Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring in Umm Qais

Our fabulous CLO organized a trip to Umm Qais last weekend.

Religious folk amongst my readers might know it as the likely place where Jesus drove the demons from a man into a herd of swine, who then rushed oinkily down the hill, plunging to their deaths in the Sea of Galilee. I was hoping Jesus might see fit to drive a few demons out of my kids, but no - I believe, given events of this week thus far, that he might even have driven a few extra demons into my littlest angel, who has apparently decided that her last few months in the Terrible Twos ought to be worthy of the title.

But I digress.

It was a beautiful day, with green grass and spring flowers and blue skies and floaty white clouds and rocks.

Lots and lots of rocks.

And as 11-year-olds across the globe know, rocks are boring.

Of course, if you put 15 kids together on a site full of ancient Roman rocks, eventually they will discover that they can climb them.

Or throw them. Or jump off them. Or even find a few that are in the shape of a bridge, which they will then scale, sitting on the very edge as their terrified parents look on.

And heaven forbid they find that they can scale the back of a few and end up on the roof of a building (yep, that'd be Aidan in the middle up there).

It was a beautiful site, full of history for the historically inclined.

And have I mentioned the rocks?

Those are my three beautiful boys. All together now: awwwww. Behind them is the Sea of Galilee. Or Lake Tiberius. And the Syrian border. That's the Golan Heights back there, too. Go ahead and google it if you have time - I'm not even going to get into who owns what and who thinks they own it and who used to own it and so on.

Somebody famous was buried down there in that crypt. Maybe two somebodies, even. I'm not sure: instead of reading the sign, I was trying to persuade somebody else's kid not to jump off the wall. It was nice, for a change, to see other people's kids doing crazy stuff. It's apparently not just my kids who think of these things.

And here, for your viewing pleasure, are a few more pictures of rocks. Roman rocks. Enjoy...


Kate said... [Reply]

Beautiful pics. Because I can relate to having a bored adolescent, I especially enjoyed that photo-it, uh, rocked.

Shannon said... [Reply]

Gorgeous and not just your kids. I turned around in a castle to see my teen jumping from the top of one wall about 15 ft tall across to the top of another wall about 5 feet away. Did I mention the 15 foot deep gap between the walls? Yikes! He made it, thank goodness.

Sorry about the terrible twos. This too shall pass?

Kristen said... [Reply]

Wow, I loved all your pics! With all of the history in that area of the world, it just seems so surreal to be able to walk around the sites. Amazing! Glad the kids and everyone made it safely home from your field trip :)

Daniela Swider said... [Reply]

Lovely pictures and so cool that the CLO organized the trip. Look forward to some CLO organized cultural/historical happenings once we get to India.

Sara said... [Reply]

Looks like such a beautiful place, and I can feel the weight of history just through your pictures.

Just US said... [Reply]

I love reading your blog!! It is enjoyable to experience this region together! I have learned that Romans liked their rocks and also their bath houses! Made of rock of course :) Maybe next time I will send my kids with you and see if any demons come out. All of them could stand to lose a few (or hundred) :).

Brooke said... [Reply]

oh, it's so green and beautiful!

Connie said... [Reply]

Gorgeous photos... ah, the greenery and BLUE sky! I loved your 'and someone famous is buried here' observation. I've done a lot of tours like that... following along behind a tour group and guide who are getting educated, and I'd be busy trying to keep kids from falling down mysterious deep holes or being carried off by starving mangy dessert 'Doggies!', etc.

Dorothy Handelman said... [Reply]

I love how you used the photos to tell the big and little stories of your excursion. So amazing to see the scenery and ruins together. Sorry to hear about the terrible two's in full force- around here- we don't get those kind of outbursts anymore. Instead we get something much much more challenging- a little thing called sarcasm....

Lydia said... [Reply]

I loved Umm Qais! That dark rock is a wonderful change of scenery. And I had the best bowl of lentil soup in that cafe! *sigh* We'll get posted to Amman eventually.

Please. Write your own stuff.