Today our school took us (i.e. about 200 people!!) on a bus trip to this place here:
(note how the Dead Sea is basically the opposite direction, similar distance; and the West Bank is SO CLOSE too!).
It was very nice, I enjoyed it a lot. I particularly liked getting to see the countryside, if you may call it so, with all its goats, sheep, occasional horses and donkeys, as well as random outdoor “shops” of fruits, ceramic pots etc on the side of the road;
and of course visiting the castle and getting to know a bit more about the history of the area. A couple of things that struck me are that Ajloun has historically been inhabited by both Christians and Muslims who peacefully lived together and even shared (and still share) some sort of extra houses ready to host any guest who may pass by, as well as big local parties and omplex disputes to be resolved. Besides, it also has the only mosque in all Jordan that has always been in use since it was built, centuries ago (sorry I’m too bad at remembering historical dates!); and it is home to MILLENARY olive trees, believed to have already been there in Roman times!!! I was pretty impressed. But we didn’t see any of that, to be honest- I just read it on informative posters. Here’s what the trip was really about:
A freshly-made mint tea at the entrance, a friendly guide and great company of fellow students known and newly-known couldn’t but positively add to our exploration and rebel climbing activity (!!!). Kelsey was even patient enough to help me read a whole description of the panorama in Arabic, so I felt linguistically accomplished, too- especially for correctly guessing the words “strategic” and “tactical” 😉
In the small museum of the castle I found a fairly compelling interrogative:
Bottles or bombs? We might never find out…
What’s for sure it that after filling our eyes with the stunning view from the castle and caressing its decaying stones up and down forbidden paths, we were STARVING and were very happy when dropped off in front of this humble humble banquet!
More on Jordanian and Levantine food in later posts 😛
On the way back, on the bus, I talked to a very cool Palestinian guy called Nawras Abu Saleh who’s a (talented, I think) film-maker and whose films I hope to be able to watch soon 🙂 Among other things, he’s been to the Cannes Film Festival a few years ago, but his dream is to go to the one in Venice, and of course that means I’m his friend!! Haha.
He also told me he lives close to a Palestinian refugee camp just on the outskirts of Amman and may be able to organize a visit there one of this days. Fingers crossed… I would love to learn more about living conditions there and all that. We’ll see!!
Tomorrow I’ll (finally) start classes*… yay for my first week in Jordan and for all that may come next! I feel like I haven’t even managed to write about half the things I wanted to but…I guess there’s time 😉
*yeah, weekend are Fri and Sat here, so Sundays are no joke!!!