. The trip was exactly what everyone needed to get their clocks back on schedule though. They all slept through the night on Friday, ready to hit the ground running the following morning.