Al Karak

Karak Castle, dates back to the crusades, and is one of many interesting sites in Jordan well worth a visit. We stopped there briefly on our way to Jerusalem. I suppose in a way this is apropos, given that the crusaders also stopped here on their way to Jerusalem.


When I say “brief” I really do mean brief. We have a bit of a reputation when it comes to touring ancient ruins. On a “short” visit, we are often accused of counting every stone at the site. It has been said that a “normal” tour involves also measuring the exact dimensions of each stone, while by the end of an “extended” tour, we have drawn up a complete set of plans to reconstruct the entire site. I am, of course, exaggerating, but not by nearly as much as you might think.


This time the entire tour of Karak Castle – door to door – took 16 minutes and 35 seconds. This counts as a new personal best – or worst – depending on your perspective.


I have no intention of making a habit of this sort of “flying visit”, but we still had enough time to get a few interesting photos.



To get to Jerusalem, we had to cross the Jordan – Israel border, an experience that was interesting, to say the least. I have crossed many borders over the years, but I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything even remotely like this. Everything was business-like, but in a passive-aggressive (or perhaps aggressive-passive?) sort of way. Thinking back on it, ironically, in many ways the experience reminded me of Disneyland, where every time you think you are finally at the end of the line, you discovered there is yet another step you need to complete. However, in this case there is an “edge” when you realize these are real bullets with real consequences. Let me just say the experience was illuminating, and if this is what “peace in the Middle East” feels like, I have no desire to experience conflict.

After 3 hours, and more steps than I could have ever imagined possible, we successfully navigated the system and emerged unscathed in Israel. A relatively short taxi ride brought us to our hotel and a wonderful dinner. Next up, is Old Jerusalem.

About If It Was Today

Eat, Drink, Travel, Write...
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8 Responses to Al Karak

  1. George says:

    What an interesting place to visit. The pictures, I’m sure don’t do it justice.

  2. sarasinart says:

    Wow, it’s beautiful. What amazing history.

  3. There are so many beautiful things to see in Jordan, and yet most people have no idea.

  4. So true. The camera can never fully capture the experience of places like this. But I keep trying…

  5. George says:

    Photos, like words, are sometimes just inadequate to fully experience or appreciate something.

  6. Looks like a cool place!

  7. It definitely is cool, and only one of many fascinating places in Jordan.

  8. One of my college roommates went to high school in Jordan – she was always regaling us with tales of cool places there. Definitely on the always-growing list of places to visit!

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