King´s Highway

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Leaving Mujib chalets behind we took the King’s Highway heading for the south. This millenium old former trade road, fortunately tarmaced today, is a scenic mountain road. It took us through small towns and villages, passing serveral castle ruins. The large ones: Kerak castle in Al Karak erected on top of a mountain by the crusaders in 1140 on the ground of a former byzantine temple, or Shobak castle in Al Shobak built 1115 by crudaders, too. Now and then we saw meagre looking gathering of tents out of town, mostly on a plateau away from the road. Many of them have herds of goats and pick-up trucks, few have satellite dish on the ground next to their tents, quite bizarre.

Roadside dwelling

Wherever we were, we were greeted friendly by a “Welcome to Jordan”, sometimes out of a car passing by. Children waved to us or tried their English with “What’s your name?”. Obviously we were the only tourists who walked around into town, taking meals in local restaurants for few Dinars (be prepared to take your meal by fingers without cutlery!) or buying things from local shops (there wasn’t any souvenir shop).

A road sign, quite common to be found in small towns and side roads.
The triangle on the top should illustrate a warning for speed bump. You will find many of them on the road, often not signposted.

Although we don’t speak Arabic and the locals no English or German, we managed to communicate somehow. There was no sign of cheating, all were friendly and helpful. Of course there were lots of five stars coaches bringing visitors from around the world to the castles and main sightseeings, but we saw none of them in town.

The main street of Al Karak

In one occasion while we were driving and concentrating on looking for our hotel a car driver waved to us to stop driving and tried to give us directions. We were more than grateful!

At the butcher

A negative experience: On a busy crossroad of road no. 35 (King’s Highway) and road no. 50 where we had accomodation for the night Cecilia was “overwhelmingly” approached by several young men while she was waiting for me outside a fruit shop opposite to our hotel after dark. That made she felt very uncomfortable. Probably the people in this remote area are not used to see women alone on the street at night, unveiled and dressed with a T-shirt on top.

A Settlement

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