2 Crusader Castles

We left Wadi Musa and the seventh wonder behind early in the morning. We headed to Mini Petra alongside the wilderness territory of Petra. Mini Petra is still part of Petra but has it’s own small canyon with caves and buildings

Mini Petra - Travellingminstrel #1
Mini Petra – Travellingminstrel #1

with a beautiful view of the desert at the top of a small mountain.

Mini Petra view - Travellingminstrel #
Mini Petra view – Travellingminstrel #2

Next stop was Shobak castle. Shobak was the first Crusader castle to be built in Transjordan.

Shobak castle - Travellingminstrel #
Shobak castle – Travellingminstrel #3

The Crusades:
The Crusades were a series of wars during the Middle Ages where the Christians of Europe tried to retake control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims.

Why did they want to control Jerusalem?
Jerusalem was important to a lot of religions during the Middle Ages. It was important to Jewish people as it was the site of the original temple to God built by King Solomon. It was important to the Muslims because it was where they believe Muhammad ascended to heaven. It was important to Christians as it is where Christ was crucified and rose again.

There was a small chapel and a few other unidentifiable buildings.

Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #4
View - Travellingminstrel #
View – Travellingminstrel #5

It wasn’t the most well preserved castle but we had a fun, small, dark adventure here. This castle had a few secret passageways and tunnels leading to the outside of the grounds hundreds of metres below. Most of them were closed since they were dangerous except one which we went down.

This tunnel went right down through the moat. It was a lot longer than I had expected. We had to take a guide to take us down.The tunnel had easy steps until about a quarter of the way down where it began to go very slippy and not as many steps.

Tunnel - Travellingminstrel #
Tunnel – Travellingminstrel #6

About half way down TUT slipped and fell about 2 meters down which was really funny. The guide and TUT carried Jed and me and mum were behind them. Since it was cold in the castle I had brought gloves and stuffed them in my pocket to go down but one fell out and slid down with us which we thought was a rat so we kept our eyes out after that even though it wasn’t a rat. Another time mum slipped and since she was behind me nearly fell on me so I gave a big shout and the guide kept asking if we were alright but all we could do was laugh hysterically all the way down.

Tunnel - Travellingminstrel #
Tunnel – Travellingminstrel #7

There was a big group of people in front of us who were very slow. The only use of light was our torches so you had to make sure you were with someone who had a torch otherwise it was pitch black.

Once we finally reached the bottom there was a ladder to climb which came out of a well. I went first and when I came out all the people who were in front of us kept taking pictures and especially when Jed the adventurous baby came out.

Ladder - Travellingminstrel #
Ladder – Travellingminstrel #8

One women asked for mums email and said she would send the pictures and that she had taken pictures of him in Petra too,but we haven’t got them yet.

Aref had lit a fire to keep warm just at the side of the road so we warmed our hands there and we were off again. It was becoming very cold and Aref was worried that snow was coming, bad as the roads became impassable sometimes.

On the way to the next main sight we stopped to enjoy the view of Dana nature reserve which had good walks and birds to see but it was too cold to go and have a look so we carried on.

Darna - Travellingminstrel #
Dana – Travellingminstrel #9

Next stop was another Crusader castle called Kerak. This is apparenty the most well preserved Crusader castle in Transjordan. Well it was certainly better preserved than Shobak.

Instead of secret passageways it had stunning view over the area. We stopped a few times after this for various views over stunning valleys and watched the sunset.

Karak - Travellingminstrel #
Kerak – Travellingminstrel #10

It was a long drive today.

View before Madaba - Travellingminstrel #
View before Madaba – Travellingminstrel #11
Jedders - Travellingminstrel #
Jedders – Travellingminstrel #12

Finally we arrived in Madaba where we were to spend the night, we had a decent meal in a local restaurant then went straight to sleep.

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