Exploring the King’s Highway
Last weekend I decided on a spontaneous road trip by myself. I was in Naur, between Amman and Madaba and thought about where to go and remembered the way to Mujib Dam. Also haven’t been to Umm Ar-Rasas, before, so that’s what I decided for. I choose the scenic road, where you will drive a bit on the King’s Highway.
The road eventually leads you all the down to the Wadi Mujib Dam and back up again towards Karak. Before reaching the Dam, there is a nice panoramic rest spot, where some local Bedouins prepare tea or coffee for you and also you can take some nice pictures or buy some souvenirs. Tea was 1 JD and there is also a WC, if you need it.
After the short break, I continued down to the Dam, drove a bit further and returned, as I intended to go to Umm Ar-Rasas. From the other side, I took a nice Panorama shot of the Wadi Mujib Dam from above.
From there, I drove back down to the Dam, back up and then took a right turn to Umm Ar-Rasas. In between there is something called Lahun, there is also a visitor center but it was closed and also not much to see except for a lookout down to Mujib. Since there were some overexcited kids, I don’t have a picture just of nature.
Visiting Umm Ar-Rasas
30 mins later I arrived at Umm Ar-Rasas. The visitor center was also closed since it was Friday afternoon. There are actually some shops in the women’s cooperation and other souvenir shops, but everything was closed. Also, the ticket counter and toilets were closed, but the pedestrian gate was open, so I was able to enter. The site is actually quite large and there is plenty to discover.
There are several ruins of houses, churches, and other buildings among some large mosaics and also an Islamic cemetery. You can find a couple of signs and also some marked ways. Somehow I didn’t follow the right route I guess, instead just wandered around. Anyway, being the only person at the site on a Friday afternoon was relaxed. I was able to enjoy the sun, the fresh air and some historic monuments that surrounded me.
I think it is not a must-see on a short Jordan Visit. But definitively consider it when you are discovering the sites along the King’s highway. You can also do a half-day trip from Amman easily. Of course, you can combine it with Madaba, Mukawir, the Dead Sea, or on your way South towards Karak, Shobak, or Petra. For a really beautiful story on a road trip along the King’s Highway, check out the blog by the Driftwoods Family.