Umm Qais You Didn’t Know…




Terrace with Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee in Background

Umm Qais (aka Gadara (its Greek name)) is about a two-hour ride north of Amman (aka Philadelphia), unless you follow your GPS, in which case it will take you about 3 and half hours of frustrating, high blood pressure inducing, honk-your-horn-a-lot driving that takes you through small villages made up of dirt roads, numerous driving hazards and not one public toilet. It’s a good thing we had friends visiting from the States or else we may have turned around and opted to stay at home.


Basalt Columns in the Remains of Byzantine Church (5th or 6th Century)

Umm Qais (Gadara) is perched atop hilly farmland (olive and fig trees) overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Syria and the Golan Heights. The expansive 180 degree views are breathtaking and compete with the beauty of the time-worn ruins.

Such a Patient Driver!

In addition to the historical significance of the ruins, Gadara also has biblical significance– it’s said to be the site where Jesus performed the miracle of the Gadarene swine (Matthew 8:28-32).

Gadara was founded in 323 BC. During Gadara’s golden age (second-century AD), it was considered a city of great cultural vitality, a center of philosophy, poetry and the performing arts. By 325 AD, Muslims ruled the city, followed by a series of earthquakes that destroyed much of the city’s infrastructure. In the 1890s, a small village grew up amongst the Roman ruins until 1986 when its inhabitants were paid to leave the site to enable archaeological excavation.

Check out the VIP seats behind Raj (they have seat backs).

After scrambling around the ruins for an hour, we worked up an appetite and ate lunch at the Resthouse–a restaurant on the grounds offering great views, good food and exceptionally clean (attendant free with TP) restrooms.

Resthouse Restaurant in the Background

We drove home without the assistance of our GPS and arrived home in just over two hours.

In the West Theater

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18 thoughts on “Umm Qais You Didn’t Know…

  1. The restroom sounds like an oasis out there! Just how many curse words did Raj use?! lol
    Beautiful pictures. You should send shots to yoga magazine. I bet they’d put one on the cover! You look so pretty, and the scenery is a bonus.

    1. Restrooms, other than PITS are few and far between here. I just recently used my first pit out of desperation. Thank god I practice chair pose is great for building up these muscles.

    1. Thanks. To post a slide show or a gallery just go to the bottom of the page where you upload pictures from your computer. I says something like ‘add slideshow’ or ‘gallery.’ Were you able to separate your posts?

  2. well, I’m glad you did not give up and turn around, so I get to see all the pictures! Still, if that is no consolation enough, archaeological sites can be difficult to find! when I went to visit the site I’m dissertating on, the bus driver did not know the stop and dropped me off five miles away, going in the wrong direction, in the rain and in the middle of the no-where like empty looking Scottish countryside…! Well, at least now I’ll never get lost again if I have to go back there 😀

  3. What no dolls this trip? Again, your making your blog sooo interesting I feel like I am in the car listinging to all the complaining about do we turn now. O shut up and keep driving sweetheart, never from your lips… I think you provided your company with memories for a life time, keep on taking all those great pictures , we love them.. Dad

  4. Fascinating to see a glimpse of what’s on the other side of the sea of Galilee. I’m always longing to go to Jordan, and now I can visit your blog for the time being 🙂

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