Ajloun Castle and Forest

In the north of Jordan, we visited one more castle, this time not built by the Crusaders but by Izz al-Din Usama, a general in the army of Saladin in the 12th century at the site of an old monastery. The castle controlled traffic along the road connecting Damascus and Egypt. The fortress marks the furthest limit of Frankish incursions during the Crusades. The Mamluks added a prominent tower to the castle. It was captured by the Mongols in 1260 and further destroyed by earthquakes. What you can see today is still an impressive castle.

Fresh chickpeas in bundles were sold along the roads
Aljoun castle

We came there on a Friday afternoon and the area was packed with locals visiting the castle but also going on the cable car, which starts from the top of the mountain. People were waiting in line to get on one of the gondolas to enjoy the aerial view of the forests around Aljoun.

View into the Jordan valley, decorated with some antennas
Parking for the Night

For the night, we were looking for a quiet place somewhere in the forest. As it was Friday, under every tree a family sat in the shade, enjoying their picknick. We finally found a place between 2 families. It didn’t take long and a big plate of filled wine leaves and courgettes, still warm and incredibly delicious, was brought over. We were invited to join them, and they showed us also the area, as there are remains of a possibly Roman town. We saw tombs, cisterns and maybe a pool?

Pool carved into the rocks
Looking into a deep cistern
Newly excavated tomb

At night, the families left and were replaced by tomb raiders. They asked politely if they wouldn’t disturb us. When we assured them that they can do whatever they want, they started to walk around with a divining rod and started to dig not far from us. We went to bed and have no idea if they found anything. As there are many holes dug into the ground in this area, some revealed a tomb, this hobby archaeology seams to be a pastime for locals hoping to get rich.

Tea with a lot of sugar and fresh mint getting prepared
Mr. Sanad and his family
Visitors in our camper

In the morning, we explored the area again and spotted a group of Arabian Wolves, which was very exciting.

Arabian Wolves

There is one more town in ruins we want to explore in Jordan, but first we stopped at a bakery.

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