Jordan offers a variety of places that are worth a visit. The location of the ‘Peace Wadi’ farm enables volunteers who are working at the farm to explore the surroundings in their free time. We took this opportunity, did a little research and decided to go on a daytrip to the ruined city of Jerash.
It must be stated that Jordan is a country full of hospitable people and that is what makes hitchhiking a good option. So we decided to hitchhike to Jerash. It is 70-80 km to Jerash from the farm, depending on which route you choose. And so we embarked on our ‘journey’. We took 2 hours and 5 cars to get to Jerash from the farm. On our way to Jerash and removing from one car to another we were lucky enough to interact with locals as well. This interaction with ‘new’ cultures is what we find so alluring about hitchhiking. On the way to Jerash we were invited for a coffee with the most stunning view over one of the towns we passed through. We were also invited to a bakery to witness the process of bread baking. We tasted some of the freshly baked bread straight out of the wooden oven. After filling our stomachs with bread and coffee we were able to continue in the direction of Jerash.
‘Kidnapped’ by the locals to drink an arabic coffee with a view over the valley.
Once we arrived in Jerash we were immediately captivated by a stunning scenery over the town and particularly over all the Roman ruins that can be found on the archeological site in Jerash. Jerash is considered one of the best preserved Roman towns in the world. There are several theatres, temples, plazas and baths that can be visited on the site. We even witnessed some horse racing in one part of this ruined city.
Temple of Artemis, South theatre, Oval plaza and some horse racing in the ruined city of Jerash.
Tourists coming to Jerash mostly do so with the purpose of visiting the archeological site. However, we decided to see the ‘authentic’ town as well. We walked through some streets while observing a simple daily life. We didn’t meet any other tourists while browsing the streets and the locals seemed to be very interested in our presence there. We were greeted by most of the vendors and were offered to taste some goodies such as freshly roasted nuts, some fruits and some sweets.
Vegetable stalls placed on one of the streets we passed through.
In our experience time flies very fast in Jordan and so we tried not to stick around too long in Jerash. In the afternoon we started hitchhiking again. This time we tried to look for someone who would be willing to take us to Salt. Salt is a town that lies between the farm and Jerash and so it seemed very appropriate for us to stop by on our way back to the farm and have a quick look at it. Even though hitchhiking in Jordan is quite easy, there still is a tiny problem one can come across and it has to do with the language barrier. Locals mostly speak very limited English and since we speak very limited Arabic this causes some challenges that need to be overcome. But in the end a car with a man driving to Amman stopped and offered us a ride. What is amazing about Jordanians is that they truly want you to feel welcome and for this reason they go out of their way to help you as much as they can which in this case ended up with the man driving us directly to Salt. Such experiences make our hitchhiking adventures even more pleasant and memorable.
Chilling and sipping some chai in Salt.
We enjoyed our walk in Salt – city of fog – tasted some more freshly baked bread, browsed the vegetable market, bought some tasty nuts and enjoyed some chai at the end. Once we felt satisfied with all the experiences we had made that day we headed to the traffic lights and started approaching cars driving in the direction of the farm, or rather to Shuna. After a couple of minutes we stopped a car with two guys who offered us a lift. We had a nice conversation with them and in the end they also went out of their way and brought us directly to the farm. We even got some flowers from them as a gift. How kind of them! As already mentioned, locals can be very hospitable and welcoming and that is what makes Jordan a special place to be.
Selfie taken on the rooftop of the ‘Peace Wadi’ farm – facing Jericho and Jerusalem – with Mohammad, owner of the farm.