Honing Our Sense of Direction at the Roman Forum and Theater


We’ve been taking day trips outside of Amman for the past few weeks, neglecting the incredible sights that are just miles from our house. After seeing the Temple of Hercules in the distance from dinner last week at Souk Jara (the temple in Amman, not to be confused with the one we saw a couple of weeks ago in Jerash), I wanted to see the Citadel, where the temple lies. Raj and I were feeling adventurous and decided we’d drive ourselves. Have I mentioned that  we don’t have a GPS (yet), street names are a relatively new phenomenon here, and people give directions using landmarks?

Roman Forum & Theater

We managed to make our way towards the Roman forum, driving through a lovely part of town that looked as though people had been evicted and their belongings were thrown into the street. This was not eviction day, just a flea market. If you need scrap metal or broken appliances, this is the place to go. We eventually spotted the theater in the distance and could easily have missed it because there weren’t any signs for it and  it’s undergoing a massive renovation hiding the complex behind barricades. We made our way to the theater, which was built between 169-177 AD, during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. It  was built to seat 6,000 and as you can see from the pictures, the stairs are extremely steep. We walked to the top above the seating to check out a small, empty shrine with niches. The dedication isn’t known, but part of a statue of Athena was found during excavations.

We stayed here about an hour, enjoying the views and looking off into the distance at the Temple of Hercules on the opposite hill. This is where I wanted to go next, Jebel al-Qal’a (Citadel Hill). On our way out of the theater, we quickly looked at the forum, but most of it was behind the gates of construction, so our access was severely limited.

We hopped back in the car, unsure of how to get to Jebel al-Qal’a, but how hard could it be to go directly across the hill, probably less than one mile away? Apparently it is VERY difficult because we ended up getting lost, for an hour,  with only our limited sense of direction to get us back home. We made it home frazzled and decided that we’ll take a cab to Jebel al-Qal’a in a couple of weeks.

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17 thoughts on “Honing Our Sense of Direction at the Roman Forum and Theater

  1. It seems so crowded. How did you ever beat a path through the throngs of tourists. Again, these put the real ruins in Rome to shame because they are so well preserved. It must have been deserted for years, maybe even covered by sand. I think your next job should be volunteering to join the excavation team. By the way, I was in the market for scrap metal and I know you get cheap shipping so look into this for me.

  2. Hi Shanti! What do you all day when Jenny and Raj are out having fun? Do they make it up to you when they get home? Last night, the family went to an Angel’s game and I was locked outside, forgotten, abandoned and traumatized by visions of the 2008 coyote attack. They had no idea I was out there until they saw my traumatized face pressed into the glass over 4 hours later. Never have I been so happy to be rescued. They all felt pretty bad and are making it up to me big time!

  3. The sites are fantastic and you and Raj are doing a great job with the camera. Keep it up.. Rick Steves will be calling on you shortly. I will be looking forward to some scrap metal shopping when we come to visit..See if you can line up some contacts for me so I can get right to the buying and shipping stage. I have a lot of room in the yard still. I also can not get over the condition of this place and the lack of mobs of people.. Keep enjoying each other and the road trips..

  4. Hi Jen and Raj,
    Thanks for the continued great descriptions and information on Jordan! The pics are terrific!!!! Now I hope the “gas” is still on!!!!
    Have a great celebration of our historical beginning! In God We Trust!
    Best to you both,
    Dick and Mary

  5. How FUN…but are YOU sure it was not “eviction day”…having flash backs of the Trinity parkinglot and the poor folks that were FORCED OUT! Makes me sad…and miss you very much!

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