Twice a day Saturday to Thursday (except Tuesday) the Romans come to the Jordanian town of Jerash. There they demonstrate their soldierly skills, stage a gladiator fight, and race their chariots around the former Empire’s smallest Hippodrome.
The Romans have been in Jerash before. Pompey’s Legions took over the region in 64 BC and Gerasa as it was then known later become part of the Decapolis: ten Roman city states on the eastern border of the Empire.
The Roman Army and Chariot Experience is good fun but I have a fantastic suggestion to make it even better.
Rather than quietly drifting into the arena it would be much better if the Legion were to enter through the northern city gate and march its way down towards the hippodrome hacking to pieces any tour groups foolish enough to get in the way.
Slow and elderly tour group members will depart contributing to a great tourism experience, surviving groups would have a great story to tell the folks back home and solo travellers would benefit from the sudden increase in unobstructed views. Surely a win win situation for everyone except fanny pack manufacturers.
I know the Jordanian Tourism Board has been very proactive in working with bloggers recently so I’ll pass on my idea and, with luck, insurance issues permitting, it will be implemented by the time you get here.
It costs JD8 to visit the Jerash site and JD12 for the Roman show. There is no need to pay the site entrance fee if you intend to take in the show only.
Frequent buses run daily between Amman and Jerash covering the journey in an hour or so. Buses don’t tend to run late in Jordan and the Amman, Jerash route is no exception so be prepared to leave before late afternoon/early evening.
We stayed in Hadrian’s Gate Hotel during our visit to Jerash. Overlooking the entrance to Jerash I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before walking the hundred metres or so to the hippodrome. Call +962 77 77 93 907 for more information.