Friday, 10 May 2013

A country of many contrasts

Hi everyone, Friday at last!

My last two posts have probably done quite a lot to promote Jordan as a desert kingdom - and indeed, it is.  Over 3/4 of the country is desert or desert-type steppe.  BUT it is a country of many contrasts, many colours, many terrains.  All of them beautiful.

The day after the Khamsin the morning dawned bright and clear.  Beautiful skies, a light breeze and bright sunshine.  Everything felt refreshed.  So we headed north up to Ajloun, where this amazing sight greeted us:

This is Ajloun Castle, another fortress built during the Crusades, but this time by a relative of Saladin.  I have visited this castle twice before, it is very impressive.  On this particular day we sat outside and had a picnic, but didn't go inside as the place was awash with school kids on trips - you may be able to spot on of their buses in the photo.  And as a teacher I didn't really relish the idea of 1,000 young girls on a school jolly sharing my relaxing holiday time!  All the young visitors were school girls.  The air rang out with the teachers shouting "Banat!!  Yalla!!"  ("Girls!  Lets Go!").  It was rather nice not to be the teacher on duty that day!  And anyway, we had set our heart on visiting the Ajloun Nature reserve.  The countryside around Ajloun is green and lush during the spring.  The north of Jordan gets the most rain and even snow in the winter.


This cheeky fellow greeted us as we drew up in the car park


I had never been to the nature reserve before, it was beautiful




This is one of the trails we followed


And this tree fascinated me, I don't know the species though


And just to round things off I found these flowers - stunning:




After we got back to the car we read a sign that said there are actually wolves and hyenas wild in the reserve - fortunately we didn't come across any!!

Back soon with photos of our visit to the Jordan Valley and a Roman City.

Helenxx

3 comments:

  1. Helen, I wonder if that is a Madrone tree? You are having some great adventures! Thanks for sharing! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  2. I've never visited myself but imagined the country to be of a dry and arid nature - your lovely photos of the flowers & plant life prove my theory very wrong! I'm enjoying reading along with your holiday memories.
    S X

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