By Antonio Malara
This post starts where “Machaerus” ended and it’s the third destination I reached during my trip in Jordan. I recommend to read Amman in order to knew more about how the whole trip started.
After visiting Machaerus mountain, our next destination was the city of al-Karak and a visit to its famous Castle-Fortress. Along the way we passed another breathtaking point, downstream there was a dam surrounded by mountains with a different shape than usual. Everyone's enthusiasm convinced our guide to stop and take some pictures even if this caused us a delay on the schedule that we have never recovered. The landscape there was vast as far as the eye could see and the mountains above the dam looked more like giant flows. They had two large dark stripes for a long time in two distinct levels, as if they had been cut, very suggestive that together with the rest created another unique view. Obviously, without even realizing it, between one photo and another we lost much more time than expected.
Already arriving by bus I noticed that al-Karak extended over a wide plateau, where the great stone Castle stood. After leaving the bus we went for lunch at the restaurant after 3 PM. al-Karak Castle was a construction that dates back to the 12th century, the entrance was impressive because it was accessed from a walkway that flanked the high walls. Once you passed the entrance, you would actually find yourself outside again. The castle still retained large parts of the construction and we visited an area that was full of arched structures. I remember that someone was amazed at how these had resisted compared to walls that were damaged. Don Valerio explained that it was thanks to the principle of construction of the arches that they had resisted, more stable than the largest walls. The area was very large and there were large spaces between one building and another where probably a long time ago there was part of the castle that has now been destroyed. In today's conditions it gave the impression of being a sort of archaeological park, also given the presence of a lot of greenery around it. Moreover, being the castle on a summit, from there you could enjoy a beautiful view. Obviously, as usual, I began to explore the area as if it were a playground, armed with a camera to capture everything. To my surprise I discovered some tunnels, it was a lot of fun to go through them, go around the various rooms and notice that despite being underground they were designed in such a way as to let in glimmers of light. I remember that there was a passage that from an entrance led to an exit from a completely different side, these things excited me a lot.
Our visit there didn't last very long, we left after more than an hour because a long journey to Petra awaited us. After crossing the narrow streets of al-Karak we immersed ourselves in a new desert scenery, along the way we stopped for a break and a coffee, there we admired one of our first Jordanian sunsets.
Pictures: Antonio Malara
Camera: Nikon D800