|View of the village from atop one of the surrounding hills|
Our very nice friend Ramzi invited us to visit his family at their home in Ajlun for lunch and a tour around the area. Those of you who follow this blog will remember I posted a column about our visit to Ajlun Castle last year. Until yesterday that's the only part of Ajlun I'd been lucky enough to see.
The day started out somewhat cooler than usual (no shorts today!) and rainy. Yes, thats right; rainy! 14th May and was raining! It's unheard of over here! Nevertheless, it turned out to be a gorgeous day.
Our first stop was the family house in the village where we were treated with Turkish coffee and biscuits (cookies).
|Refreshment in the Owais house|
|Gate to the summer house|
|Part of driveway|
|Rosemary now has a new home in one of my pots|
|One of the many breathtaking views from the house|
|Did you ever see yellow Queen Anne's Lace?|
After visiting the house we drove to Mar Elias. It was here that Prophet Elias (Elijah) was born.
|From this side of the site you can see Palestine on the distant hills|
|It is said that anything for which you pray, whilst lighting a candle at this altar will be granted|
|I reckon it can't hurt...right?|
|Our host and guide, Ramzi Owais|
|Just one of the many intact fragments of the mosaic floor of the church|
|Interior view of water cistern. I estimated it to be around 10 meters deep|
|Water cistern. Water was transported here through a network of small canals|
|People, mostly Indians, tie ribbons on this tree as they recite their prayers|
|Tombs adjacent to the church|
|Getting down into the tombs was a tricky situation, unless you happen to be a goat...|
|Many archaeological artefacts on display around the area of the church|
|Ancient olive trees fill these mountains. Some of them are many hundreds of years old, dating back to the Roman occupation|
|More views of Ajlun from the mountaintop|
|Notice Ajlun Castle on top of the mountain just behind us|
|Sometimes Ol' Big Jim is just too shaky to operate a camera...|
|Driving through the forest.|
|Some of these are almond trees. We picked a few green ones and ate them. Very tasty!|
|Notice how neatly the sheep keep the trees trimmed at the bottom!|
|We made stop at an olive press. After the oil is extracted, the pulp is compacted and allowed to dry. Afterwards it is burnt to make charcoal for grills and arghileh|
|Prophet Khidr was a companion of Elijah. His tomb is very near Ajloun Castle|
|A beautiful end to a beautiful day|